Blog » Talent only gets you so far
Natural talent is overrated. What's really required is a lot of hard work.
I've had the good fortune to work with some very talented people, both professionally and in my capacity as a musician. However in every case it's wound up being hard work and putting in the hours to gain experience that ultimately got them to where they are today.
We're all born with unique talents, and as children it's easy to identify the especially talented and raise them up on a pedestal. We can all remember the kid at school who could play grade 8 piano at age 9, or who consistently came first in the school cross-country.
Things get more interesting in your twenties and as you enter adulthood. Suddenly you're competing with less talented people who've simply put in the hours and wound up being better than you. Play the guitar for an hour every night for ten years and you'll get really good. Add to that a pleasant personality and the ability to relate to people and you'll be invited to join a band and get hired for gigs. The same applies to web design, cooking, running, writing, public speaking, driving, tennis or simply being a good friend.
Of course, things get really interesting when you combine natural talent with a lot of hard work. That's when superstars are born. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Dan Carter, Helen Clark, Mozart, Bach, Russel Coutts, Michael Schumacher, Peter Jackson all displayed signs of their talent at a young age, but are also among the most hard working people you'd care to know.
Before writing-off the success of others as pure luck, God-given talent, family connections, financial good-fortune or whatever else you care to attribute it to, consider that high achievers are often the ones quietly doing the hard yards to do whatever it takes to be the very best in their field.