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For years I have observed successful people; dead or alive. I have looked at what made them reach the summit, and have noticed that it is the same set of principles. For years, I have also observed talented people to see what made some succeed and others fail, and have realized that it follows the same trail to succeed and another lane of trail to fail or remain a mediocre person. In summary, vision and character define your destination.

As a social media enthusiast, I see daily, great talents on different platforms, and I also see those in misplaced locations, and not too long, they get displaced because they have no reason standing where they don’t have the talent or skills. What makes a hit determines some people’s entrant into certain fields, professions, or directions even if they have no clue about what it entails. They jump in and after a while; jump out because they can’t sustain what it takes to beat its odds. Every direction has its bumps; that very odd that either brings out the strengths in you or exposes your hidden weaknesses. Your strengths and weaknesses are tested during the defining moments as you walk your way towards building a successful talent.

Identification: Bob Marley identified himself as a musician even if he knew how to play soccer. Michael Jackson would have made a great actor but he identified himself as a pop artist. How about Muhammad Ali? What a great motivational speaker he would have been, but he identified himself as a boxer! Time will not permit me to dig into Africa’s richest man; Aliko Dangote. While most people from Northern Nigeria saw the civil service as the quickest way to get established in life, he opted for business; his identification made him one of the richest men in the world.

To succeed, you need to first identify what you really want and who you really are. Who you are may not be currently attractive, but knowing it and building it will one day make it attractive. Being a cleaner isn’t attractive, but ask some cleaning companies who are quoted in the stock exchange their yearly turnover, and you’ll be stunned.

Identify yourself and don’t be ashamed of your trueness. If it brings shame for instance, ask yourself how you can make it look attractive. Believe me; money makes every job attractive – it is all about perception. If cleaners earn like investment bankers, many who work in those organizations will step down to cleaning!

Base: I initially used Bob Marley as illustration, so let us carry on with him. Bob Marley was a musician, but there isn’t only one type of music; there are different genres. The rastaman in spite of being a multi-instrumentalist and having the voice and skills to venture into different genres opted for reggae music – reggae was his base. He focused on this genre, was known for this genre, and succeeded in this genre. I will tell you another musician from African who was young and good, but many in the world never knew him because as far as I am concerned, he had no base. If he had, in my opinion, he would have won a Grammy Award. When TuFace came out with the song, “African Queen,” it was a blast. One day, while conducting a research in a recycling centre in High Wycombe, United Kingdom, I heard that song blasting from a car that zoomed past me. When I bent to look who it was, it was one white English girl playing that song. And I said to myself, “why didn’t this boy focus on that style of music rather than trying to input other genres. If he had, he would have been a world household name.”

You need a base, and that base must suit your uniqueness and passion. A footballer doesn’t play every position. You can’t be a striker and a defender at the same time. Know your role; establish yourself based on your unique role!

When I started blogging, I made a decision that my base is strategic motivation, but many times, I have been tempted to move base especially when I have access to certain gossip stories that will go viral on the internet. My resolve to stick to my original intention even if it isn’t as popular as entertainment has kept me going. Before the story of the turmoil between the popular African preacher Chris Oyakhilome and the wife Anita made the internet, I was one of the first to hear it and was encouraged to blog it but after many days of talking to myself, I made a decision not to. Reason – I don’t blog about gossip; I motivate, and there wasn’t any motivation that someone’s marriage was heading for a doom. I have chosen my base and will continue with it.

Stability: it is one thing to find a direction and it is another to be stable in it. Stability needs a balance; having a balance requires equity, and not lopsidedness. Running with one leg doesn’t make you stable because you are designed to use two legs. To make your talent stable, you need various factorial inputs like having the right skills and characters, working hard, making sacrifices and many more. Stability doesn’t come because you have a dream; dream is fictional but work is physical. The only dreams that made it to the shelf came from consistent hard work, and if yours must also make it, you must get up and work daily.

Wait: a new brand has a lot of painful waiting to do before becoming a household name; it is work while you wait. It is promotion while you wait. And it is a lot of giveaways while you wait. Take this on board; not everyone will take your giveaways because many don’t trust it. Sometimes, while on the tube or national rail stations, I see some people give away free items like drinks, body lotions, deodorants, etc, and I notice that in spite of being free, some people walk pass without accepting them. For the fact they are free does not mean that it didn’t cost a lot to make them. Those who made them may have taken some loans from the banks, but those who walk by don’t care, as some drop those items in the bins after collecting them. It is the consistency of a good producer that makes him wait until his efforts make gains. You’ll have to wait if your eyes are on the future. Your wait depends on what you want; whether you’re just living for today or tomorrow.

Weight: it is your wait that gives you weight. Toiling all night isn’t a waste because it takes you to the morning when you see the day. Jumping from base to base doesn’t give you weight since you’re never settled before moving to another stage. If you define your base and wait until the positive change begins to emerge, you will gain weight – you will gain weight when your customer base begins to swell, all because you were patient to build. Your defining moments in a successful talent are identity, base, and wait, but you aren’t there yet until you gain weight. Stay put and gain weight; increased customer base is a good obesity!

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Ken is a leadership Motivation, Strategy and Personal Development Writer, Blogger and Speaker. He writes for a number of magazines and blogs. He is also a mentor and published author of several books.

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