Skillful vs. Successful


It really has nothing to do with skill.

Because, skillful doesn’t equal successful.

We’re taught early in life (particularly grade school) that if you build your skills, you will reap the rewards.

If you work hard to learn the material, the teacher will notice and give you an A.

But, in the marketplace, things are different.

Being noticed is not part of the deal.

Nobody is looking to evaluate your skillset.

In fact, nobody is even paying attention.

You’re responsible for not only being skilled, but getting attention and recognition for it.

No one’s coming by to decide whether you get an A or an F.

It’s every man and woman for themselves.

And, skillful and successful are two entirely different arenas.

And, sometimes they don’t even overlap.

Because, even if you develop your skills…

Even if you think you’ve earned success…

Even if you’re the best in the business…

Even if you’ve worked the hardest…

Even if you’ve put in more time, energy, and talent…

Even if you want it more than the next guy…

There’s no guarantee anyone will notice.

There’s no promise of success.

Because, success is different.

Success is an ability you must develop separately from your skillset.

It’s a skillset all its own.

And you must make that distinction if you want to reap rewards from your skill.

Being skillful requires practice, research, education, and training. It involves hours of studying and honing your craft.

It requires dedication and a fierce commitment to excellence.

Mastery requires an understanding of the big, overarching principles and the tiniest of details.

It requires attention, focus, and hard work.

But, success is a world entirely separate from the world of skill.

Being successful requires an entirely different range of talents.

Being successful requires guts.

It requires leaving the comfort zone.

It requires interaction with other humans (a lot of it).

It requires self-promotion…






It requires you to learn how to showcase your talents, your skills, and your ideas in a way that gets others on board.

Success is an art form that must be learned and honed.

Skill is something we develop on our own, for the most part.

Success is not about skill, it’s about your ability to invite the world in on your skill.

Some folks feel the need to choose between skill and success.

But, choosing means leaving some important things on the table.

Pick skillful and you’ll be deeply proud of your work. You’ll go to bed at night with a brain that is buzzing, growing, and excited about the quality of your craft.

Pick successful and you’ll be satisfied with your results. You’ll experience wealth, opportunity, and attention for your work.

Pick both, and the world is yours.

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About Stacy

Stacy Rust is a marketing strategist, writer, and advisor. Her mission is to get your work, your ideas, your products, and your services into the hands and hearts of more people. After working in Creative Services at the BBC Worldwide in London, and then as an Account Executive at a private advertising agency in Minnesota, she struck out on her own to provide fresh, unique, and in-depth strategy to companies around the world. Today, Stacy leads her global community of thousands of entrepreneurs, executives, and creatives with insightful advice and practical strategy on how to create impactful work, build an eager audience, develop messages that spread, and grow thriving businesses from the ground up.

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