I have no talent

This morning I watched a video by my friend Danny Gregory, who spoke at beyond tellerrand in Berlin last year. The video is titled “Hello, I have no talent” and Danny encourages people, who think like that, to not get de-motivated and frustrated. He motivates people to keep drawing and to keep remembering that the output you see on someones website or in a community, which often is crazy and wonderful, is just the things they decided to show. This is their best stuff. And it is not their first steps, their failures and their 1000 tries to draw a hand perfectly, when it failed over and over again until they finally were able to draw a hand. He says one thing, which he says about drawing, but which is valid for many other things:

Have fun drawing, ’cause drawing is fun. That’s what it’s meant to be. It’s not meant to make you feel bad. It’s not meant to make you feel inferior. […]

Replace drawing with anything you want and it’s true for you.

The video, though a bit of a different story, reminded me of a situation I have been in, when we had a Wacom Influencer or Evangelist, as they call this group, meeting in Krefeld a few years ago. We were about 20 people in the Wacom European HQ in a room on a sunny day. As we all have been people from various fields of business and not everybody knew each other, we had to introduce ourself for 5 to 10 minutes. The guy next to me on the table constantly sketched stuff and was drawing fantastic pictures. When it was on him to introduce himself, he said, he was working on Dumbledore’s death right now and used to do the matte painting for Alien. Another one showed his wonderful portraits of people he made on the streets in France using his Wacom tablet. Someone else showed his crazy Photoshop work with unbelievable compositions. Robert showed his motion graphics work and then it was on me to introduce myself.

I remember that I felt so little. I felt like I had nothing to show that came close to anything I had seen over the last hour or so. Everybody in this room was so creative and showed their fantastic work. I had nothing visually to show really and just told my story. How I got to where I was and what I was doing now. I also said how amazed I was to see all this fantastic and beautiful work, I had seen over the last hours and I said I wish I was that talented. Then one person raised his hand and asked ”May I say something?” and I says “Yes, sure.” – then he said:

You said you are not as talented as most of us in the room, which I can’t really judge. But you know, one thing I can say is, that it also is a talent to see the beauty in what we do and then to speak about it to other people and show them other peoples work. We need people like you, finding people like us and connecting us to other people, showing and speaking about what we do.

Other people in the room nodded and agreed. And guess what? That made my day. There was this one person saying something really positive to motivate me. I thought, I want to be that person more often and be the one motivating others. Saying something positive. Especially in times when Twitter and the social clubs are full of negativity and bad news.

So maybe, if you think you have no talent, look at you again and ask yourself, if you really have nothing you’re good at or that you love to do. I bet you’ll find something!