Talent is Overrated | Proven Strategies to Master Your Craft
We always look for the variable that will take us to that next level. As a parent who wants his children to succeed in life both academically and athletically, I’ve spent hours researching what has been proven to work. I combined this information with the empirical knowledge I have amassed through my successes as a pro bodybuilder and also as an Inc. 500 CMO/CEO.
In this article I will go over some theories and strategies that will not only make you a better person, but will also help you in the rearing of your children (or future children). Complacency is mediocrity, and this is where we learn to become a master of your craft.
Reps for Gains
It has been stated that it takes approximately 300-500 repetitions to develop a new motor pattern.  However, once bad or inadequate habits are already in place, it is said to take about 3,000-5,000 repetitions to erase and correct a bad motor pattern.
This is why it is going to take months to correct my deadlift form. I have to correct a preexisting pattern. Conversely, it would take days to teach my nine year old daughter how to deadlift since she has no preexisting form issues.
The Take Home
It takes REPS AND TIME to make changes, but it also take REPS AND TIME to master your craft. If you are just starting then learning a movement pattern is much easier, so always start by learning proper form in the classroom, boardroom and the weightroom!
I have started and sold Scivation and am also now the CMO of TigerFitness.com and CEO of MTS Nutrition, among other things.
Talent Doesn’t Exist?
The best book I have ever read is Talent is Overrated, by Geoff Colvin. Essentially what this book says is that inherent talent has yet to be proven in science. This of course applies to skills, not the fact that basketball players being tall helps a lot.
The one thing that has been proven to create skill is hours practiced. He cites examples like Bill Gates honing his craft afterhours at the University of Michigan as a child; Jerry Rice laying bricks with his father as a child, running up and down the ferocious San Francisco Hills, catching hours of practice, being the first and last one on the field in the offseason; Youth hockey players in Canada with more practice outperforming younger athletes in the same age bracket throughout their lives.
This book is a must read and it is something I use when assisting my children in excelling at their hobby of choice.
The Take Home
Hours practiced are directly correlated to success in a given area so…TRAIN! Train your mind, train your body, and practice for your skill.
If you are a soccer player, train for soccer. If you are a CPA, become the best mathematician ever and learn the tax code. If you are a parent, read parenting books and become an expert at parenting. It has been said that, “It is funny, the harder I work, the luckier I get.” Time for YOU to get lucky!
I wanted to be a pro at something. I became a bodybuilder, and despite some saying I lacked the genetics and had too many flaws to make it, I earned a pro card.
The Importance of Persistence
The one thing that any successful CEO – well self-made CEO, not these silver-spoon mo-fo’s – will confirm is that they fail. A lot of successful people fail a lot, or have failed a lot before finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Every time I walk by the lake in the greatest city in the world, Chicago, I see that big Trump Tower…huge! Yet even “The Donald” has filed for corporate bankruptcy four times, in 1991, 1992, 2004 and 2009. Yet The Donald is still a freaking baller.
I was involved with INSTONE as a founding shareholder, and guess what? That company went bankrupt shortly after “parting ways” with me. Since then, I have started and sold Scivation and am also now the CMO of TigerFitness.com and CEO of MTS Nutrition, among other things.
If at first you don’t succeed, knock everything in your way down to make history!
The Take Home
You WILL fail. What separates the greats from the others is their ability to get back up and grind until they succeed. You will get down, you will feel depressed, but let your drive for success and greatness propel you to greatness!
We all have dreams of grandeur. I wanted to be in the NFL or play major league baseball as a child, and also wanted to be a lawyer. I gave football a shot but my knee had other ideas…and I was undersized anyway.
I wanted to be a pro at something. I became a bodybuilder, and despite some saying I lacked the genetics and had too many flaws to make it, I earned a pro card after years of working for it.
I refused to give up on my dream, and while I will never play in a Super Bowl, World Series or even be a water boy in either leagues, I have achieved elite status doing something I love. In business, if you choose a field that isn’t working for you, try something new and use the above mentioned strategies to dominate!
The Take Home
The first choice might not work out in anything. Whether it is a career field, sport or hobby. It might be scary, but changing paths and becoming an expert at another endeavor might be the key to greatness!
Putting This into Practice
All of this sounds cool, but how do we make this work in real life?
- Allocate hours of practice beyond your 9-5 job to honing in on your craft. Read extra books, practice “off the clock”, take workshops to become better and expand your skill-set. Do not get caught up in the monotony of the daily grind!
- If a parent, encourage your children to practice, practice and practice. Discourage video games and laziness unless of course they are professional gamers!
- DON’T GIVE UP! Use failures as fuel for future successes.
- NO EXCUSES! If you fail, YOU failed. But success is a marathon, pick up that dirty rear end and hop back on the GAINS TRAIN!
Enough reading, go make history and achieve greatness!
1) Schmidt, Richard A, and Craig A. Wrisberg. Motor Learning and Performance: A Situation-Based Learning Approach. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2008. Print.