Recently we have had a lot of positions open as we grow our PAR Program company. I am always amazed at the people who come in fresh out of school with all these talents for what they have learned. But when I sit them down (2nd phase of the interview) and ask them to actually do something most of the candidates freeze up. For instance, if you apply for a sys admin job, I want you to write a script that backs up a folder onto a network share every 10 minutes on Linux. A very very very simple task that should take less than 5 minutes. But 90% of them so far can’t do it in the 30 minute allotted time. There was no book to teach them this in college (evidently). Even though they say they have linux experience.
It really made me think about talent vs skill.
I know a lot of talented people. Many of them were super smart at a young age and were told this. Parents bragged about how their 7 year old fixed their computer by defragging the hard drive or something along those lines.
We are all born with certain talents. Some are good at acting, some are funny and can make people laugh, some are good at sports – for me it was seeing unique angles to solve problems. I am not going to go into specifics but if you read my book there is a ton of examples… even some that were semi-criminal. I saw angles to make money and most were in a very grey area.
Having a talent is one thing. Everyone has a talent. Talent is not reserved for some special people. Once these people who are talented hit the real world they get stuck in a 9-5 rat race day job and become complacent.
Skill is taking your talent and practicing it living it, and dreaming about it. Everyday I look at what I need to fix and I find ways to fix it.
I am not a programer but I have written programs that millions of people have used. I can also program in any language. My programing is ugly and insecure but it gets the job done.
I learned how to understand languages and hack/manipulate them.
I also have crazy marketing skills. When I consult for a company I drastically improve their revenues. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. AND the best part is that all of these companies have a marketing department with many employees with degrees in marketing. But they just don’t have the skills.
There is a reason that I and a lot of affiliate marketers can continue to be successful. It’s because we have years of experience busting our asses using our skills. The one hit wonders just copied somebody’s landing page and when it didn’t work anymore they just do not know what to do.
Take your talent and apply it to something over and over then just then you will develop skills.