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Everyone gets all excited watching a good entertainer or athlete. We think, “Now that person has real talent.” They do have real talent but their major talent is not the one you are watching. Their major talent is salesmanship. The have the dogged determination and the networking ability that helps them showcase the more popular talent.
Take a look around. How many excellent bands and singers have you enjoyed in your local clubs? I would guess that you would have no trouble at all finding talent as good, or better, than talent that you see on TV. How about actors and actresses; have you gone to a local dinner theater, college performance, and a local theater company? You will sit and watch the performance think, “Why are some of the people here and not on Broadway?” Certainly not everyone you see locally has the talent to make it in the big time, but there are a few.
I could go on and on about talent displayed in your town, and I’m not just talking about the entertainment, and sports industries. Pick an industry; you will find people that get noticed and people that don’t. I wrote a computer game once; it was called “Facing the Empire”. I thought it was pretty cool. I made all of five hundred bucks on it. This was in 1985 and it had principles of ship building, hidden movement, and planetary development that didn’t appear in the big games until a year or so later. Why did I make five hundred bucks and not a million? It’s for the same reason that my novels are on Amazon instead of the best seller list. I lack the talent of salesmanship.
Salesmanship is the one talent that rules them all. People in my position go to the bookstore and look on the shelves. We read the backs of books and pick one to read. We read the book and ultimately say, “Heck my stuff is better than that; I bet they knew someone in the publishing company.” Some of that is jealousy for sure, but not all and it all can’t be chalked up to who we know.
Yes there are some people who will always have a leg up because they know someone on the inside, or that have a big name from another field. Let’s face it George Clooney could Xerox the telephone book and get it published. The “Who-We-Know” crowd seems to dominate some industries. Every time you turn around you’re finding out that a young entertainer is the son daughter, niece, or nephew of someone famous. There are many examples of young celebrities that aren’t there because of their talent; can you say Paris Hilton
The honest fact is there is still a way for people without someone on the inside to break into the big time. The ones that do are the ones the possess “The Lord of the Talents.” They will have the fierce single minded determination that it takes to break through. They will forsake everyone and everything to attain their goal. It must be their one and only concern. If you don’t know anyone in your industry that can get you in; you must get to know them or someone in their immediate family. You have to find a way to endear yourself to this person. You must spend all of your time and money and work day and night on the task. It’s tough and it’s painful, but the ones with the talent can succeed.
I am not begrudging the people who made it to the big time; on the contrary I applaud them not only for their obvious talent but also for their major talent. They truly are special people; they have the one talent that rules them all.