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Episode 86: Honing your Talent

This week we’re talking all about how to hone on your natural talents and how to realise when you might just suck at something. Practice can make perfect, but it definitely helps to build self-awareness and focus on what comes most naturally, and this is exactly what we dig into in today’s episode. Without further ado, let’s get into the show!

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Show Notes for This Episode:

[1:00] This week we are talking about honing your talent
[2:00] Even with practice there are some heights we will never reach
[2:45] Life can be a lot like the negative sides of a magnet
[3:00] Ian asks why are there some things he can never do even with practice?
[4:00] Discovering your gifts can be tough
[5:00] If what you’re doing feels incredibly hard it may not be for you
[6:00] Strong commitment is an achievement in itself
[7:00] Learning to accept who you are
[8:10] Self-awareness is crucial in finding your niche
[9:00] How do you know if you suck, you’re good or wasting your time?
[9:30] Lisa recommends testing the waters to see if the market likes your work
[10:10] How do you measure your market rate?
[11:00] Tom plays devil’s advocate on Lisa’s suggestion to test the waters
[12:00] The group discusses J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter being rejected
[13:00] Using rejection to analyse your work and plan your next step
[14:00] Ian uses the Beatles as an example of facing rejection
[14:30] How can you gage your work without laughs and rejection?
[15:35] We all have more self-awareness than we think
[16:00] Tom shares how he used to downplay his talents for praise
[17:00] Learning to see your real talents
[18:00] Becoming at ease with your talents and who you are
[19:00] Now what? When what you think you want may not be for you
[20:00] Ian shares how comparing himself created constant frustration
[21:00] When Ian realized lettering was his thing
[21:30] Talent and hard work can take you places
[22:00] Discovering your gifts and making use of them
[22:40] How Usain Bolt aligned his talent with his natural abilities
[23:00] When your gifts and what you choose to pursue collide
[24:00] The common tale of natural talent and no drive to chase it
[25:00] Comparing yourself to someone with more talent
[26:00] It can be demoralizing when you see your hard work isn’t paying off
[26:30] You don’t have to be famous to be great
[27:00] Redefining what you think success is
[28:00] Personality driven art can really set you apart
[29:00] Personal circumstances can impede your development – don’t give up!
[30:20] How do you know if the effort is worth the journey?
[30:40] Has Social Media made it hard to enjoy art?
[31:00] When you allow Social Media response to measure your worth
[32:00] It doesn’t matter what others think as long as you enjoy the work
[33:00] Tom shares an Ira Glass quote on why designers get into design
[33:30] The Design Gap
[34:40] It’s going to take a while but you have to fight your way through it
[35:00] Unrealistic goals can kill your love of creativity
[36:15] Lisa explains the joy she currently feels from creativity
[37:20] Setting realistic goals are so important for your success
[38:00] How unrealistic goals can kill your happiness
[38:50] Lisa remembers her early dream of being a Disney animator
[39:00] Lisa’s unattainable million-mile goal
[40:30] Ian asks the group to share something they learned that shocked them
[40:40] Tom shares a skill he learned that exceeded his expectations
[41:10] Practicing more and never giving up helped Tom the most
[42:30] Ian explains how creating a typeface was a huge hurdle he overcame
[43:50] Self-awareness has shown Ian the projects he can take on
[44:10] Ian’s self-awareness has revolutionized his work life
[45:00] Short-term obsessiveness plays a big role in Ian’s work
[46:00] Forced work will never work
[47:30] Learning how you work will deliver your best work
[48:00] Try new things often to find what you enjoy
[49:10] It takes time to find where you fit in the world
[50:10] Looking at what you love and what you are good at
[50:50] There is no time limit on finding your passion
[51:30] Ian talks about turning 40
[52:10] He mentions feeling more comfortable now than he ever has
[52:40] Ian works better at 40 and with a beard
[53:20] Grey hair and knowledge bombs
[54:30] Trust your taste and stick with it
[55:00] The hard work will reveal your true passion
[56:05] Get to know and love yourself
[57:30] Creativity doesn’t have to be an uphill battle
[58:00] Enjoy the process and have fun realistic goals
[59:00] See you next week!

“A must for every creative freelancer (or those aspiring to freelance). Thank you for being so… honest! Such a wealth of information from people I admire who have ‘been there and done that’. Listening to the podcast every week feels like I’m among friends. Can’t wait for more episodes!”AG_GD