By saying a successful person is talented, it actually undermines the work that was put into it.
Stop saying we are talented,
Those of in in the business world that harness and capitalize on risky ventures and start self-made and self-driven industrious business operations are often complimented quite regularly on our talents. I have heard it many times from friends, family, and customers that I am very “talented” and I have a natural aptitude and knack for making great sales, or working with the best customers and hiring the best employees. While all of these accolades are very well-meaning and I do appreciate them so very much, I’m going to let the cat out of the bag on this. I am actually not talented at all in business. I have no special skill set that allows me to achieve such greatness and my natural aptitude has nothing to do with making great sales.
Just like an actor that plays a very risky scene, they work hard to learn that scene even if the theme of it is not in their character. Most entrepreneurs only have one real talent, – “self.” We are self-made, self-driven, self-doers and probably most importantly, self-taught. If you’re going to be successful in the business world hustle you have to learn at least 5-8 new things every day. No one is teaching this stuff and because there is no luck in business, you have to learn it yourself – on purpose. It’s the best education you can ever get! Here are 5 lessons we have self-taught that makes you think we are talented.
Those of us in business for ourselves have the wolf at our door all the time with a barrage of new technologies emerging and younger, faster, smarter, and better competition that is willing to risk more than us. There is no “Entrepreneur School” or certified training we can go back and get updated on the latest stuff like a Doctor or a CPA. So we have to find this update ourselves by reading books. We insatiably read books and I don’t mean Harry Potter or even book on business strategies. The kinds of books we read are rooted in philosophy, human nature, psychology, influence, and impact creation. Two weeks ago, I lost all my contacts and iTunes downloads on my iPhone trying to migrate some documents to my computer. I called Apple to help me with my iCloud and the lady was so nice and said, “We’ll help you get all your music back, no problem.” I said, “I don’t care about my music, I need my iBooks and audiobooks back!”
What looks like to many as an amazing, brave or risky business move, to me… looks like something I do every day. Could you walk away without hesitation from a large business deal that could make a significant financial difference in your life just because the customer wanted you to come down in price just a little? Most people wouldn’t but I do it all the time and without a bead of sweat on my brow. The reason, 1) either they will beg you to come back and pay your price, or 2) you’ll lose the deal but eventually an even bigger deal is just around the corner, or 3) the customer that turned you down will see you win and even better and bigger deal than they had and will ask you to do their next big deal and, best of all, you will be in the driver’s seat with the price. Ask Tiger Woods about this after he lost all of his sponsors due to his carousing and women. Win a green jacket and they always come back! There is no natural talent for making a deal. You just educate yourself on reading a room, on human nature and a little philosophy mix with your own principles and repeat that several times per year and now… you are making great deals with what appears to be, God-like talent! It’s not that we are better than you, we are just better at risk, better at failure and in better shape for reaching the high hanging fruit by sheer repetition.
When someone says to you, “You failed”, what they really mean is “If I were you in that situation, I would feel like a failure.” I would say that the vast majority of the reason that most people don’t get into business is a fear of failing and losing their money, home, and livelihood. That’s totally understandable and I would blame nobody for staying out of the game for those reasons but, honestly, success is almost never built on success. It’s built on failure, it’s built on frustration and sometimes it built on catastrophe. I have never had a successful business win that didn’t start out with some blundering failure first. With a little time and a few corrections, you get back in the game and make the winning shot. With that said, you become resilient to failure (not failure proof) but resilient. You know failure is going to happen at some point but because you do not fear failure, you proceed and soon find out it wasn’t as bad as you first thought. Failures create wins and they start to be an integral part of your business.
We never do anything without intention or purpose and so we probably always look like we know what we are doing. Even something as mundane as shopping at Walmart, I have a driven purpose to achieve an objective. I have a very well thought out list that I stick to and rarely deviate from and I really try not to make it a social hour as I try and avoid standing in the aisle talking to people I know. Having a life based on intention give a life purpose, purpose gives way to motion and action and action creates the impact you so badly want. Living with Intention is wanting the end result so intensely that you don’t even feel the work that it took to get there whether it’s getting items at the store or courting that next big client.
Everything is a competition
Winning becomes very habitual and whether it’s a big game, a business deal or just life itself, we must feel that winning-shot moment as much as possible. While it’s not possible to be on the championship court every day or be in the boardroom making the big deal every single day, a vacuum begins to develop when thing get slow or you’re between wins. You look for other things to compete in no matter how mundane or trivial they may seem like getting the best parking spot, the first or last donut at the office, being the first one to do small dumb things and see if anyone (and I mean anyone) tried to out-do or outsmart you at it. You are willing to take on anyone at anything at any time just to see if you can beat them. This reinforces and conditions your mind to never be influenced by a competitor no matter how big they are.
In conclusion, I think we want you to know that it’s really not talent or naturally born skillsets that make a successful business owner have an aura. It’s continually self-educating, its sheer repetition and practice, it’s embracing failures as your next big win, It’s living your life with intention and competing at even the very small and insignificant things. By saying its talent, is like saying all the work you put into your self-madeness and bravado to do what many, many others won’t do, becomes undermined. Because I study human nature all the time, it’s understandable that most people think its talent. Humans have a natural tendency to look for the “easy button” even in other people’s success. But if you peel back the sticker on the top of an easy button, I think you will see the word “work” is permanently embosses under it! If you want to compliment me using the word talented, say it about my employees, they are the true talent in my operation!
Daniel J Bockman