The first pillar of Personal Branding is Personal Excellence. In the previous article I discussed this at length. Please read it if you missed it. There is another fundamental point that you find in David’s brand. David is described by one of Saul’s servants as, “a talented harp player.” Let’s explore this further. In order to develop your personal brand, you actually need to discover and develop your talents.
Your talent will
open doors for you
Solomon spoke on the importance of your talent or your gift in Proverbs 18:16, “A man’s gift maketh room for him,
And bringeth him before great men.” The emphasis is interesting, it doesn’t say, it will give you access to any person, it says “great men.” The MSG says “eminent people.”
The Living Bible has an interesting translation, “A gift does wonders; it will bring you before men of importance!” The CEV says, “a gift will get you in to see anyone.” The verse does not say your education, yes it is important, but your gift will open doors for you.
A shepherd was moved from goats and sheep because of his gift. It placed him in front of the King. David was not sought after by the king because of his education, but because of his talent. I do not intend to downplay the importance of education, but an education system that does not help you discover your talents is not important.
Education is supposed to add value to your talents. Your talent will take you places where your education will never. The tragedy in our society is that we have pursued our education, and neglected to pursue our talents. In fact this has been the default setting for many people due to the education system.
Societies for ages have also not contributed to the atmosphere that allows people to discover and utilise their gifts. Many people followed a pattern; go to school, work hard, get a good job, start a family, make a living and then die. What a waste! You will never experience true fulfilment and purpose in your life without living and exercising your God given talents.
Your talents are the keys to your financial breakthrough. The general trend for career guidance is to point children or students to careers that are potentially remunerating without starting with a conversation on purpose, and talents. Who are you? What are your unique skills. It is these skills that will eventually lead you to your money. The world makes room and sets the stage for a person who has manifested and developed their talents. A stage had to be created for David to show the world what he could do, and he did so excellently.
We all have gifts
There is no one who is born without a talent. Each and every one of us is endowed with a talent. The educational system unfortunately for a long time never emphasised talents, it rather emphasised “career”, that is why so many talented people are trapped in careers, and they cannot even imagine transitioning from their careers to their talents. It’s even greater, and exciting if your talent becomes your career.
What is your talent? Have you taken time to develop your talent? You see, your talent is actually supposed to feed you and your future, yet many people are so lazy to discover and develop their talents. Cash in on your talent. If you haven’t discovered your talent, make it your goal this year to discover it, and make the most of it.
“Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.” [Erica Jong]. I agree with these observations.
There is talent hidden in each and every one of us. We need the will to pursue it. Your success in life is in your talent, and most importantly in using it to the best of your ability. I agree with what Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it.”
Discover your talent
Your talents are important in life if you are going to attain and live a successful life. David had and knew his talent. He went on to develop his talent to an extent that it was known throughout Israel even by influential people.
The question that I am often asked several times during conferences and via my social media platforms is, “What do I need to do to attain greatness.” There is no one single answer to this important question. There is one sad truth of life, it is very possible for you to live and die with no evidence of ever having lived. This is the reason why many people require tombstones, so that they won’t be forgotten.
Dr Myles Munroe, one of the most influential persons on the subject of leadership, once said, “Live your life in such a way that you do not need a tombstone to show that you once lived.”
This is the challenge I am giving you today. What is it that you are doing with your life that will remain on the face of earth and attest to your greatness? Your personal brand is connected to your purpose.
Story of Joan of arc
I must confess I am an animation movies fanatic. I watch animated movies. I am not indiscriminate however when it comes to what I watch. One day I was on YouTube searching for a series of animations that inspired me when I was still doing my High School, “Animated Hero Classics”. I came into contact with a story of Joan of Arc. I had never watched it before, but ever since then I have watched it several times. This is a story of young maid, who for a greater part of her life, was unknown, yet there was a prophecy on her life that she would save France from the English.
