Goal

Today, I want to discuss my current talent stack and how much I have improved over the last year.

History of the Talent Stack

talent-stack-2018

The talent stack is all about understanding your skills and competency.

A talent stack is a list of all the skills you have, ranked by degrees of competency. Through the talent stack, you can visualize your unique combination of abilities before planning your future skill growth.

Credit where credit is due. I first heard of the talent stack from Scott Adams. Adams showed that each of his individual talents (such as drawing) were quite mediocre. However, by putting them together, he argued that his abilities created a unique and compelling package.

potential

The more you learn, the more potential you develop.

Traditionally, increasing your competency in one subject was good enough to solidify your economic value. However, it is much more impressive to have a set of important skills that are interconnected and compliment one another.

For example, being talented at web design is a great benefit. Further developing a comprehension of web development allows one to resolve broader issues pertaining to web design. You may not be as skilled in web development but understanding the subject strengthens your capabilities in web design.

Benefits of the Talent Stack

understand-skills

Understand your skill set, so you can better leverage your talents.

There are multiple benefits to understanding and developing your talent stack. Firstly, it’s crucial to understand what skills you have and how competent you are. Possessing such a list will help you better define your future.

Secondly, when we can visualize the skills we have, we can leverage them more efficient. Say you created your talent stack and realized you had a growing talent in charisma. Going forward, you can utilize your charm by presenting projects, having meaningful conversations, and asking your managers the right questions. Eventually, you’ll be able to leverage your improved charisma into higher pay at your company.

skills-potential

There’s power in seeing where your skills can take you.

Lastly, when you have a deeper understanding of your current skill set, you can create goals to pursue. If you discover you have a passing knowledge of cooking, you can decide to increase your skill. From here, you can create short-term and long-term goals that will help you reach mastery in cooking.

Above all else, a talent stack helps you comprehend the interconnected nature of your current skills. Cooking, sick driving abilities, and charisma may seem like unrelated talents until you realize that you’d make a killing as a the owner of a food truck.

Ultimately, through creating a talent stack, you’ll discover how your skills are interconnected as well as where they can complement each other. This knowledge makes it easier to plan your future while you’re excelling in the present.

My Talent Stack 2017

2017-talents

Reflecting on where you once were is a useful practice.

Back in 2017, my talent stack was rather modest:

  • Web design (average but better than most people especially business owners)
  • Web development (slightly above average, but not a master – I know CSS, HTML, PHP, jQuery, and JavaScript very well but I don’t know how to build anything substantial from scratch)
  • SEO (Above average, although I lag in things like Google Analytics)
  • Content Writing (Above average – I know how to spin a tale)
  • Communication (slightly above average – I can dominate a conversation and give talks)
  • Marketing (mediocre but better than most)

My Projected 2018 Talent Stack

writing-master-skill

I’ve always wanted to master writing.

Here is the talent I wanted by this time:

  • Web Design, web development (average but better than most people especially small business owners)
  • Writing, primarily fiction (master)
  • Drawing (above average and consistently improving)
  • Communication (master)
  • Content writing (above average)
  • Marketing (average)
I created a “projected talent stack” to set clear skill growth goals for myself. For example, I mainly wanted to make the shift from web design and web development into storytelling. My goal was to work on my fiction writing while improving my drawing. My other skills would either stagnate or see a slight increase.

My 2018 Talented Stack

drawing-master-skill

I’ve always wanted to master drawing.

  • Web design and web development – average but better than most people especially small business owners
  • Writing, primarily fiction – intermediate
  • Content writing – intermediate; I comprehend the “rules” of what makes optimized content
  • Drawing – beginner
  • Communication – intermediate; I am capable of easily talking to others, asking the right questions, and interjecting when appropriate
  • Marketing – average
  • Physical fitness – beginning

How Did I Measure Up?

reach-greatness

It’s essential to always reach for greatness.

Firstly, I did combine web design and web development into one skill set. My goal was to reduce the focus on these subjects, and I’ve succeeded immensely. Despite decreasing my growth in these two abilities, I’m still excelling at my current job.

Secondly, I have increased my writing abilities in both content writing and fiction. Since last year, I’ve written about 4,000 words and read for a minimal of 30 minutes each day. Comparing my older blog posts to recent entries clearly shows a skill progression.

Thirdly, I’ve introduced consistent drawing into my schedule. I’m still not at the level of competency that would enable me to create my works, but I’m happy to start investing resources into developing this crucial and fun talent.

speech-charisma

I’m invested in improving my speech abilities.

Next, I’ve upgraded my communication abilities while hitting a few snags. I’m learning more about power dynamics, and I’m utilizing this knowledge to improve the way I speak to others, especially managers. Through such studying, I can ensure my communicating abilities are well-rounded.

Lastly, I’ve started going to the gym in the past few months which has helped me bulk up while increasing my overall strength. Going to the gym has improved my health and outlook on life, so I’m glad I included it.

My 2019 Talent Stack

2019-talent-stack

I can’t wait to see where my skills will be in 2019.

  • Web design and web development – average with a considerable improvement in jQuery and JavaScript
  • Writing, primarily fiction – master
  • Content writing – master; I comprehend the “rules” of what makes optimized content
  • Drawing – intermediate (good enough to launch my first creative project)
  • Communication – master; I want to understand power dynamics
  • Marketing – average
  • Physical fitness – intermediate (I want to start learning boxing)
  • Latin – beginner

When I think about my talent stack for the future, I’m deeply interested in increasing my knowledge of writing and drawing so that I can start my first creative project. However, I want to advance my skills in jQuery and Javascript as well as continue my studying of Latin.

As stated above, I need to continue to refine my charisma. I always forget law one: never outshine the master. I can communicate confidently, and this usually hurts the egos of those above me. I need to understand how to allow them to shine, so I don’t hurt my progress.

Lastly, I’m eager to return to my physical exercise. Getting in shape has been an adventure, and I would love to take it to the next level.

Conclusion

set-goals

Understand where you want to be in a year.

I urge any individual to create a talent stack. You’ll know where you are skill wise as well as have insight into where you could go. Compare your talent stack to the goals you have. Do the skills you currently contribute to your goals? At the very least, can they make you money? These are all things to consider when analyzing your talent stack and your life goals and your legacy.

So develop your talent stack. Journal about your future. Plan to succeed and excel. Then execute.

Actionables

Read the following:


  1. Of course, make your talent stack. What skills do you know and how would you rank your knowledge of those skills?
  2. How do you think these skills make you unique? How can you leverage these skills in your personal and professional lives?
  3. Based on your talent stack, where can you improve? What do you think you need to outsource?
  4. What do you want your talent stack to look like in a year?
  5. Do your talents in your stacks help you reach your life goals?

Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.

*Image credit to Unsplash.