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I’m sure many of us have heard of the person who “had all the talent in the world” and eventually let all of their talents go to waste. This is often associated with “smarts”, “having great genes” or “athletics”.
To me, talent is the natural ability to excel at a particular discipline. That doesn’t mean someone is naturally good. It just means that their learning curve and room for growth are much higher than someone else with no talent.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t get to experience what life has to offer (or even exposed to what’s out there). That means it’s likely that we won’t ever get to tap into our natural strengths because we don’t know what they are.
This isn’t meant to demotivate. But think of it this way, if a vast majority of us (95% of the population) can’t ever tap into our natural abilities, then the playing field is pretty damn equal.
There are very few instances where having the right genes or natural talent is a requirement for success. Basketball probably the main “go-to” where you need to be a specific height and have an amazing talent to be a professional. But outside of that, most sports, academics, jobs, and careers don’t have these requirements.
I have no real good talents. The only trait I have is working much harder than just about anyone else.
I’ve only sniffed “somewhat successful” for about the last year and a half. And even then, my path wasn’t easy.
List of My Failures & Lessons Learned
Over 16 years of wondering what I want to do with my life and I haven’t really figured it out. But I think it would be kind of fun to go back and talk about my failures and what I’ve learned.
- Acting – I lived in a small town, I wanted entourage and wanted to live the actor life. Turns out I wasn’t really good, no did I spend any time in high-school signing up for plays or taking drama classes. I did land a role as an extra is some B-rated film, but by then I already have moved out of state. I only aspired, never committed.
- Stand up comedy – I performed in college and I was terrible. I did it a few times and everything I did sounded super rehearsed. I was glad to have committed some time and made an effort to get in front of crowds, but it never paid as much as I wanted to and I gave up when I realized it could be years before I saw a payoff (if I’m lucky).
- Youtube Content Creator – I managed to game the system back in 09 and did create some content that got hundreds of thousands of views. I even had about 10K subscribers in less than 3 months. Then I stopped creating content because I wasn’t working and spent the time to play poker to support the bills. I also worried too much about what other people thought of me.
- Poker Player – Honestly, I was able to be a professional and live off of poker in college and when I moved to Nevada. I thought I could have done this for a living, but my family engagements always cut into my bankroll and I never got a real chance to move into mid/high stakes games. I got sick of the grind and I quit.
- eBay Arbitrage Seller – I used to go on CL, buy phones for super cheap and sell them on eBay. I did this as a desperate attempt to not work my first big boy job in 2011. While I did make $2K for the first two months on the side. I stopped because eBay changed fee structures what would cut 60% of my profit. I was dependant on one bucket and the market changed, unlucky.
- E-commerce Dropshipper – I decided to give this a shot, but I gave up after 3 months because it wasn’t working.
Lack of Direction
Most of my failures were because I never had enough direction. If I saw one easy path to success I would lean on it and then when market conditions change I wouldn’t adapt. My other failures were strictly due to me giving up because I always believed me to “good” at something instantly with no validation to prove otherwise.
I know myself at this point enough to realize that if I’m going to commit to something, I commit to it full time. Not only that, I all my free time researching my trade, learning from industry professionals, and would work for free in some cases for me to get experience.
When I moved up the ranks in my career I did have lots of doubts about my career path. Wondering I would get recognized, or if staying/leaving a company would be the right decision. But I kept telling myself to improve my craft and do my best to bring value to my employer (and eventually clients).
I wouldn’t hard work to ‘just work hard’. There would always be a justification for doing so that would increase the chance to get better opportunities.
Anyways, this is more of a rant/stream of consciousness. I’m not a motivational speaker or writer. I’m just a guy with no talent that works pretty hard to help out others ;).
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