So many people around you talk about talent, especially when they see someone who becomes extremely rich as a result of his/her talents.

It's common to hear, “That musician is very talented. Look at how he/she sings easily”

You can hear people saying, “Football is very easy for Ronaldo.”

How true? Do talents truly give people easy success?

Yes and no, depending on what you call “easy success”.

Talents are like gold. Talents are great and can make you rich, yet, talents (like gold) require much work before they become an “ATM machine”.

Before I continue, let me share with you this good quotation:

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individuals from the successful ones is a lot of hard work.”

Wow! Read that quotation again.

Talent is cheaper than table salt, everybody has one. The only thing that turns talent into great success is work… a lot of work.

Take, for instance, Michael Jackson was recognized as (probably) the most famous musician ever in the history of the world. In his time, whenever Jackson released a musical album he could sell one million copies in 12 hours.

He was rich, famous, and influential… all because of his musical talents.

But that is just the public part of that story. Let me tell you the private side… Jackson practiced 8hrs every day to arrive at that level.

Anybody else could or can be having a better talent than Michael Jackson, but if that person doesn't put in work, a lot of work, he/she will never become rich or famous with the talent.

We all know that Michael Jordan is very talented. But do you know about his secret hard work? Let's read what he said:

“I have always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come” Michael Jordan

Though he is a great basketball player, though he has talent, work (hard work) is what made him a great success.

Think about Tiger Wood, Okocha, Eto, or any great writer, singer, artist, or even businessman (yes, businessmen use their talents to succeed too), you will find out that, though they may have talents, only hard work, concentrated efforts, commitment, focus, and stubbornness (call it persistence) are the virtues that make them successful.

*Where am I going precisely? Why am I writing this article?*

There is this great misconception about what talent is and how it makes people rich. Many people, whenever they see a successful person, ignorantly attribute his/her success to talent.

While they may be right, they usually forget three facts.

First, they too have talents (as I said earlier, talent is common like table salt). The second fact I see that most people usually forget is that those who become rich and successful because of their talents do so only after a hell of work.

The third mistake most people make is that they don't know that they have to discover their talents.

Let me use again the analogy of gold (and other natural resources).

Nigeria is today the sixth largest oil producer in the world. We can boldly say that Nigeria is “talented” in oil. But you know oil was not discovered in Nigeria to be a great wealth until around 1958.

Ghana is “talented” in gold. But if nobody dared to search, look for and find gold in the nation of Ghana, Ghana would never have known anything to be called gold.

*What is my message here?*

Most times, talent is not what you just wake up to see (obviously) in your palm. Talent is what you have to “search out”. Talent has to be discovered (just as gold or oil has to be discovered).

There are some countries in the world that are having certain natural resources and are yet to discover them. Just like we recently discovered that Kenya is talented with oil.

So it is that there are several millions of people in the world that are having great talents but are yet to discover them (and may never discover them in their whole lifetime, because they don`t know that they have a duty to do so).

*How do you discover your talents?*

By paying attention to your heart. By observing your interests. By spending time with your passion.

Let me explain all these.

You have to pay attention to your heart. What makes it glad? What is that thing that gives your heart great pleasure? What is that thing that when doing, time passes away so quickly and you never feel any burden of working?

Search your heart (just as anyone searching for natural resources will) and look for some pleasant signals in relation to your daily tasks, hobbies, or engagements.

Take, for instance, I am making money from being a writer and business consultant, even though I have invested in other businesses. But I never knew 10 years ago that I could make money through writing.

But you know what? I have been writing since I was between the ages of 13 and 15. I love writing. My primary and high school compositions and essays were perfect.

I never knew that writing could lead to anything. I was simply doing what I loved doing.

This is where you have to be careful. I never listened to my heart until many years later. So many people will have talents and will never listen to their hearts, so they won't see those talents as things of great monetary value.

Secondly, observe what interests you. Observe those things that interest you and see how you can commercialize them. Usually, your talent will be like your hobby. You will love doing it and you will do it with more ease than most people.

The third thing you have to do is, spend time perfecting your talents.

God doesn't give human beings finished products. He gives us raw materials. He gives us raw gold. We must refine it. He gives us raw oil. We must refine it. He gives us raw talents. We must refine them.

Most people don't know this truth. You better know now!

You have to work (very hard) on your talent if you will ever be successful with it.

You will have to practice, practice, and practice your talent. I write virtually every day, even if it means writing a short post.

Read good books about that line of your passion and other inspirational books that will encourage and inspire you. If you don't practice and study in the area of your talent (I mean practicing like crazy), you cannot refine it or commercialize it.

My wife was a footballer, right from a very young age. She would leave home to play football with young boys. But her father hated seeing her play football.

“You are not a boy. What do you have to do with football?” was her father`s usual discouragement.

After fighting for what she loved doing for some time, she felt it was a tough battle she could not win and gave up.

The only thing left with her today is she walks smart (due to the much exercise she had as a footballer).

If for any reason you cannot work (hard) on your talent, forget it. You cannot become rich with it.

Have you discovered your talent?

If yes, have you monetized it?

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