So many people around you talk about talent, especially when they see someone who becomes extremely rich as a result of his talents.
It`s common to hear, “That musician is very talented. Look at how he/she sings easily”
You can hear people saying, “Football is very easy for Ronaldo. He is a witch”
How true? Do talents truly give people easy success?
Yes and no, depending on what you call “easy success”.
While writing in our business training, how to discover business idea, I made it very clear that talents are like gold. Talent is great and can make you rich, yet, talent (like gold) requires much work before it becomes an “ATM machine”.
Before I continue, let me share with you this good quotation:
“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” – Stephen King
Wow! Read that quotation again.
Talent is cheaper than table salt, everybody has one. The only thing that turns talent to a great success is work… a lot of work.
Take for instance, Michael Jackson was recognized as (probably) the most famous musician ever in the history of the world. In his time, whenever Jackson released a musical album he might sell one million copies in 12 hours.
He was rich, famous and influential… all because of his musical talents.
But that is just the public part of that story. Let me tell you the private side… Jackson practiced 8hrs every day to arrive at that level. Now you can see. Anybody else would have gotten a better talents than he got, if that person couldn`t put in work, a lot of work, he/she will never become rich or famous with those talents.
We all know that Michael Jordan is very talented, don`t will? But do you know about his secret hard work? Let`s read what he said:
“I have always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come” Michael Jordan
Though he is a great basketball player, though he has talents, work (hard work) is what made him a great success.
Think about Tiger Wood, Okocha, Eto, or any great writer, singer, artist or even business man (yes, business men use their talents to succeed too), you will find out that, though they may have talents, hard work, concentrated efforts, commitment, focus and stubbornness (call it persistence) are the virtues that make them successful.
Where am I going precisely? Why am I writing this tutorial?
There is a need for me to pen this tutorial because there is this great misconception about what talent is and how it makes people rich. Many people, whenever they see a successful person, ignorantly attribute his/her success to talent.
Why they may be right, they usually forget three facts.
First, they too have talents (as Stephen Kings says, talent is common like table salt). The second fact I see that most people usually forget is that those who become rich and successful because of their talents do so only after a hell of work.
The third mistake most people make is that, they don`t know that they have to discover their talents.
Let me use again the analogy of gold (and other natural resources).
Nigeria is today the sixth largest oil producer in the world. We can boldly say that Nigeria is “talented” in oil. But you know something? Oil was not discovered in Nigeria to be a great wealth until around 1958.
Ghana is “talented” in gold. But if nobody dared to search, look for and find gold in the nation of Ghana, Ghana would never have known anything to be called gold.
What is my message here?
Most times, talent is not what you just wake up to see (obviously) in your palm. Talent is what you have to ”search out”. Talent has to be discovered (just as gold or oil has to be discovered).
There are some countries of the world that are having certain natural resources and are yet to discover them. So it is that there are several millions of people in the world that are having great talents, but are yet to discover them (and may never discover them in their whole life time, because they don`t know that they have a duty to do so).
How do you discover your talents?
By paying attention to your heart. By observing your interests. By spending time with your passion.
Let me explain all these.
You have to pay attention to your heart. What makes it glad? What is that thing that gives your heart a great pleasure? What is that thing that when doing, time passes away so quickly and you never feel any burden of working?
Search your heart (just as anyone searching for natural resources will) and look for some pleasant signals in relation to your daily tasks, hobbies or engagements.
Take for instance, I am making money from being a writer today. But I never knew that would happen in the last 10 years. But you know something? I have being writing since when I was age 13-15. I love writing. Even as a young boy, I would leave my parents` house and go to a silent secondary school classroom. I would start writing.
I never knew what I was doing could lead to anything. I was simply doing what I love doing.
This is where you have to be careful. I never listen to my heart until many years later. So many people will have talents and will never listen to their hearts, so they won`t see those talents as things of great monetary value.
Secondly, observe what interests you. Observe those things that interest you and see how you can commercialize them. Usually your talent will be like your hobby. You will love doing it and you will do it with more ease than most people.
The third thing you have to do is, spend time perfecting your talents.
God doesn`t give human beings finish products. He gives us raw materials. He gives us raw gold. We must refine it. He gives us raw oil. We must refine it. He gives us raw talent. We must refine it.
Most people don`t know this truth. You better know now!
You will have to work (very hard) on your talent, if you will ever be successful with it.
You will have to practice, practice and practice your talent. I write virtually every day, even if that will mean to write a short post.
Read good books about that line of your passion and other inspirational books that will encourage and inspire you. If you don`t practice and study in the area of your talent (I mean practicing like crazy), you cannot refine it or commercialize it.
My wife was a footballer, right from her very young age. She would leave home to play football with young boys. But her father hated seeing her play ball, “you`re not a boy. What do you have to do with football?” was his usual discouragement.
After fighting for what she loved doing for a time, she felt it was too tough a battle she could win and gave up.
The only thing left with her today is, she walks smart (due to much exercise she had as footballer). Nothing else. Nothing else.
If for any reason you cannot work (hard) on your talent, forget it. You cannot become rich with it.