Your talent sets your floor. Your character sets your ceiling.
I heard this quote on sports radio this week and it immediately resonated with me. It reminded me of the philosophy that in startups, execution is everything.
Think about it. Your talent, your natural ability, your charisma, your <insert your personal gifts>, really only indicate the floor of how successful you’ll be at anything.
For example, let’s say you’re very good at math. You just get it. That probably means that in school you didn’t even have to try to get a B or B+. Maybe even an A. But to get an A+, or to get the highest grade in your class, you had to study more, prep more for the test, double-check your homework…these are all aspects of your character.
When you read about guys like Michael Jordan, you always hear that he worked harder in practice than anyone else. What do you hear about Peyton Manning this week? That he prepares more than anyone else in the game.
Talent and natural ability can only get you so far. It’s what you do with those abilities – how hard you work – that is going to show how great you can truly be.