Tips for Success

*I wrote this post last Friday night. At a bar. Seriously*

As I write this I'm listening to Katie Noonan.  She's not three metres from me and she is mesmerising.  Her searing voice, her soothing style, her astounding musical talent and her easy, easy charm. 

It's in these moments that self doubt beckons.  It's in these moments, in the presence of such deeply innate talent - seemingly effortless talent - that we, I, feel so pedestrian. So very average. So very unspecial.

It's a fleeting thought because in this moment I recognise that Katie Noonan is a mistress of her craft.  She has lived and breathed her work, her art, for decades.  She has worked hard. There is no doubt that she was born with an astonishing voice and musical talent but watching her closely I realise that she has rehearsed these movements, these sounds over and over and over. She has committed thousands and thousands of hours to what she does.  She has poured herself into every moment of it.  She is a professional.

We are each born with gifts and talents.  We are each born with little sparks that we can hone and develop and build and grow and use.  For many of us those sparks can be a little hard to find.  But they're there.

I can't sing like Katie Noonan but over my career I've learnt two things:

  1. When you focus on what you do best, work doesn't feel like work. Find the spark. Hone it, build it, grow it, use it. Let it shine.
  2. Nothing replaces hard work.  No amount of talent. No great idea. No connections. No luck. The professionals in our world - the people who get to make a living loving what they do - work hard.  Every day.  Respect.

Who or what inspires you? Have you found your spark? Do you write blog posts in bars? ;-)


P.S. Thank you so much for the lovely feedback on my first in this series of 'What I've learnt in 14 years of self employment' series.  You've inspired me!

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