Are you really passionate about your business? Do you really love what you do? Would you do it even if you didn’t need the money? Does the idea of starting a new project excite you? Are you really good at what you do?
If the answer to any of these questions is, “No,” this may not be the article for you to read. Trying to build a successful business in this field may not be the best choice for you. But let’s assume it is. Part of the reason for that it that you’re so good at what you do, right? You’re a natural. So, here’s a very easy to fall into the trap: Relying on your natural ability.
If you think ability alone will make you successful, you haven’t been in business very long. Natural ability is the starting point. Do not confuse it with the goal. I can assure you of this just from my own experience. I’m a radio talk show host, and with all due humility, I am very good at it. People were telling me from day one that I was a natural, and I knew it, too. But please do not listen to my early shows. They are embarrassing. Seriously.
You’ve heard of those child prodigies, playing piano at two, performing at Carnegie Hall when they’re 10. I think we can all agree they have a huge amount of natural ability. But those kids practice 5–8 hours a day. The ability is natural; Carnegie Hall they earn.
What natural ability means is that you have unlimited potential. It means if you work hard, practice, study, etc., you can reach heights that others never will. But you still have to do the work. Even if you are very successful, it’s a really good idea to take classes, workshops, see what new information is out there – and there is always new information out there in this Information Age.
And just brush up o the basics. I was teaching myself accounting once and there was an accountant in the building I worked at who had made himself available to me for questions. Oddly, I thought, the first question I asked him took a while to figure out. It was because my questions we so basic, he didn’t remember how to do them. Ballet dancers start every day with barre work, going through the most basic exercises that every class at every level starts with. Professional singers take classes every day. Why do you think you can continue to progress and success in your field without study and practice?
Complacency is a mind-killer. It’ll kill your business, too. Stay alert. Stay fresh. Feed your natural talent, don’t rely on it.