Day 26: Book Recommendation: Talent is Never Enough

Welcome to day 26 in my 100 posts for photographers in 100 days! I first heard about this book at Showit United, a conference for photographers here in Arizona. I started reading the book right when I got home and I was hooked. Some self help books speak to me and some definitely don’t. This one, though… you guys. It was like the author was speaking just to me. If you read this, I hope you feel the same way. This book is for those who have talent but fail when it comes to acting on it. We’ve all heard the quote “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.” If there was a quote to sum up this book, it would be that one. In the first few pages, I was especially hooked by the following story:

A man dies and meets Saint Peter at the pearly gates. Immediately realizing that Saint Peter was a wise and knowledgeable individual, the man inquired, “Saint Peter, I have been interested in military history for many years. Tell me who was the greatest general of all time?” Saint Peter quickly responded, “Oh, that’s a simple question. It’s that man right over there.”

“You must be mistaken,” Responded the man, now very perplexed. “I knew that man on Earth and he was just a common laborer.”

“That’s right, my friend,” assured Saint Peter. “He would have been the greatest general of all time, if he had been a general.”

Did you just get chills? Because I totally did. What are we missing out on by remaining stuck in a rut? By circling the same problems day in and day out. What are we actually capable of and how much of our success has to do with talent and how much has to do with hard work?

This book was such a game changer for me because it focuses so much on what you don’t think about. The first several years of my business were spent solely on producing beautiful images. By the time I had gotten to a place where I was happy with my work, I expected people to be beating down my door. Instead, it was radio silence. I had put so much into the talent part of it that I failed to improve everything that really makes someone successful. I had done zero work in the realm of character development, client experience, self discipline, business strategy, the list goes on and on.

Flashing back to the United Conference again, last year a keynote speaker, Ben Hartley, said “Beautiful images are merely the cost of entry. It’s the standard. Everyone in the industry is expected to produce beautiful images, what you do beyond that is what determines your success.” (paraphrased but you get the picture.) This book takes that truth and expands on it for miles. It’s inspiring, motivating, and incredibly informative.

Leaving you with a few more highlights off of my Kindle:

If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then realize that you are its author. Every day you have the chance to write a new page in that story. I want to encourage you to fill those pages with responsibility to others and yourself. If you do, in the end you will not be disappointed.

“Success consists of a series of little daily victories.”

Writer and editor Norman Cousins said, “Death isn’t the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside of us while we live.”

Eddie Rickenbacker said, “I can give you a six-word formula for success: Think things through—then follow through.” Many people like to think things through; few follow through.

Have you read this? Leave me some comments on what you thought below! Are there any other books you’ve found to be amazing in this area? I want to know! Thank you for being here today and I’ll see you tomorrow for day 27: Really understanding SEO.

Day 98 is currently reserved for any questions you have throughout the next 100 days. To submit a question, please click here!  If you’re interested in supporting this project, please share, PIN and comment! Any other questions, comments or ideas, please feel free to email me at denise(at)denisekaris(dot)com

Denise Karis is an Arizona photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris

denise karis photography blog 100 posts in 100 days for photographers