Goal

Today, I want to cover my 2019 talent stack.

What Is A Talent Stack?

talent stack

A talent stack helps you understand your potential.

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

A talent stack is a representation of the skills you have and how they connect. Alone, your skills are not impressive. However, when you see how your abilities are connected, you can create a unique package.

For example, being a web developer, even a good one, is not impressive. Therefore, I’ve learned about web design and content writing. Now, I am fully capable of building a fast, good looking website with engaging content and impressive SEO value.

I’m a decent web designer, a talented writer, and a competent web developer. Alone, none of my skills are truly impressive. However, when combined together, I can provide a high-quality website to clients by myself and at a competitive price.

By creating a talent stack, I understand my skills and how they support one another.

Benefits of a Talent Stack

skills knowledge

Knowledge of your skills increases your potential.

Let’s dive deeper into the benefits of the talent stack. Firstly, a talent stack will help you define your abilities. Many of us do not realize how many skills we know and how deep our knowledge runs. By chronicling what you know, even the things you’re “decent” in, you’ll gain insight into what you can do.

Secondly, by seeing your skills, you can develop plans to deepen your knowledge. For example, if you’re relatively skilled at cooking, you can start creating a game plan to become a master. By defining how well you know a subject, you can think critically about what it takes to expand your knowledge.

Lastly, a talent stack helps you see what you’re missing. For example, if you want to own a restaurant, a talent stack can assist you in seeing what you need. Maybe you’re an excellent chef but your communication skills are subpar. With a talent stack, you can see how improving your communication abilities will benefit your business. Now, you can devout time to improving your communication for the benefit of your business, customers, and employees.

My Talent Stack 2018

artist

I’ve always wanted to be an artist.

As I’ve done a few times before, I want to review my talent stack. Here’s what skills I had in 2018:

  • 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

My Projected 2019 Talent Stack

physical fitness

I work out as often as I can to improve my physical fitness.

What I wanted my talent stack to be:

  • 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

My 2019 Talent Stack

forever forward

You must always move forward and accomplish your goals.

Where my talent stack is:

  • Web design and web development – intermediate; I’ve learned more in a year than I have in five
  • Writing, primarily fiction – intermediate
  • Content writing – intermediate; I comprehend the “rules” of what makes optimized content
  • Drawing – beginner (good enough to launch my first creative project)
  • Communication – intermediate; I understand power dynamics
  • Marketing – beginner
  • Physical fitness – beginner
  • Latin – decent

The Greatest Improvements

better father

Over the last year, I have greatly improved as a father.

“Look at those whose good fortune people gather to see: they are choked by their own blessings. How many find their riches a burden! How many burst a blood vessel by their eloquence and their daily striving to show off their talents!” – Seneca

Overall, I did better than I anticipated. Firstly, web design, web development, and content writing are apart of my day job. Therefore, these skills grew faster over the year because of repeat and consistent exposure. You should take note of how repeated effort ensures stable improvement.

Secondly, my fiction writing has improved because I’ve written a few thousand words a day. Additionally, I’ve read more than 30 books last year. Fiction writing is my passion and I’ve done everything I can to set time aside to improve my skill. For example, I’ve greatly reduced my consumption of media including video games and online videos. Furthermore, I want to highlight the benefit of setting a clear system. With fiction writing, I avoided clear goals. Instead, I created the system “write 2,000 words a day.” This habit ensured I was always improving my skills, even on the days I did not want to work.

Repeated, productive action is the key to skill growth. If you want to improve your abilities, you need to show up and persist through distractions, pain, and doubt.

The Much-Needed Insight

do everything

We can’t do everything but we must do what we can.

Thirdly, drawing has slowed because of my new responsibilities. I wanted to upgrade my drawing skill much further than where I have landed. Admittedly, I am disappointed.

However, I have to accept my time is limited. I only have so many hours in a day. My family and job are more important to the stability of my life and sacrifices must be made. Therefore, it’s crucial to remember you can’t do everything at once. Balance what you want to do with what you are responsible for. For example, I focus on being a good father and husband. Improving in these roles means I benefit my family by providing stability. I benefit my community by developing the virtuous traits needed to be a better man. Lastly, I benefit myself by removing doubt and fear of my future. Therefore, take care of what’s important first then look at what further builds your future.

However, despite my limited time, I have improved my drawing. Furthermore, I’ve enhanced my communication abilities and physical strength.

To make time, I had to drop Latin and marketing. Latin was a disappointment because I like learning about the language. However, I recognized I had little interest in marketing and learning more about the subject wouldn’t improve my financial potential or happiness.

My 2020 Talent Stack

read more

I will continue to read more and develop my writing talents.

What I want to learn going forward:

  • Web design and web development – intermediate; I want to plateau these skills
  • Writing, primarily fiction – master; I need to write and read constantly each and every day
  • Content writing – intermediate; I want to plateau this skill
  • Drawing – intermediate; I want to launch my first project
  • Communication – master; I understand power dynamics
  • Physical fitness – intermediate; I am mainly focused on consistency and steady progress

Develop Your Talent Stack

plan your talent stack

Plan your talent stack.

“True ability is undisturbed by pretentious criticism” – Joyce Rachelle

Over the years, I must admit I limit my talents to professional or active activities. I don’t track habits such as patience or fortitude. I take virtuous “talents” as a given and I never include them in my talent stacks. However, if you want to include virtues or “passive skills,” such as financial responsibility, into your talent stack, then do so.

Furthermore, your talent stack will outline what you want to do. Along with journaling, monthly goals, tracking your day, and other techniques, your talent stack can give you a clear show of progress. Additionally, your talent stack can help you develop your goals for the future and visualize the benefits of accomplishing your goals.

Never stagnant. Keep developing your skills and keep track of what you want to be. Use your abilities as unique leverage in finding the job of your dreams.

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.