Hard work always wins over talent.
I recently had a chat with my mate Luke Lewis about his rugby league career and how spectacular it was — winning 2 NRL premierships, making his NRL debut at the age of 17 and representing his state and country with a first grade playing career of 17 years. He told me about a story referring back to when he was just 13, and a trainer gave him a speech about how “Hard work will always beat talent”. Luke being the curious young fella he was, pulled the trainer aside and asked what exactly that saying meant.
He told Luke “ If you believe your opposition player isn’t training, then you should be training. For example if the guy who is after your spot isn’t training on Christmas Day you need to train on Christmas Day’. Luke hasn’t stopped training on Christmas Day since he was told that….
Not even after he retired last year as we all got together and trained at 4:45am on the 25th of December so we could get back for our kids to wake on Christmas morning last year.
The person who is willing to put in the time and the hard work will surpass the person with all the talent.
This is something I only recently understood. I would love to say I was the kid who ripped into my sports and homework, the teenager who was always putting in the extras at school and going to the park after for some training or the early adult who was chasing work willing to do any job I could to put myself in a better financial position. None of that was me.
I was the kid who relied on his natural talent to get by in life. The one who looked for the most comfortable option but also the one who wanted the glory. As I look back now I realise why I was never able to accomplish bigger things in my teens in rugby league. It was because I wasn’t willing to put in the hard work and do the tough stuff. I had the talent to be selected for rep teams but was never up for the challenge to see them through and work hard. I was always good but never great.
This kind of attitude followed me into business. I created a good business but it wasn’t great. I wanted the flashy looking gym but wasn’t willing to put in the work on the backend. Focusing purely on what I was talented at and comfortable with bringing high energy to classes and a certain vibe to the place. Which could create a buzz around the shire but never take off because I never worked hard enough on the businesses weaknesses.
Although the business predominantly failed because of my drug and gambling addiction it was never going to reach the heights of a truly successful business. I was never willing to put in the hard work CONSISTENTLY. I thought if I worked hard on the business for 2 weeks straight that was me done for the month and I’d go back to relying on my talents and strengths.
I was constantly searching for the quick fix, the quick buck and the easy option. I had no concept of persistence and no idea what consistency looked like.
Enter rehab in Thailand for drugs and gambling. Now all you do is look at your flaws and how you can improve them. I tell you what the mirror was ugly, short sighted, shallow and lacked grit in tough times. It was time for change. I had to now focus on strengthening my weaknesses not just relying on my talents that I had coasted by on.
What I soon realised was that hard work wasn’t a week on week off type of thing. You had to be consistent to see real results. Hard work didn’t have a small time frame, it was about playing the long game. Doing the small things each and every day, ticking the needle forward rather then looking for the quick buck or the easy option.
After 3 months I had small growth in the business, but felt like I was doing all the right things by working hard in the direction I wanted to take the business. 6 months later I was at the same number of clients as I had at my previous business at its peak.
Since then we moved to a factory 4 times the size of that old factory. I realised that relying on just my talents was limiting the capacity of what I was able to achieve. I started working hard on personal development, being productive, organised and always willing to get in the grind when things got tough which they did and there are still tough times now.
But just like a running event when its gets tough its just about keep moving forward putting one foot after the other. Such is life. We all are challenged in life and if you want to live a successful and healthy life you have to work hard.
Talent will only take you so far but to get to be greatest in anything you want to achieve you have to be willing to work hard, be persistent and stay consistent. Luke Lewis applied this to his trade and it got him 17 years of playing a game he loved and now a bright future in the media alongside of other business opportunities. Still after footy Luke is turning up and training like he is going to battle that weekend.
Hard work pays off, its takes time, consistency and grit.