“If I’m going to be in this industry, I’m going to want to be the best at it. And yet I couldn’t guarantee is that I was going to be the most talented in this business. But one thing I could guarantee is that I was going to work harder than anyone else.” -David Droga, Founder of droga5 Agency
Creative talent has always been a wispy thing. If you have more than a lion’s share, it doesn’t guarantee success. And conversely, if you have only a little talent, you still have a chance to stand out. The equalizer? Working your ass off. That way, whatever talent you’ve got under the hood will be amplified and you’ll at least have a well-earned chance at success. Hard work is where the rubber meets the road.
If you’re a professional creative, then working hard and being good at your job is the price of admission. It’s not bragging rights.
We don’t hear PGA golfer Phil Mickelson telling the press how hard he works. Instead, he wakes up every morning and practices. And then, on game day, come rain or shine, in front of 10 people or 10 million people and hits the ball right down the middle. And you know what? That’s the price of admission. You don’t get to be a pro golfer without it. Yo Yo Ma isn’t reminding us how much he’s practiced the cello. Hugh McLeod doesn’t remind us that he draws thousands of cartoons in order to produce a book. You’re not in the PGA, you’re not a concert cellist, you’re not a professional cartoonist until you have worked really hard and actually seen results.
It should be of no surprise then, that we all–you and me and the rest of us professional creatives–are subject to the same laws. Hard work is the price of admission. It’s what happens after you get in the show that really matters.—
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