One day the king called for her, and entrusted the leadership of the army with her. She shocked the English with major defeats to an extent that they believed that this was an act of witchcraft that was backing her. She was framed for witchcraft, and kidnapped. Eventually she was sentenced to death by burning at the stake. Years later the trial condemning Joan was declared null and void and she was cleared of any wrongdoing.
One French poet was to describe her in the most of sentimental times, “Oh Joan, we have no portrait to remember you, but the true monument of heros resides in the hearts of the living.” So profound, there is no portrait of Joan but we still talk about her today. This is true greatness. She was not a millionaire, she was not an artist, she was not an actress, she was not painter, but a dedicated soldier who stood tall and answered the call on her life. You do not need to be a public person for you to attain greatness; you just need to be you.
Success is in purpose
There is no greatness without self-discovery. Who are you? Where are you from? What is your unique purpose on earth? How do you want to be remembered when you die? What problem do you want to solve for mankind. You see every great person you see or read about solved or is solving a human problem. It however starts by discovering yourself. What are you passionate about? These are key branding questions. It is very possible to live and die an average life. The secret is simple; do not care about discovering yourself and your gifts.
If you want to discover it, I would highly recommend you read my book, “The Personal Development Toolkit” where I shared a whole chapter on discovering yourself.
Christiano Ronaldo’s example
I wrote this part in 2018 during FIFA World Cup took place. I had the opportunity of watching Christiano Ronaldo (with his team) playing against Spain, and him literally rescuing Portugal from potential defeat. I am not a football fan, but one thing I can tell you is that the man discovered himself. When he is playing soccer he is actually not working he is doing a hobby.
There are several more examples of people who are gifted across various disciplines. Ronaldo would have been living a miserable life if he was not playing soccer. Consequently a profound, personal brand has been built around his area of passion and gifting. You see when you find your talent, your vocation becomes your vacation. Discover your talents and make the most of them. When you discover your talent, the world will discover you, and pay you to exhibit your talent.
The talented violinist
An enchanting story is told about the talented violinist Fritz Kreisler how he once came across a beautiful instrument he wanted to acquire. When he finally raised the money for the violin, he returned to buy it and learned that it had already been sold to a collector.
He went to the new owner’s home in order to try to persuade him to sell the violin. But the collector said it was one of his prized possessions and he could not let it go. The disappointed Kreisler turned to leave, but then asked a favour. ‘May I play the instrument once more before it is consigned to silence?’
Permission was granted and the great musician began to play. The violin sang out a quality of music so beautiful that the collector himself could only listen in wonderment. ‘I have no right to keep that to myself,’ he said after the musician finished. ‘The violin is yours, Mr. Kreisler. Take it into the world, and let people hear it.’
This is what talent does, it opens doors for you, and gives you access to what you may never had the opportunity to have access to. Talent is not enough.
Seize the moment! This is what you need to do, seize the moment and make the most of it. Give it your best. Deep inside the young violinist was amazing music, which was trapped in him for some time, and what the opportunity gave him was an opportunity to show what was in him.
There is no one who is immune to excellence. The world looks and rewards excellence. The word will create a road to excellence. There is no one who wants to be associated with mediocrity; everyone wants to be associated with excellence. This is what the young man in the above story did, and earned himself the violin.
Reflect on the following quotes on talent;
“With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.” Thomas Foxwell Burton
“Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.” Henry Van Dyke
“Talent is a universal gift, but it takes a lot of courage to use it. Don’t be afraid to be the best.” Paulo Coelho
To be continued . . .
Arthur Marara is a corporate law attorney, keynote and peak performance speaker, business strategy facilitator commanding the stage with his delightful humour, raw energy, and wealth of life experiences. He is a financial wellness expert and is passionate about addressing the issues of wellness, sales, business leadership and strategy. Arthur is the author of the “Personal Development Toolkit”, “Keys to Effective Time Management” among other inspirational books. Follow him on social media, or WhatsApp him on +263718867255 to join his groups where he posts or email [email protected]