Talent alone is not enough.
As the owner of a small entertainment company, I have heard many great singers who show up when I host or MC karaoke events. These singers blow the socks off everyone in the audience and bring tears to the eye with the passion and beauty in their voice.
When I say, “WOW! You are really good! What do you do for a living?” How many do you think reply, “I am in a band.” or “I have a recording contract?” You guessed it. None!
Most have sold out. They know they have a gift, but they hide it under a basket in the back of the closet. They are not willing to do the hard work, endure the criticism, face the risk of failure or rejection. They have chosen the path of least resistance. They have opted for the future a parent had for them, or they sit miserable in a career they hate because they are convinced they have no other options.
If you are reading these words, you should know something. I was the reluctant writer. I love to speak. I thrive before a crowd. I even like to call myself an author. But the work, the research, the time commitment that is required to write a book can be daunting.
I started and stopped so many times it is silly. But in the end, I became convinced that if what I am sharing with you is true for you, it is true for me. If it will set you free on a path to enjoying your life, it will set me free as well.
Don’t bury your talent to be dug up later. Let it grow now!
Here are four simple steps you can take to get your dream planted and growing. Live these steps. Model these steps for your teens. Help them believe they can succeed.
1. Focus on what you CAN DO!
It happens to many people, young and old, the list of “I can’ts” seems to be a brick wall between them and any accomplishment. I am afraid it may be human nature to recognize our own short comings before we recognize our talents. What you know you are not made for should never rob your courage to do what you are made for. The sooner you discover what you are NO GOOD AT, the better. Redirect your energy to what comes naturally and what you are truly passionate about.
2. Get a coach and Get Skills
I train communicators and leaders for a living. Many of them have floundered where they are for years because they have reached a high level of mediocrity. They are convinced in themselves they are good enough. Don’t believe the hype. Don’t live off your own press clippings. Tiger Woods has coaches. Michael Jordan has coaches. I have coaches. If you discover your gifts, your passions and your talents, get a coach or mentor who can sharpen them to be way above average and become the BEST IN THE WORLD at what you were made to do.
3. Find a place to shine for FREE
There is no better way to sharpen your skills, expose your gifts and define your talents than PRACTICE. If you find a place to practice what you love to do, you will not only get better at it, but you just might begin gathering fans. Your teens have time now to learn to lead in the area of their passions and to earn the right to be called an expert in their field. Get them in the path of practice. Get them in the path of exposure. Sing the National Anthem before the JV game. Play your instrument for a fundraiser or Rotary Club. Write an article for a blog or short story contest. Give first. When teens learn to give away what they are good at, they will soon be in high demand to do it again.
4. Forget about the naysayers
No matter what you or your teens are great at doing, there will be people who despise their success. People are jealous of anyone who is better than they are at something. Lazy people are like crabs in a barrel, they will do all they can to stop someone from climbing to the top and finding freedom. Ignore them. Fight harder. Prove to yourself that you are worthy. Encourage and empower your teens to push on for success. To be the best in the world at something is demanding. It demands time. It demands conviction. It demands hard work. It demands tough skin. Allowing naysayers to stand between yourself or your teens and their dreams is like crying because you are too dirty to bathe. Just plain silly.
If they are willing to put in the hours, willing to ignore the naysayers, willing to admit what they are not good at, willing to listen, learn and be coachable, then success is available and accessible to anyone. Sadly, only 3% of the people in the world fit this description. Is that you? Is that your teen?
Expert contributor J Loren Norris
Loren is a leadership and communications coach for students, executives and pastors. With more than 20 years public speaking experience, Loren is the author of two books with several more in the works now. He has spoken and trained for The John Maxwell Team, Dale Carnegie Courses, Kings University, Gateway Church, ComunicadoresUSA, G. E. Finance and Trinity High School among others.
For more information visit JLorenNorris.com