One Trick Pony or Jack of all Trades?


Some of you millennials may not have heard the term ‘One Trick Pony.’ For those who haven’t let me explain how it relates to people, places and things. It’s pretty simplistic in meaning that the pony has one trick. It is not good at any more than one thing, thus the phrase.


A lot of professionals in entertainment, business occupation or career slots suggest you pick a field and stay with it. They say you have to be passionate about your selection. Be persistent, unyielding, don’t let anybody move you off your spot. Keep moving toward your ultimate goal. Zero in on that particular skill set and enhance it to make you a well-rounded individual in your field of expertise.


Professions relied on calling in THE expert.  Whenever they needed to solve a burning question to finally implement a big project or solve a problem in their processes. They’d call for the big kahuna. And you better believe THE expert would come at a BIG expense.


This being a capitalistic country and a money driven society made everyone long to be that expert. Therefore, with the emphasis being on a talents expertise there was a rush to become THE expert in various fields. Yeah, go forth young man or woman, become a specialist.


That’s what business instructors, analysts, and prognosticators said as recently as a couple years ago. In most cases it worked yesteryear. Some are stuck in that mode today. Unfortunately they are giving you the old way of rising in your chosen field. That doesn’t work today. Whether you are aspiring to be a Singer, Actor, Doctor, Lawyer, or Politician, versatility is a must to become a star in any chosen field.     


Over the last few years, doctors were urged to become specialists in some type of medicine. That is supposed to make them experts in their particular field. Yet it hinders them by causing them to call in another specialist when they run into another organ issue that is connected to their operational body part. They try to have all the necessary surgeons in during the operation. Every now and then, they still have to call someone else to scrub in during an operation. Or if it’s beforehand they send you to another specialist in order to get another experts opinion.


Take a rapper for instance, who think that all they have to do is get a beat and a hook in the rap to create a number one hit. Keep in mind that their entire premise is based upon voicing the truth about what they supposedly have personally experienced in the hood. For those outside the rap game, the entire presentation all sounds the same. And that’s because it is the same. So people chase the dream of becoming a rapper for over twenty-five years and still are no closer than they were before their first release. A lot of rappers are attaining stardom for one hit record.  Then fading as fast as they arrived because there is no there…there.  If quietness is kept, it also happens to one hit singers.


How about an actor or actress? The two that comes to mind are Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. There is no typecasting these individual whose versatility is always on display to an audience. They are not one trick pony’s. When you think of them competing for various parts, they are two people that can play a couple of stationary bowling pins. As long as you gave them dialog and allow facial inflictions; case closed for considering anyone else for the part.


This also applies to our personal lives. On a personal note, I was a one trick pony. At the time, I had a dying need to please me and only me in every way imaginable. I wanted to be the best all talented, all rich, etc. etc. in the world. I wanted to be recognize as THE one and only. I was a walking neon sign that said look at me, for I am the one. The one of what didn’t matter, because I wanted to be THE One of it all. Maturity was realized and it dawned on me that whatever I tried to do, someone came before me and many were more accomplished at it than I. I had to drive out the conceit and begin to find my niche in life. My father words rang in my head, “Boy whatever you do, do it well.” I started taking his words to task. I became pretty good at most things. And boy did I get an education about life while becoming “A Jack of all Trades.”   


Even if you excel at one of the personal traits, self-satisfaction is secondary to shared success.  With maturity also comes the realization that all things worth having is even greater if share with someone. That goes double for sharing it with someone you love or even a group. Success is more special when sharing it with family, or a few close friends. That’s why you see so much jubilation when a sports team wins a championship. There is no substitution for looking in the eyes of someone you know is happy you reached a certain pinnacle. Keeping in mind that it is better to be good in several areas to become a superstar.


In the end when you look at the big picture, which would you rather be? Will you settled for being a home run hitter? Or would you like to be thought of as a complete ball player. When the managers on certain jobs come around with layoff pink slips?  Who normally gets to stay on the job? The expert or the person that can handle various duties as assigned.


And finally, as an Entrepreneur, wouldn’t you feel more comfortable with a working knowledge of your entire business investment? Otherwise, how would know if people you have placed in certain positions are able to handle all aspects of the job. How long would it take for you to see that one or more is faking it? Their intention is to get paid, for they can find another job. But how many times can you come up with the funds to invest in a business venture.  Now which would you rather be, a ‘One Trick Pony’ or ‘Jack of all Trades?’


Peace, yet stay vigilant for our American rights. Make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,




Codis Hampton II                                                                                          


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In a continuing effort to publicize my book, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years 1917-1953, I will join LitFires Publishing exhibit at this year’s ALA (American Library Association in June) Annual Conference & Exhibition in Chicago. Go to for the full details. Meanwhile look for my fifth book to be published in early July. Thanks and see you in Chicago.


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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment


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Hamp II

This web site is a compilation of all my works, interest, and musical taste. Its intended to display all my talents, dreams, and aspirations. In short, join the ride or stay tuned. Because… I’d been chasing self-independence which led me to open a retail business. Success with no capital for expansion led to its closure. I wanted a career, not just a job. I needed to be in charge of my own destiny. In 1978, I left my beloved Milwaukee and moved to California where a civil service position awaited. It turned out to be one of the best decisions my wife, and I have ever made. A few years before retiring from the “rat race” in 1996, I discovered my true love, writing. I started by publishing an online newsletter with my own opinionated articles leading off each issue. I graduated by writing my first book, Unchon-ni (2010 publication), a semi-biography tale about my military tour in Korea in the early sixties. November of 2013 brought about the release of my second book, entitled Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years, 1917-1953. It’s a tribute to my grandmother’s life and times while living in the segregated south of the United States. After careful consideration, I began broadcasting Hamp’s Corner of America via Blog Talk Radio in June of 2014. I’ve found the show to be an ideal platform for presenting ideas and comments to a segment of our society that may not see or hear the stories that speak to their interest from other American news outlets. In the politically charged years since the election of Barack Obama in 2008, most people have become accustomed to instant critique and sound bites from various media. More so than Obama’s election, the truth is often bent; twisted, shredded, and repackaged to resemble something that your conscious tells you is a lie. Independent thinking is not a lost art. Just because people with those types of opinions seem to dominate the landscape, they are still a minority, no matter their color or creed. The truth must be treasured and not compromised. Those real experiences supply the foundation upon which we are built and thus enable us to do the right thing based upon facts. That is the creed upon which I’ve based my life in every circumstance. No matter what, somehow one should always do the right thing for all involved. It keeps one grounded. I’ve reached my senior years and have an enormous appetite to see our local communities grow and prosper at the hands of the people in that community. In other words, there is no help like self-help. As of this summer’s 2015 date, I have three books in my production hopper. One (about my father’s life) to be released this fall, a fictional story by the spring of 2016 and a political environment book, schedule for a fall release in 2016. It should be noted that all my books have been and will be independently published by my choice of publishers. I can say at this point in my life, I am at peace with my work, my God, and my existence.

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