So You've Got 'TALENT'- Now What?
Updated: Aug 9, 2020
Talent has been used in multiple contexts and scenarios. It is mostly attributed to certain individuals that perform better than their peers in specific areas, mostly creatives. In reality, everybody has some form of talent. It is said that if you have talent, you are almost sure to succeed in that area of endeavour. Why? Because it is something you're built to do basically and without too much effort, you can get better at it. Unfortunately, only a few people take advantage of it.
If you Google the word ‘‘talent’’, it says, natural aptitude or skill. So go figure, what does that mean? Simply something you’re naturally good at. The understanding of talent is what separates the football player from the football club owner. They have different strengths and they can excel with proper discipline and direction. These natural strengths are your talents.
Figuring out your talent is all about clarity. You need to understand what your strengths are. This sheds light on the relevance of self-awareness in figuring out the unique mixes of skills and abilities that you have grown to develop. The importance of finding your strength and working towards its development cannot be overemphasized. Therefore, as individuals, we would have various strengths based on our level of exposure and growing conditions and these abilities can be built upon over and over again.
It is more profitable to work on your strengths over your weakness, as it potentially increases your chances of being outstanding. So, it is a responsible choice for you to take important steps in the growth of these abilities. This means that you need to approach your work with a growth mentality. When it comes to creativity, the potential for growth is almost limitless. So figuring it out is only the beginning. Your talent in raw form simply doesn't count much. It only shows your potential. It needs to be worked on consistently to a point of skill. You can do this by paying attention to your knowledge base, exposure, time investment in practice, quality of delivery and performance. These are the attributes that set you apart. Every top creative had to invest time and effort into these aspects of their craft. So, when it comes to setting your future plans and goals, you should focus on the projections alone. You should be ready to invest in yourself and your ability to perform at a top-level.
Are you willing to invest in yourself? To be the best you can be? To devote yourself wholeheartedly towards the mastery of your craft? Honestly, ask yourself these questions before you proceed. When you decide to invest in something, maybe in getting a coach or that course that will improve your skills, you have to view this from the perspective of getting returns. So, it becomes your responsibility to make every effort, time, energy and resource you put into your career count.
Take time out to assess your current capabilities and identify the areas you need to work on. It is usually advisable that you get help from a talent manager. Talent managers guide the professional career of young creatives. They are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day business affairs; advise and counsel you concerning professional matters, long-term plans and personal decisions which may affect your career.
Despite the dominant presence of digital media in the creative industry, there are effective strategies that modernized managers utilise to reach the managerial goals. They initiate and maintain connections with booking agents, promote the projects of the creatives, and manage finances in order to book gigs, establish a fan base, and ultimately bring in revenue from your work, respectively.
Now, you've probably heard the phrase ‘‘failure is good’’. Consider the stories of Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey and Walt Disney, who respectively had opportunities and despite disappointments, they found a way to learn and fuel the desire to succeed at all cost. You may not succeed in the spotlight all the time, especially with pundits endlessly criticizing every move. Watching our favourite stars pull through when the chips are down inspires us to stay confident despite setbacks. The story of Michael Jordan not making his sports team in high school still inspires a lot of people.
The point here is that everybody requires a learning process that involves a string of mistakes and disappointments before they get it right. So, embrace mistakes, disappointments, missed opportunities for they are requirements to maintain the level of success you desire.
If you've chosen this journey, your focus should be on taking the first step. This is for committed creatives, for individuals who enjoy the process of growth. Therefore, at the root of your journey is curiosity. You have to be genuinely curious about how things work, how to make things better, how to handle situations better, how to communicate better and so on. The list of things to learn are almost endless. But, you can learn to focus your time and effort on the most important.
If you’re starting out, you need to learn by any means necessary. The obvious way is to get an experienced coach or manager, and if you want to instantly be better, practice more. This habit keeps you ahead all the time. The results may not be instant but you’ll never remain the same, all you will experience would be improvement all round and that’s good enough. Knowing that you can learn about anything eliminates all excuses and learning how best you’ll learn is the gold mine. It will be the foundation for your journey as you learn how to get better daily. Understand the times you are in. Be aware of the changes and advancements in the industry and fill in the blanks. The journey is lifelong. Whatever happens, you don’t stop learning.
Make sure you banish procrastination too by adopting the ‘‘no excuses’’ mindset. Pushing everything to tomorrow won't give you the best results. As you start to practice more and advance in your career, you would need to keep the momentum going by staying consistent and do what you have to do. By all means, find reference points in creatives you admire. This will help motivate you to do what you need to do.
Considering that creative people find it hard to do the same things over and over, you can switch from the idea of routine to working on mini-projects. This process has proven useful for side engagements that need to see the light of the day. For people who want to write books, run a show or work on a music album, it becomes easy to stay productive. To make this process effective, you can set deadlines and consider the work done even if it wasn’t perfect as at the specified deadline, learn and never look back at it again. Move on to the next project instead.
Working on a project has a process that involves:
● The initiation of an idea: which has to do with getting all the knowledge and resources needed with a time estimate for completion
● Creating a specific plan: which usually involves drafting out small daily steps and milestones to keep working on as you keep planning
● Execution: which involves doing the actual work
● Monitoring and adjustments
As you go through the journey, understand that not every principle will be your style. Don’t dwell on it. Learn to apply self-awareness over and over again in making decisions on what to learn about. You have specific abilities, therefore, not every concept or principle will fit, which is okay. This means that learning to find your voice is important. So take note of your creative process, your style, and the specific way you love to do things. Let these points guide through your career. The more unique your voice and style is, the more you’ll stand out!
In conclusion, here are three things you need to understand:
● You need to stop wasting time analyzing your talents and start making out time to develop them.
● You need to understand that being talented alone does not create great results, much more effort is required to reach the peak of your potential
● Moving forward you have to view talent as "the starting point" to recognition. You need to be able to push through adversity and bounce back quickly in the face of failure. You need to invest more time and energy into learning from disappointments