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When talent works hard

Aug 17, 2018

Thought provoking dinner conversation last night has been lingering in my mind all day.  I mentioned a favourite quote of mine “hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard” and my friend posed this question back to me, “but what happens when talent does work hard?”.

In my view, talent is a natural gift you are born with and if you are an elite athlete, odds are that you were born with more ability and you built on it from there.  I know myself, no amount of training will ever make me an elite athlete as that is just not where my strength lie, even though I am fit and love sports.  In business however I feel talent works a bit differently, you may be born with natural communication skills, or a natural flair for figures and a more mathematical brain, but allot of what you need for most industry verticals can be acquired with commitment to education, couching or mentoring.  If you are a complete introvert with a fear of public speaking, you may never be at Tony Robbin’s level, but with couching and things like toast masters you could get to a point where you do communicate effectively and you become a confident public speaker.

A key attribute you really need in business, is the capacity to commit and execute on your commitments.  Natural determination, plus allowing yourself to take calculated risk and to accept failure as part of the journey.  When you plan and strategise on your goals and business endeavours, be honest with yourself and involve people you trust to assist you in identifying all the areas you may need more help with, and then find the help you need and up skill yourself.

Awareness of our talents may give rise to fear, not a fear that we are inadequate, it is more that we might be more capable and powerful than what we deem socially expectable.  Talented individuals can even get trapped in a space where they will shrink away, to avoid jealous onlookers or in aim to not offend insecure people around them.  I know I personally did that for many years in the large Telco I worked for as an entrepreneurial spirit was clearly not the recipe for promotions.  If you find yourself asking questions like, who am I to be talented, brilliant, and fabulous?  Remember the real question is, who are you not to be?  Having confidence and self-acceptance is a must if you want to build on your talents, and just allowing yourself to test the limits of being who you were born to be.

Tall poppy syndrome is a huge issue culturally too, which can be an advantage for a newer business like mine as Aussies also do enjoy supporting the underdog.  But in my experience I have found that haters will be haters whether you curve your natural talents or if you choose to try and shine as bright as you can.  So you might as well go for it!

Identifying your talents and developing them further is vital if you want to be elite at whatever you choose to do.  God gave you these gifts, and the more you use them the more new abilities surface that you never even knew you had.  As you start shining your light brightly, it will allow people around you to do the same as they will be encouraged by your courage.   Talent is only one small portion of what success is made up of in the business world, and of course it can be a great advantage, but what God didn’t give you naturally, you can mostly learn if you are determined enough.

In conclusion my thoughts are that you can be super successful in business without born talent, but when talent works hard the level of greatness you can achieve is absolutely next level!

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