Do You Have to Have Talent to Succeed

I came across an article by Jennifer Derrick entitled Do You Have to Have Talent to Succeed?

Do You Have to Have Talent to Succeed? by Jennifer Derrick on

This article is a great read, however it did make me consider certain assumptions I made in the past. Becoming great at something does not mean we are great in all aspects. The author mentioned that she was good at being a seamstress, however that alone would not make her a great fashion designer.  Sure a seamstress can mend clothing or follow a pattern, but could she create a new line of clothing on her own?  Alternatively, does a good fashion designer need to be a good seamstress? The answer is likely no.

When it comes to being a writer what elements are required to be successful? Does an author need to be a great wordsmith, an awe-inspiring editor, excellent at assembling realistic dialogue or just creative?  A writer, like being a designer require more than one skill in order to be successful in my mind.  An author may have not be able to go toe-to-toe against the worlds foremost Grammar-Nazi, however if the author can create compelling worlds, they will likely gain a following.

Even the above fails to take in every aspect. Being a great wordsmith and having the ability to create worlds that people fall in love with their works, will by itself not guarantee an audience. Self-published authors are expected to grow an audience, else they will never  gain traction.  So that means there is also a bit of luck thrown into the mix, and there people are required to grow their brand.  Most authors cannot afford to be so arrogant that they alienate their followers.

The author also noticed that many seem to give up on their dreams. I found that people tend to avoid doing things because they cannot be the best as it or they cannot handle the competitive atmosphere. In a way, being a nameless cog in the corporate machine is healthier (for some) than being in a perpetual survival mode.

I also want to note that the 10,000 hour mastery rule has been debunked. That number was normalised and is based on a specific field who were tested at a certain age.  Essentially, it serves a number which equates to the amount of effort required to master a discipline. Mastery of any field requires time and dedication, regardless of their global ranking. However that number is not the same for everyone, the truly gifted will need a lot less time.

Just my opinion of course!

CC BY-SA 4.0 Do You Have to Have Talent to Succeed by Evelyn Chartres is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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