You’ve probably read about how people make millions with their talent. How they live their dream and harness their talents to create a multi-million dollar empire. How they travel the world, exploring life and enjoying all the freedom life has to offer.
Maybe you ran into an old, dumb buddy and you wonder how he made it despite you being smarter. You envy him — the fame, wealth and most importantly, the freedom. You wished you had them too. Sometimes you get hard on yourself and ask, “What exactly is he doing that I don’t do?” The questions seems endless and it’s freaking frustrating!
Here’s the truth: You are not alone. There are millions of people out there who are sick and tired of not living their dream. They’ve heard from one guru, read in a book, and everywhere they turn online, that they should just do what they love and the money will follow. And you wonder, “isn’t all this ‘money-talent’ thing a lie? If it is real, why aren’t I making the money?” The fact is, there’s a lot nobody is telling you.
The idea that you should do what you love and money will follow is sweet but damaging. It’s like sitting in a boat and thinking it would arrive at its destination without paddling. It may, but that happens one in a million. And you don’t want to leave your life to wishful luck. It kills your mental awareness of taking conscious and deliberate actions towards transforming your talents into income and living your dream.
Below are 6 insanely practical steps you need to take to turn your talent into a money-making machine:
1. Identify Your Talent
The first task to self-discovery is self-questioning. Ask yourself “What am I really great at? What do I enjoy doing? What are things my vibe turns to without getting paid a penny? What tasks do I ecstatically get buried in for hours?”
You need to also ask others what they think your talents are. Sometimes this assessment may come in form of humour. A friend might tell you “eh dude, why are you wasting your time studying engineering? You’ll be better off as a writer.” Remarks like this sometimes come as a joke; it may be a point to your talent; where your strength lies.
“Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rhon
2. Identify Opportunities in the World
Opportunities are not some gimmick you cook up — the “this looks good, I feel like it will work” kind of thought. You’ve got to look out into the world and identify profitable areas that will continue to grow over the next decades. Then find a link between your talent and these high growth areas.Some of these areas are:
- online business
- coaching and consulting
- computer software
- computer IT technology
- health and wellness
- elderly services and care
- alternative education
- green technology
- animal care
- digital marketing
3. Connect Your Gifts to the Opportunities
The truth is that nobody cares about your certificates. The world pays people who offer valued services that solve their problems and fulfil their needs. It is true that you have talent but you must always be open to opportunities. You must be up-to-date with the trends in the niche you are interested in.
Strive Masiyiwa in his Facebook series, the lion and the ranger said that, once you spot an opportunity you must step up your learning about it. It will not come from one small write up. You will have to follow up, sometimes even for months or even years.There are no shortcuts,you must apply yourself.
4. Strengthen Your Talent
Don’t try to solve all the problems — You can’t play God. Being a jack of all trades, narrow people’s value-perception of you, the world prefers to buy specific solution and result. Don’t be a generalist. Identify a specific want of people in your talent-matched industry and dive deep to provide solutions to it.
To develop your talent into strength, you must focus and narrow your expertise. For example, if your talent is public speaking, the worst thing to do is to try talking about everything. Instead, spend about 80% of your time focusing on that segment of public speaking that aligns with your natural talents and most suited to the needs of the market. You’ve got to be smart!
5. Focus Your Strength in Large, Uninterrupted Blocks of Time
Arguably, one of the topmost headaches in for individuals and businesses is how to eliminate distraction and interruption. Distraction, interruption, and multitasking are silent killers of value creation. For you to create massive value that drives income you need to prioritize and focus your strength on important tasks.
To achieve this you need to ensure your work environment is distraction-proof. Schedule similar tasks like answering phone calls, reading emails and sending text messages to a fixed time. Delegate as much as possible. Learn to say “NO” to time killers. Most importantly, use your optimal hours to develop yourself, and to create valuable products and the marketing that gets the customer to buy them. The more you work in large uninterrupted blocks of time, the more results you get.
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” – Plato
6. Never Ever Give Up
At some point, you’re going to be uncomfortable as you apply these strategies. It’s like what happens when a lobster sheds its shell. It becomes vulnerable for some minutes, but without crawling out of its shell — its comfort zone — it can’t grow. You’ll feel uncomfortable when you step out of your shell, too.
Once you develop a high determination and persistence to implement these steps, you’d be amazed at your improvement and the value you’d create. Remember, your dollars are in the pockets of the millions of people out there waiting to pay for your talent.