By Gino Blefari
This week my travels find me in Florida; I first flew to Panama City, grabbed my rental car and drove to Santa Rosa Beach for the launch of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida, a fine company led by Hunter Harman, John David Sullivan and Price Rainer. Then, I drove up to Jacksonville for an awards celebration with Linda Sherrer, Christy Budnick and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty team.
The Florida Network Realty event was Olympics-themed with most attendees dressed in Grecian-style togas. Held at the enormous EverBank Field in Jacksonville, the celebration was filled with hundreds of Florida Network Realty agents eager to commemorate their achievements and get inspired for even more success ahead.
And the ceremony certainly didn’t lack for inspiration; the featured speaker was Gregory Troy, head swimming and diving coach at the University of Florida. He was also an assistant coach for the U.S. Olympic men’s swim team in 1996 and 2008 and head coach of the 2012 U.S. Olympic men’s swim team. Troy fired up the crowd with his talk about the importance of perseverance when accomplishing your goals. Talent isn’t enough, he stressed; you must always be the one to work harder than anyone else in order to win. Sound advice for the sport of swimming and sound advice for business, too.
Hard work vs. talent has been a centuries-long debate: Is talent alone ever enough to succeed? If you took a talented real estate agent and pitted this person against one who maybe lacked the same amount of natural talent but worked harder than the agent who did, which one would find the greatest long-term success?
Kevin Durant, power forward for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, once said, “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.” In other words, merely possessing talent to sell or talent to negotiate or talent to market your business isn’t enough; you must also have the determination and grit to sustain yourself when your natural ability alone can’t get the job done.
So, what’s the message? You could be the most talented sales professional on the planet but if you’re not coupling that talent with a strong work ethic, you’re short changing yourself. Use your talent and push yourself to work as hard as you can because that’s the only way you’ll become the absolute best you can be.