If you’re worried that there are people out there more talented than you, save yourself some stress. Most likely you’re right. But, that doesn’t mean those people are more likely to succeed than you. Being the best isn’t all you need be a winner.
You can have half of the talent as some others but be far more successful. That’s possible because although they may have the sharper skills, you may have more of what it takes to come out on top.
Like what, you ask.
Grit is a combination of courage and resolve. It means you’re brave enough to do something and you’ve made a firm decision that you’re going to do it.
When you’re driven by grit, you aren’t standing back weighing his talent versus your talent and her tools versus your tools. You suit up and you go for it.
A lot of people who have a lot of talent aren’t using it because fear is holding them back. Or they would like to be a writer, freelancer, photographer, etc., but they can’t make themselves commit to going through what it takes to get there.
Don’t waste your time worrying about people who don’t have enough courage to get in the game.
Determination is a mental position. It gets you in the game. Stamina determines whether you stay the course.
You need stamina to stay on the job until what needs to be done gets done. You need stamina to get up day after day and put in the necessary work.
A lot of the people we see who made it didn’t do so because they were the most talented of all. They made it because they kept showing up when others were had gotten off track or quit. Hard work is key in the recipe for success.
Stamina equals staying power, and a lot of talented people don’t have it. It really doesn’t matter how sharp their skills are because they won’t be around to use them.
We’re all familiar with the storyline about the guy who is a star athlete but a moron. He can’t develop the plays, negotiate endorsements or manage his money. If he doesn’t have people with sense around him, he’ll sink, skills and all, and he’ll go down fast.
The same goes for freelancers and creators. If a person has skills to crank out the work but she doesn’t have the rest of the package, there’s really no need to worry about her. Naked talent is not enough to succeed. It takes strategy and the ingenuity to adjust it as needed.
“No one is going to give a damn about your resume; they want to see what you have made with your own little fingers,” says Austin Kleon in Show Your Work.
There are a lot of talented people sitting back with their arms crossed waiting for someone to put forth a firm offer. Then, they plan to stand up and put on a show.
That’s an example of a strategy that needs revisiting. These people can be the best-of-the-best but until they are willing to show it, they’re not a threat to you, unless you don’t have anything to show either.
Newbies are always asking what’s the best way to break into a market or get freelance clients. The answer is to create a strong body of work and show it. Setup a blog, a personal portfolio site, or even create a portfolio on a free platform.
Even if your work isn’t published or recognized by an authority in your field, it will speak much louder and get you much further than someone who only has a sales pitch with nothing to back it up.
Remember Maya Angelou told us, “Pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you?”
“Pursue” is an active word. Before anyone can captivate the crowd, they have to attract an audience.
There are a lot of extremely talented who are too quiet for their skills to matter. They’re clinging to the belief that as long as they’re good enough they’ll eventually get noticed. It’s the someday that’s never likely to come.
There’s too much vying for people’s attention for any of us to sit back and think we’ll be discovered without making an effort.
If you’re willing to call attention to yourself and to your work, chances are you’re going to find a crowd that appreciates it. And if you keep working and keep marketing, chances are that crowd is going to grow.
Popularity is an investment. Once you work to get it, it starts working for you by attracting more popularity.