What it Takes (What it REALLY Takes)

Talent is great. Talent is a gift. Talent is a blessing.

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Talent only goes so far, however.

Talent has never written a book. It has never painted a masterpiece. It has never won a race. It has never started a business.

Talent is a helpful kick in the ass, sure, but it’s only a start. What makes things happen – really happen – is effort. It takes work to produce something that can be sold, admired, loved, and considered a success. Talent doesn’t create something – hard work does

I’ve written about my work motto before but I’m going to do it again because it’s still true:

Show up. Shut up. Put up.

I learned this tough but fair world view while working in restaurant kitchens. There’s no crying in baseball! You need to show up on time, every day; you need to cut the excuses from your vocabulary; and you need to produce good quality work every time.


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I’m lucky enough to be friends with a lot of working artists: writers, painters, crafters, sculptors, etc. We all have something very important in common – a strong work ethic. You need one in a business where you are your own boss and the paycheck you earn depends solely on you busting your butt.

We’re all poor and talented and frustrated together but we can agree on one thing: you have to do the work.

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