Potential To Do What?

Ever described someone as having “a lot of potential?”  It’s a common statement.  The only problem, potential has no value until it actually turns into something.  Try paying your mortgage with potential.  

Everything has potential.  My farmland has potential to produce crops, timber, and beef.  But without diligent effort and management, the farm yields very little.  

So it is with people and businesses.

Drive = Discipline  

Like potential, “driven” is another word that gets tossed about.  As in, “She’s really driven.”  

Newsflash.  Drive, simply means discipline.  And without it, potential is meaningless.  

There’s no such thing as an “ambition gene.”  Ambitious people are just more disciplined.  Driven people work even when they don’t want to.  They work harder, smarter,  and longer.  Driven people possess the fortitude to focus on the end result.  

This sounds simplistic, I realize.  But trust me when I tell you:  

Most of what it takes to succeed boils down to a willingness to work.  Most of work ethic boils down to discipline.  

There.  I just saved you a ton of money you could have blown with the motivational types peddling magical secrets of success.  So now what?  

Turn Your Potential Into Results

Some folks have amazing amounts of potential.  We call that “talent.”  Discipline turns talent into results.  

Here’s how you capitalize: 

a.  Where is your professional potential?  What are you better at than most people?   

b.  What deliberate practice can you do to improve upon your potential?  

c.  What actions can you take to turn your talent into greater value?     

How about an illustration from the world of comedy.  Steve and Bill are really funny guys, but Steve has more natural talent.  

Steve relies on his wit.  Bill applies more deliberate practice.  

Bill attends writing classes to sharpen his craft.  He rehearses new material daily.  Steve drops a few off the cuff comments into his act when the mood strikes.  

During the day, Bill prints business cards, creates a website, and phones potential clients who might hire him to entertain at private events.  Steve relies on “word of mouth.”  

Who do you predict will be more successful and have career longevity?  Steve or Bill?  Potential or Discipline?  

Beware the belief in the greatness of your own talent.  Because without drive your potential is of no value.  

Damian Mason is a business person, speaker, and farm boy.  www.damianmason.com 

Angie Carel