How to be Successful with 10 Things that Require ZERO Talent


Can you actually be successful with ZERO Talent? Well, not exactly – but there are things you can do to actually be successful. Let’s take a look at ten things that require absolutely no talent and are guaranteed to help you in your professional and personal life.

  1. Being on Time

George Washington was a stickler for time. For him being on time was a sign of respect for others, and he expected to be treated with the same courtesy by others. Being on time shows your co-workers and friends that you care about them, that you are interested in their affairs and that you are willing to join them and make most of the time allocated. Moreover, this habit of being punctual, once formed will extend into your personal life – meetings with friends and family, paying a bill on time, keeping your promises. It automatically changes and organizes your life. Try it for a change. Don’t be the one who will be late for his or her own funeral.

2. Work Ethic

Most companies prize employees with a strong work ethic. They reward them properly with raises, praise, and promotions. They give hard-working employees the best projects because they’ve earned them. This is one of the most desirable sought-after soft skills that employers look for in their hiring process.

A work ethic is a set of moral principles that we use in our jobs. It includes such things as reliability/dependability, dedication, productivity, cooperation, character, integrity, sense of responsibility, emphasis on quality, teamwork, respectfulness, determination, accountability, humility, organizational skills, and flexibility.

Developing a strong work ethic does not come naturally to many people. You will have to work on it:

  • Show up on time for work
  • Do what needs to be done
  • Work through difficult situations
  • Get the job done


3. Effort and Energy

The old adage “thou shall reap what thou sow” applies very well in this case. Minimal effort on a project leads to minimal results. An effort is what you put into a task to get it completed and to succeed. Many times, your best despite your best efforts, the results may not be the desired outcomes. That is OK. But giving 100% effort to your work is what matters in the long run. If you give it your 100% then in most cases you will get a reasonable, valuable and successful outcome.

Demonstrating energy at work is important and it shows you are serious about your job. You don’t want to walk into a room and see people lazing around doing nothing. So always strive to give extra effort and increase your productivity.


4. Body Language

You work hard, complete every assignment and come to work every day. And then you wonder why that promotion you have been waiting for doesn’t come. Well, you may want to consider your body language – it could be one of the things that can be holding you in your career growth.

Without even realizing it, you could be crossing your arms all too often, slouching in your seat, your face showing obvious signs of boredom. These little nuances give a perception of anxiousness, nervousness, and incompetence at best. So, beware of the following things:

  • Rolling your eyes in an obvious way
  • Slouching in your seat
  • Crossing your arms
  • Looking away from your colleagues while engaged in a conversation
  • Not making good eye contact
  • Giving a weak handshake
  • Looking bored


5. Passion

Everybody dreams about a job that will get them up at five in the mornings. Yet few of us manage to find such a job. But there are many things one can do to find passion and interest in any job and in any organization. When you put in effort and energy into work, passion finds its place. Passion is contagious. Positive energy spreads around fast. When you get excited about something, others around you will also crave in around that excitement.

Take time to understand what excites you most. Make sure it is something you really care about. Then the delivery of that message will flow naturally, and you will be able to inspire and excite others about your ideas. Write down how much the job you do benefits others, how it adds value to the society and what is unique about the job that you offer. You will find out that your job has an impact on many things in society and you should be proud of what you do. Passion will then reel in naturally.


6. Doing Extra

One of the best ways of getting noticed at work is to take on extra projects that no one else wants to do. Go out of your way to deliver something of value to everyone. The ability to see something that needs to be done and stepping up to do it is a game-changing habit that can help you to stand out at work. Taking initiative demonstrates a sense of self-drive, self-awareness, insight and personal motivation. The habit of taking initiative strengthens your personal brand. You can become a role model for others who would seek to emulate you. Try it sometimes.


7. Being Prepared

Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. At the end of the day success generally comes when an opportunity presents itself – but only and only if you are prepared for it. Preparing and planning for any project will guarantee that you will be able to tackle that project with ease. You can do the same things in your personal life.


8. Being Coachable

There is always something that you do not know. Therefore, leave space in your life to learn something new every day. The ability to learn, unlearn and re-learn is one of the most fundamental attitudes in life. The ability to learn and be coachable means you are always ready to change, transform, improve and above all excel and succeed. Learn from others as you teach them too.

Being open-minded and letting go of old habits, processes, and information so we may create room for new habits, processes, and information. Unlearning is not about forgetting the old lessons and knowledge; rather, it is about the ability to choose and embrace a new alternative reality, model or paradigm. When we learn, we add new skills or knowledge to what we already know. When we unlearn, we step outside of our current way of thinking and choose a different mental model.  Both companies and individuals need to adopt a constant and ongoing culture of learning, unlearning and relearning.


9. Attitude

Maintaining a positive attitude at work or in your personal life costs you nothing. Then why not do it? Statistics show that more and more employers look for this quality in candidates.

Work and life, in general, can be stressful and maintaining a positive attitude can be hard sometimes. But you must work at it. Use positive language when you can. Never criticize anyone unnecessarily. Stay away from gossip, please. And don’t complain too much. You will find that your positive attitude will begin to rub off on others around you.


10. Kindness

Kindness is very contagious. One small act of kindness leads to another. And on it goes. Happier employees create a great working environment. Do not confuse kindness as a sign of weakness in the business world. On the contrary, kindness is another sign of strength in personality. As with many other traits, kindness is also very contagious. Here are some acts of kindness that you can perform on a daily basis:

  • Open the door for someone
  • Show your appreciation to others when you give you any assistance.
  • Help a co-worker with one of their projects

By being kind, you will enhance your own life and those of others around you.


Alnoor Ebrahim | Marketing and Strategy Development | Southern Cross

Eric Reed | Human Resources | Southern Cross