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Hard Work or Talent?

We see many people rise to the top of their chosen fields and think they are more talented than their peers. People say, “Lucky them, they were born with all that talent.” Were they really born more talented than their peers or do they just work harder?

People, who work extremely hard to get to the top of their profession normally have the look of being more talented than their peers. Through all their hard work, they have acquired the confidence to do things that seem hard for others in an easy manner. It was all the hard work they did before hand that allowed them to make difficult things look easy.

The age-old question is this: would you rather have a naturally talented or a hard-working individual as part of your organization?

I will take the hard-working person over the person born with natural talent every time. There are many talented people doing nothing and achieving nothing with their lives. While being born with natural talent might be an advantage, there are many other things that give a person advantage, such as where they were born, the families they were born into, color of skin, where they were educated etc.

Life isn’t fair. When it comes to finances, intelligence, attractiveness, and natural talent, they are given randomly.

However, there is a great equalizer that allows people to compete with and beat others who are born with natural talent and given some of life’s advantages. This equalizer is the ability to work hard.

We all have the ability to work hard. If a person is born with natural talent, they can’t become more naturally talented but they can work hard every day to get better and better.

If you want to beat someone who is more talented than you, then you have to work harder than they do every day. Hard workers succeed over those with natural talent and advantages. Those who work harder achieve more. There is a relationship between hard work and success, and it applies equally to all individuals.

Michael Jordan

All you have to do is look around you to see that this is true. If you look at some of the greatest athletes in the world, none of them were born with the most talent. The common denominator among them is that they worked extremely hard at their craft to reach the top and become the best in their fields.

Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player ever, did not make the cut on his high school varsity basketball team during his sophomore year.

Tom Brady, arguably the greatest quarterback ever, was a backup on a 0-8 junior varsity squad in high school. When he arrived in Michigan where he played college football, he was seventh on the depth chart. In fact, even after becoming a starter in his junior year he still shared quarterbacking duties with Drew Henson in his senior year.

Jerry Rice, considered the greatest receiver to ever play in the NFL, played college football at Mississippi State Valley University after being overlooked by all the top Division I schools.

While golf and tennis are considered Country Club Sports where being affluent has its advantages in being able to join and belong to a Country Club, Serena Williams and her sister Venus, two African-American women started playing tennis in the rough and economically challenged city of Compton, California. Their father, Richard got the sisters started playing tennis at a young age.

Serena and Venus William's FatherRichard was dedicated to making sure that his two daughters worked hard every day on their tennis games. While there are some people who want to question his parenting skills, no one can question the success of Serena and Venus in their professional tennis careers.

Serena, arguably the greatest female tennis player ever, has won 23 singles grand slam tournaments, the most in the open era and second only to Margaret Court’s 24 grand slam singles victories. She also has 4 Olympic gold medals.

None of the people mentioned above were born with the most talent or had the most advantages in life compared to their competitors and adversaries. It was their dedication to hard work that made them the best they could be.

A tip of the hat to a friend’s brother Pablo Sanchez who grew up in a small manufacturing town and went to Nichols College a small college in Dudley, Massachusetts. In an industry where people with the best life advantages and best educations compete for leadership positions, Pablo Sanchez rose through the ranks to become head of all retail banking and wealth management in the U.S. and Canada for the seventh largest bank in the world, HSBC.

If you want to beat people that have more talent and life advantages over you then you have to work harder than them. The harder you work the more you will achieve.

How hard are you willing to work to get what you want?

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