How to Develop Talent

Talent is defined as a special natural ability or aptitude. Sometimes talent is labeled as potential, yet if undeveloped it becomes wasted. Once talent is identified, it’s vital to develop it into a strength.
Let’s use the show X-Factor as an example:

Coach/Mentor – Find someone more successful than you and ask them to mentor you. Since they are where you want to be, ask them to help you refine your talent. Talent needs to be invested in and nurtured. A coach can help you see your “blind spots” and keep you humble. All the top athletes hire coaches to perform at their highest level, why not you?
Measure it Against the Best – Talent never gets tested without stress and competition. Surround yourself with others as good or better than you. You’ll never know how good you are in isolation. If you want to be the best you need to compete with the best. Strength and accountability rise in numbers.
Challenge Yourself – Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. There’s nothing worse than underachievement. Even with additional help and perspective, it still comes down to how much effort you put forth. No one can force, motivate or push you harder than you can. Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to develop your talent into a strength.

Malcolm Gladwell argues in his book Outliers that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become successful (that’s 2 hours a day for 10 years!). If that’s the case what are you waiting for? Make sure you find a coach, compete against the best and push yourself to greatness. Practice may not make perfect, but it definitely makes better. If you don’t do the hard work, there’s always someone hungrier ready to take your place.

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