Not all of us get to do what we’re best at. Some people are good at things that don’t pay, like hotdog eating. Others often don’t have the opportunity to do what they excel at.
People in leadership positions have it slightly easier, though. After all, they get to make the decisions.
All the same, that doesn’t give them a carte blanche.
Sometimes, they’ve got other people above them. Other times, they’re simply not in the industry where the talents they’ve got are going to be all that useful.
For example, it doesn’t matter how good of a painter you are if your company makes medical equipment. In that case, you could consider a change of careers.
A lot of people do change it up. Many even accept less payment.
If that’s something you’re considering, you might want think about the following ideas.
How Difficult Is It?
The first question you have to ask yourself when you’ve got something that you’re really good at is: How hard is it for others to do? Or, how hard does it seem like it will be for them?
This can make a big difference in how likely you are to be able to break through, as the easier and more enjoyable something seems to be, the more competition you’re going to face.
And the more competition is out there, the better you’re going to need to be in able to be able to compete with them.
There are a lot of ways that whatever you’re good at can be hard for people. Maybe it’s really abstract, like math or programming.
Or perhaps you needs lots of special certificates before you can get started, like accounting or medicine. In both those situations, for people to be able to get into the market, they have to do a lot.
This is commonly known as a high barrier to entry. The higher it is, the more you are able to charge, as there will be far less competition.
Of course, if the barrier is low, then you can still try, but you should assume that it’s going to be more difficult.
Is It Scalable?
Another question that’s important is whether the job is scalable. Can one person potentially serve all customers, or is that impossible?
For instance, an author’s work is scalable. If there is more demand for the book, more books can be printed so their demand can be satisfied.
On the other hand, a doctor’s work is not scalable. They can only see so many patients in a day. And once that limit has been met, that’s it.
This is important because when work is scalable, a very tiny percentage of the people doing that profession are going to be able to corner the lion’s share of the market.
That’s the case with writers. There are few writers who do very well, while 99% can barely make ends meet.
With doctors, that’s less common. The most in demand doctors can ask for more money from their patients, but can’t really increase the number they can see. And so, there is still work for less well-known doctors.
So if you’re still in the ‘can I do this?’ stage, that means you’re still on the outside.
Based on whether what you can do is scalable, you’ll know that if you ever arrive, you’ll do very well for yourself. But it’s going to be darned hard to do so.
Can You Get Even Better?
The best people in a field never stop learning. They’re always working on expanding their skill set. After all, with the frontiers of advancing technology in today’s world, to stand still is to go backwards.
For whatever you do, make sure you’re doing your part to make yourself better. Basically, that means pushing your comfort zone.
To take the example of writing, you’ll want to push beyond what you’re familiar with and constantly try writing from new angles, and creating new opportunities for you to learn.
Also, you’ll want to create opportunities for feedback, where you get somebody who knows their stuff to comment on how you can get better.
This is a big part of the puzzle of how to be the best at what you do.
Does the World Know?
Something that is often overlooked by people who are trying to be incredibly good at something is that you might well be incredibly good at something.
But if nobody knows, then you’ll get few opportunities to actually practice your craft in your own time.
You have to let other people know what you’re doing. Yes, that basically amounts to marketing yourself. That’s a dirty word for many people.
Unless you’re in a lucky position where somebody else is willing to do it for you, you have to push your name out there.
Creating luck is all about creating opportunities. You have to try new things, meet new people, and let the world know about what you’re good at so that you can have opportunities to practice your craft.
Becoming Famous Overnight Requires a Lifetime of Work
Sure, some people do become famous overnight. The dice are cast. And without a great deal of effort, they end up in the spotlight.
But that’s only a tiny percentage of people. For most of us, to get where we want to go, we need to assume we’re in for a long hard journey of not getting much appreciation as we hone our skills and perfect our craft.
Always assume you’ll be the latter and that you’ll have to try a lot of times before you’ll actually get there.
If you can hold this mindset and still know that what you’re doing is what you want to do, then you know you’ve found something you can devote yourself to.
But if you’re assuming you’re going to get famous and gain serious prestige overnight, then chances are you’re not doing it for the craft, but for the glory that’s attached to it.
When you discover that fame is a lot further away than you had thought it would be, most likely you’ll quit and go elsewhere. And that would be a shame.
So hold the right mindset and keep pushing forward. Eventually you will be rewarded. Just don’t hold your breath, and focus on the act of honing your craft.
How Can You Lead in Your Craft?
If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!
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