We’ve heard stories of how successful people made a lot of money, in doing something we assumed simple. Being a gamer, or social media influencer, chef, footballer, snowboarder, designer are just some examples, and there are a minority who actually became famous and made huge earnings for years from doing what they love. Due to this, other people who presumed how easy it is to earn like them, aspire to be the same. “Come on, how hard is it to play a game? If this gamer can earns huge money, I can too. ”
Knowing how to do, and doing it well aren’t the same thing.
I can cook, but I can never be a chef. I can draw, but I could never earn as an artist. I can sing, well to a tolerable degree – but I would never sell records. But I know how to do these things, they are easy – like hobbies. But I would never make money from them. The competitiveness surrounding these talents, are tough and fierce. People who really made money are experts in that field, that is how they climb their way on top above everyone else with the same talent. Not by knowing how things are done, but by being the best there is.
Be bloody good in what you choose to pursue!
So the gamers that you’ve aspired to be like, trust me, they played games so well because for so many years, that was their primary focus. They’ve developed deeper levels of competency because they invested time and energy to be better every single day. It’s not a hobby anymore that they played for 2 hours a day, as and when they feel like it. They have chosen that talent to polish, and the investment is consistent and intense as if their whole life depended on it. For them to be professional, it’s not playing it simple but to be bloody good in what they do, that less and less people could compete against that benchmark.
Cooking is the basis of a chef’s talent. Anyone can whoop up a fried rice, but a chef have the flair for how food are presented, what kind of ingredients to be used, create own fusion recipes, vast knowledge of cooking equipment, experiences of cooking thousands of dishes of sort, knowing in detail how every minute matter to the end result of a dish. And if a chef becomes a head chef, he also needs managerial skills to manage the whole kitchen ensuring every order is perfect, and on time. That is competency.
You probably wonder and get jealous at how a social media influencer with 1 million followers can be paid USD 5,000 a post equivalent to someone’s two months pay. The work sound simple enough – I take a selfie, and edit the picture and post it which all in all took five minutes. How can someone be worth USD 5,000 per minute? Well it’s simple, the investment that social media influencer took to invest building her 1 million followers took years. Years of crafting content, editing thousands of images, studying her competitors, improving herself to make postings more inclined to benefit her sponsors, knowing how to present herself to win sponsorship or where to find sponsoring merchants, organise her social media postings, handle and communicate with tens of thousands of comments – all those time she has invested way before she was paid USD 5,000 per posting. She has built her value through her investment of time, energy and own funds to build her network that made her profile attractive now. So, it’s not just five minutes of work to post.
How much are you worth?
Your worth is not about how many skills you have, but how good you are in a particular area. That makes you more valuable than most people who have the same skills, and you become sought after where people becomes more willing to pay for your competency. If you provide an even rare skill that someone finds trouble finding a substitute, then you have the power to decide whatever your time is worth. Your services is no longer based on market value, it’s a supply and demand game on elite level. You get more expensive because of two reasons (a) one, you are the best there is. (b) the client desperately need you and has no other choice.
Be a problem fixer, to help others.
I understand every one of us would love to do something out of passion, for a living. The love behind doing something we enjoy the most is how we can get through happier days as we live life. But, if you are passionate enough in a hobby and wanted turn it into profits to live on that skill, make it a competency.
Be so good at doing it! Invest time to improve, learn about the aspects and demand of that skills by diligently studying your competitors and the market demand, know where and to whom to pitch your skill and how to go about doing so. Know every part of possible failure, calculate your risk, know your next rising competitor, prepare many back up plans to implement – and stay passionate regardless the challenge, or monetary losses of doing that thing.
Be willing to lose until you learn, and be willing to learn until you master.
The best part of competency is that…
When you’ve developed an in depth knowledge and skill of doing something, you cannot go back to being mediocre. It’s never a loss for the investment you gave to developing that competency, it keeps your value high and of demand. It will continue to attract people who need you and trust you to solve their problems for them. Competencies makes it easier for you – in life and in business, never the other way round.
So question yourself with how you’ve been spending your time.
Time is something we cannot get back, which is why the best use for time is to invest into things that contribute to your growth – your skills, your wisdom, your professional and personal development, your wealth and your health. You don’t have to figure new things to try every other day – how about looking into some of the things you know you never get sick of doing, then focus on a consistent regime to invest time to polish that skill.
Never question how much time is needed to accomplish something, because the time will pass anyway.
No one cares about another fellow with another skill, but you will be surprised how much people are willing to pay for competencies.