May 18, 2008


Filed under: Personal Branding — Robert John Ed @ 9:11 pm

There are very few things in this world that have the value that persistence does. This video of Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point, Blink) has a good detail on the different kind of genius. There are many geniuses born with an uncannily advanced ability. And the range of their talents is great and abundant.

Easily as important is the genius who persists. In that video and many other places online, it’s stated that to master most skills or practices you must dedicate 10,000 hours. That is a lot of time. Being that sleep about 8 hours per night, that 10k hours is actually 625 days of working only on the skill you seek to master. That may not sound like as much as it truly is, people don’t spend 16 waking hours on a subject (at least most people don’t) and so over all, that number jumps immensely. My assumption is that mastery of a skill probably takes anywhere from 10 to 15 years for most people. And even then there’s no guarantee; you have to have the inherent ability to ply your trade.

So what is worthy of note here is that despite the fact that any one person may be brimming over with ridiculous talent, the ability to mold and develop that talent is actually just as important (and in my opinion more so) as the talent itself. Many of us are born with talent, some more than others; but it doesn’t matter the level of talent you are given. The only thing that matters is the drive to use what has been decreed you to accomplish the maximum attainable within your means.

I would much rather work with someone who is persistent in trying to maximize their talents than someone who is gifted but lacks drive. This seems a pretty obvious distinction in marketing and business.

“Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. That is why some people with
mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent.”

-Sophia Loren (Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have the looks of a Goddess in her case either.)


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