“Find your purpose and fling your life out to it. Find a way or make one. Try with all your might. Self-made or never made.” – Orison Swett Marden

I’ll entertain you with two cautionary tales. One serious and one not so much.

I have distant cousin on my mom’s side who was fortunate enough to inherit a rather large fortune. Enough that she never had to work to provide for herself. She was bright, artistic, and generous. She aspired to be an artist. She looked like an artist, talked like an artist, and had many friends who were artists. But she mostly dabbled.

I don’t know if she had the requisite talent to “make it.” What I do know, is that the vast majority of artists who I see “make it” are makers. They make… and they make… and they keep making. In all that making, someone likes something, and then someone else, and so on.

Dabblers make a little, then hold it up for the world to behold… and if no one takes much notice… well… they’re ahead of their time… their vision is too sophisticated. Time to retire!… How nice!

Second story. My son’s elementary school is having it’s annual talent contest. My son is seven. He doesn’t have any particular talents (beyond being the apple in his parents eyes), but loves being on stage and being the center of attention.

So we go down a long list of things he could do. Sing a song… no… play a song on his recorder… no… or harmonica… no… juggle… no… tell jokes… no. At last he says he knows what he wants to do. He takes his index finger, shoves it in his mouth and makes popping sound with cheek.

I shake my head. Now I’m forced to crush his dreams and explain that this is not a show worthy talent… if a talent at all.

Ok… He’s not detered… He’s got it… He sits on the ground, puts himself into some kind of contortion. More difficult than sitting cross-legged, but no way near as complicated as a Yoga pose or contortionists trick (he’s not really that flexible). But this one gives me hope. I suggest he learn some Yoga poses from his mom. Does he like this idea?… no.

The thing is he doesn’t want to practice. So I sit him down and we have a long (mostly one-sided) talk about how you have practice to get good at anything. You have to put in the time and effort to do something exceptionally well.

I’m not sure he completely bought it. But luckily I’ve still got time with him.

I’m not going to lie though, a good 50%+ of the adults in the “entrepreneurial space” still think you can make money and build a successful business with as much effort as my son wanted to expend on his talent show endeavor.

“Find your purpose and fling your life out to it. Find a way or make one. Try with all your might. Self-made or never made.”