Today, as I sat at Starbucks working on a new client’s branding, I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation happening at the table beside me. Two young girls in their early 20’s were talking about being an “specialist” at something.

They were discussing their goals and their future and I was in awe of their maturity and drive. I’m finding that the 20 year olds these days are very special. They blow me away actually. What I’m seeing is that they have a fire inside them. A fearlessness. It’s like they are a new breed. I think we will see them do amazing things in this world.

They were saying that most people want the quick and easy buck or career these days and that it takes about 15 years of doing ONE thing and mastering it before you can call yourself a “specialist”.

These girls were discussing their plans to become specialists and how they will gladly and passionately invest their time, even if it means the next 15 years of their lives. They are proud to have this goal.

I'm not so sure I was thinking that way when I was in my twenties. Even if they do change their minds, that's still impressive,... to be sitting around sipping tea and having that conversation so early on in the game. Made me smile.

Hearing their magic number (15yrs) combined with the word “specialist” really got my attention because that’s how long I’ve been doing what I do. And I do call myself a visual branding expert or specialist now. Oddly enough I only felt comfortable doing so as of last summer,… at the 15 year mark.

This is not to say that one cannot call themselves a specialist sooner, but I do think that a certain right of passage and degree of credibility is earned after this many years.

As a specialist, your work is second nature. It’s in your blood. It’s a passion. You know what works and doesn’t. You have years of leaning from mistakes and trial and error under your belt.

I’m curious to hear from other “specialists” out there! Do you agree that there is a certain ripeness in your work at the 15 year mark? A stronger confidence and clarity perhaps?

Big hugs,

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