Talent Stacking

Talent stacking is the idea that having different skills increases your value disproportionately. Your (seemingly) unrelated talents/skills are worth more collectively than the mere sum of your talents added together.

I first heard of this idea from Scott Adams, best known as the creator of Dilbert and the author of “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big.” (Highly Recommended)

  • Adams says that there are two paths to success:
  • Be the best at a single skill, or
  • Be merely good at multiple skills. (I’m simplifying to make the point)

To have value in the marketplace with only a single skill, say writing; you would have to be one of the greatest writers in the world to become noticed in such a highly competitive field. This is being the “Tiger Woods” of a certain skill, very hard to do….

…..But to have value with multiple skills with each skill building off of the others is much easierpath to success. Here’s an example:

Picture an above average writer, who is moderately funny, with good fly-fishing skills, and a background in business. I’ve just described to you the author of a best-selling Fly Fishing book I’m currently reading

The author isn’t the best fly fisherman in the world, but his respectable skills in multiple disciplines give him disproportionate value in the world of fly fishing publications.

The Takeaway:

Developing your talent stack in life is maybe the easiest way to increase your value in the marketplace. The acclimation of new skills makes each new skill more and more valuable collectively as you strongly differentiate yourself in the marketplace.

Never undervalue “dabbling” in new skills, the skills combine togther and you will reap the benefits far beyond the effort it took to become competent in a single area. Some of the most valuable skills that cross multiple disciplines are public speaking, writing, language learning, the art of persuasion, and a knowledge of technology.

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