PMC Core Skills Workshop: Specialization

Specializing is 30% deciding, and 70% implementing

In theory, specialization is simply answering the question: “what is the focus of my business?”

In practice, answering that question involves managing 5 forms of uncertainty:

  • Will I enjoy this way of specializing?
  • Will this way of specializing build on my biggest advantage?
  • Will this way of specializing expose me to too much risk?
  • Will the market respond positively to this way of specializing?
  • How should I transition from being a generalist to specializing in this way?

As I’ve helped people through the generalist to specialist transition, I’ve realized that success really comes from the how good the implementation of the specialization decision is, not how high quality the decision itself is. You can make the most amazing, high quality specialization decision possible, but if the implementation of that decision is low quality then you’ll get dissapointing results.

Furthermore, I’ve learned that the pivotal moment in the specialization process is not making the decision, it’s getting the first feeling of traction as a result of the decision. That moment is what fuels the determination and resolve that are critical to a good implementation of the decision. That first feeling of traction energizes you for a good implementation of your specialization decision.

This workshop is about getting to that feeling of traction.

It’s an 8-week workshop. You’ll spend 25% of it — 2 weeks — on developing a specialization hypothesis and the remaining 75% of the time testing that hypothesis.

I can’t know or guarantee whether you’ll actually get that first feeling of traction during the 8 weeks of the workshop. I do know that you’ll learn through experience a good process for generating and testing specialization hypotheses. So if you don’t get that first feeling of traction, you’ll be in a good place to iterate and keep testing on your own.

I also know that this approach to specialization will be more successful than any other you might pursue.

Meeting time will be weekly at 10am to 11:30 am Mountain time on Fridays, from May 15 – July 3.

  • Experiential: My workshops are experiential in nature. That’s why they’re usually 2 months long: to give you many opportunities between meetings to practice, experiment, and apply what you’re learning. That’s experiential learning.
  • 20 participants max: I limit my workshops to 20 participants each. Each week we meet for 90 minutes in a Zoom video meeting. I don’t lecture or dominate those meetings. Instead, I have structured them so that you have a safe but challenging space to share, further explore, and refine what you’ve experimented with in the previous week. Introverts feel comfortable being in the background and sharing their uniquely valuable insights when they’re ready.
  • Lectures: There is “lecture” content in these workshops, but that’s delivered asynchronously in the most compact, efficient form possible. Sometimes that’s a short audio lesson, sometimes it’s me talking through a slide deck in cases where visuals are important, sometimes it’s text.

To secure your seat in this workshop:

There are 4 scholarship seats in this workshop. If you would benefit from this workshop but the $700 price is beyond what you can afford, I would like to offer you one of the 4 scholarship seats. You get to name your price, and that price can be as low as $0. Scholarship seats are first come-first serve, and offered on the honor system (I don’t check your finances or level of need, etc.). Email to discuss.

Workshop Syllabus

  • Week 1: Understanding Specialization
  • Week 2: Developing a Specialization Hypothesis
  • 3: Validation Approaches
  • 4: The Free Gift of kNowledge (FGoN) Validation Approach
  • 5: FGoN Distribution
  • 6: FGoN Distribution + Understanding Implementation of a Specialization Decision
  • 7: FGoN Feedback
  • 8: Downstream Decisions

Sample Videos

I’ve pulled a few videos from the workshop curriculum and published them here so you can get a feel for what the workshop is like.


Q: If I can't make every meeting, is this workshop worth it?

A: If you can make 80% or more of the meetings, you'll get your money's worth. If you can make fewer than 80% of the meetings, I'm concerned you might not get the value I'd hope for.

Meetings are recorded and shared with workshop participants only.

Q: What do I need to access this workshop?

A: The usual stuff: Slack, Zoom, and decent internet bandwidth for the meetings. The lecture videos are hosted on Vimeo, and are also made available as a podcasst (minus the visual channel), playable on any podcast player.