Why Talent Alone Does Not Guarantee Millionaire Status

April 11, 2023

Does talent guarantee millionaire status? In this highlight, Bo and Brian discuss how you should maximize your earning potential and how to figure out what your talents are.


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So, let’s transition to the next topic. This one is pretty scarce. It’s about the virtuosos – people who are so talented, they are like the salt shaker of talents. If you haven’t heard of this before, let me give you a quick explanation. When we were created, I think up in heaven, God was sitting there with the salt shaker of talents. He got distracted, someone talked to him, and he realized, “Oh my goodness, I gave Justin Timberlake not only good looks, but also the ability to dance, sing, and play golf. He is a great athlete too, and he used to do well in celebrity basketball tournaments.” So, there’s obviously something going on where that salt shaker of talents just got a little extra boost. I’ll give Bo a compliment – nothing is more annoying than a guy who’s strong, smart, athletic, and has a lot of stuff.

But here’s the reality: not many people, according to our research, reach success by just being gifted with talents. It’s only about 7% of our clients. These are your LeBron James, your Michael Jordan’s, and all your great gifted athletes, because there’s just something there that is so rare that people show up with checkbooks to capture it. What’s so hard is being super talented is one thing; figuring out how to maximize your potential is a whole other thing. I mean, I can think of people who I went to school with that had all the talent in the world – they were amazing athletes and could have played any professional sport they wanted to, but they just did not seize the opportunity. They did not take advantage of the talents they were given. So, if you are someone who falls into this category, we think there are a few ways that you can maximize your potential, a few things that you can do that will help set you up on the right path. I will tell you, it’s a blessing and a curse to be gifted with the salt shaker of talents, and the fact that there is potential that you’ll have big windfalls come your way, but it doesn’t mean that you necessarily will be able to turn that into wealth – the wealth that’s keepable, that’s consistent wealth. This is something we talk about for those of you who are trying to figure out how you nurture and grow this. I think you ought to sit down and figure out what your talents are – what is something you do better than 95% of the public? Or, if you have children or grandchildren, pay attention to these things, as well, because it’s those gifts that you do want to nurture, but then you want to nurture it with a balance of good behavior to make sure it does have some stickiness, like Beau describes. And recognize that nurturing it, even when you are talented, even when you are skilled, takes time. So, make sure you hone that with 10,000 hours of experience. You can hear the stories about Michael Jordan and how much he would practice, or Kobe Bryant, how much time he would put in. These people, even though they were born with so much talent, were actually willing to do the hard work of holding that. So, don’t be someone who just rests on your laurels. If learning comes easy to you, continue to advance your learning. If the vocation that you’re in is easy for you, figure out how to become not just in the top 10%, but in the top 5% of what you’re doing, so that way you’re constantly honing, constantly improving what you’re able to do with the talent you’ve been given.

Yeah, we like to say internally, ‘Don’t skip legs.’ Do the hard work, do the stuff that other people won’t do, and that will create success for you. Here’s something I think is interesting: be realistic. If you’re one of these people who’s blessed with windfalls from your talents, actually turn some of it into assets that become wealth-building assets. You know, one of the things I’ve mentioned previously: Dave Grohl had a weird relationship with his father, but when he actually started hitting it big and started getting the checks, his square of a father told him, ‘Son, just treat that money that’s coming in like it’s not coming in for long,’ and treat it like that. You’ve got to make this last for years after you’ve left this game of music, and he took that. He started putting his money to work. There’s a reason that Dave Grohl, last time we checked, was worth over 400 million dollars; it’s because he started putting his money to work. I used to work with professional athletes when I was at a previous firm, and it made me so sad, and I try to share: their careers would typically last less than three years, but yet they’re getting a lifetime of earnings packed into about 18 to 36 months. If they would go in with the understanding that that money is not going to keep coming every year, it’s actually a very short window of that big peak earnings, I think they would have treated it differently. So be realistic with the limited window you have and actually put that money to work.

If you want to know how powerful your dollar bills are, check out our Wealth Multiplier deliverable here.



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