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It's a common belief that to get the most, we must be number 1 or at least become the 1% on top. This is true but becoming top 1% may require a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of competition.
While it might be worth it to fight for, there is another theory that may achieve more than others but require less effort (but still need perseverance in doing so).
The theory is called "Talent Stacking".
The term 'talent stack' was coined by cartoonist Scott Adams – best known as the creator of the Dilbert Cartoon – to describe developing a variety of skills which combine to make someone a sought-after commodity.
Adams describes his own talent stack in the following terms: “I am a famous syndicated cartoonist who doesn’t have much artistic talent, and I’ve never taken a college-level writing class. But few people are good at both drawing and writing. When you add in my ordinary business skills, my strong work ethic, my risk tolerance, and my reasonably good sense of humor, I’m fairly unique."
It's about combining your main skills with some additional complimentary skills that can help to amplify your main one. The good point is these skills (main and complimentary) don’t need to be in perfect or excellent state. A good or just above average is enough as sometimes, a good main skill plus some good complimentary skills can create a unique excellent one.
And it also doesn’t need a long time to learn some complimentary skill to be decent of it, as on contrary, based on diminishing return, it will took longer for you to get better once you already good in something.
No, it doesn’t mean that you need to become a generalist. A generalist may know a lot of stuffs, spreading to all direction. But Talent Stacking is knowing some stuffs that going to same direction, amplifying your main skills.
Pick complimentary skills that can impact other skills positively. A sample in video explaining that how a soccer player that has a routine practice and also develop complimentary skills in stamina, speed, teamplay and power; which also effect his performance in basket ball, outperform those who only practice basketball without additional practice.
It’s advised to learn skills that can effect in large, for example persuasive communication, time management, other language, writing, marketing, understanding psychology, business, etc.
Another one complimentary skill that important is understanding business. It can improve your life, from an employee, to become a business owner, a freelancer or investor. As by understanding business, indirectly you will learn accounting, leverage, sourcing, money management, risk management, etc.
These skills can impact many areas in your life; and whatever your main skill is, these complimentary skills will help to amplify it.
Another benefit of having Talent Stack is we will be more ready in facing changes. As we know, the world around us is constantly changing. And if we only stick to one main skill, this may risk us in facing change, where our skill become obsolete. But with Talent Stacking, we can easily adapt to the change and re-create our uniqueness by adding more complimentary skills that relevant with current changes.
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