Why Talent Isn't Enough
By Robin Yukiko - January 20, 2014
Taylor is a killer vocalist. He’s always been a natural and never had to practice much. He doesn’t need to warm up, just shows up, belts, then goes partying with his friends. He’s done shows buzzed or hungover more than once.
Dan’s dream is to be a recording artist. He practices every day. He’s not particularly musical, and he’s rather shy, but he works hard and doesn’t leave the house much.
Luke is a likeable guy and a decent drummer, though not the best. He practices when he can. He lives in L.A. and often meets record producers and label reps who ask him for a demo. He only has a recording he made on his laptop. He gives it to them but never gets a callback.
These guys each have something important. One has talent, one has drive, and the other luck (or opportunity). But the one thing they have in common? They aren’t going to be very successful.
It doesn’t matter how much talent you have if you’re a pain to work with or don’t show up at all. There are plenty of talented people with a good work ethic that people would rather hire.
Luck only gets you in the door. It won’t do you any good if you don’t have the product to take advantage of it.
Drive is the most powerful of all. It helps if you have talent to begin with to hone it into skill, but talent is really just aptitude. If you work hard enough, you can simulate talent (at least to a point). And if you use your drive to get yourself in visible places, it can create luck. Drive also leads to experience, which helps you to recognize luck and take advantage of it when it comes along.
Having two out of three can get you there. Having all three makes you unstoppable.
Now ask yourself what you have. Ready to have all three?
Robin Yukiko is a Berklee College of Music grad, singer-songwriter, pianist, and music educator. She recently released her second album, Love War, and is enjoying nerdly pursuits. For a free song, join Robin’s mailing list at www.robinyukiko.com/contact.