Which is More Important: Hard Work or Talent?

Career Strategies & Advice

Are you, like so many others, looking for the key to being successful? Many people ponder the contributions of natural talent vs hard work in this regard.

In truth, both talent and hard work are major contributing factors to the success of a person. Talent is the natural ability to perform exceptionally in a particular field, whereas hard work is what keeps personal and business growth alive and thriving.

Even if highly talented people have a head start, hard work is more important than talent. Why? Hardworking people would likely surpass naturally gifted individuals when it comes down to perseverance.

In this article, we’ll highlight some fundamental facts regarding talent and hard work so you can better understand what it takes to achieve greatness.

Which is More Important: Hard Work or Talent? Hard Work or Talent

Facts About Natural Talent and Hard Work

Innate Talent is a Gift for a Particular Skill

Natural talents are innate gifts that can help a person achieve success in particular activities. For example, consider a person who wants to become a singer. In this instance, having an aptitude for singing would further their chances of realizing their dream.

In reality, however, many individuals with natural-born talents fail to execute them optimally.

In these cases, hardworking people, who don’t have the natural ability to execute an activity to the same extent, might be better able to deliver. In other words, hardworking individuals have a good chance at beating talented individuals at their own game simply through their continued efforts. This highlights the ongoing debate of talent or hard work.

It also goes without saying that hardworking individuals can develop their skills through determined practice. So, when a gifted person makes an effort to hone their natural skills, you almost certainly have a recipe for success.

Hard Work is a Form of Talent

Generally, people believe talent is more important than hard work for achieving success, but nobody becomes successful overnight. Hard work may be an underrated endeavor, but it is ultimately what gets a person across the finish line.

And having the determination to work hard in the face of difficulty is a form of natural talent.

In other words, working hard is not easy when one obstacle after another presents itself, but having the ability to persevere in spite of these can give you a significant advantage.

Which is More Important: Hard Work or Talent? Hard Work or Talent

Hard Work Can Develop Natural Talent

If you are a naturally talented person, but you don’t have the ability to sustain hard work, your talent may prove useless because it will not be used to its full potential. In other words, hard work in conjunction with natural abilities will yield much better results than innate talent on its own.

Thus, it can be argued that hard work is necessary for developing an individual’s talents, highlighting why hardwork is more important than talent. It can even be argued that, even if the individual has no innate talent to begin with, hard work is ultimately the factor that leads to success.

Hard Work Creates More Opportunities for Success

It can be said that talent is a matchstick while hard work fuels the fire. Put simply, your natural skills are vital for getting any project or activity off the ground and in the right direction, but hard work makes you much more likely to see things through and succeed.

In many cases, someone may not be considered naturally gifted in what they do. Yet, they achieve success to a greater extent than many talented individuals simply because they have the fuel to keep the fire burning.

Which is More Important: Hard Work or Talent? Hard Work or Talent

Talent is Wasted in the Absence of Hard Work

It may be considered ironic when talented individuals fail to achieve their goals even though they have all the natural skills they need to succeed at their disposal.

But the fact is, many gifted people misuse or neglect their gifts by not applying the effort needed to develop them and succeed.

How many business people, musicians, sportspersons, etc., have faded from the headlines simply because they were unwilling to work harder to develop their talents and use them to their advantage?

In light of this, it can be said that, in the absence of hard work, a talent may lose its edge over time and not be sufficient to keep up with a changing world.

Hard Work Develops New Talents

People often praise talent above labor, but then miss the point of what makes a successful person unique.

Hardworking people typically have the ability to develop new talents and skills due to their determination to reach their goals.

A developed talent can still be considered an innate gift because it is the result of a natural ability.

Both Talent and Hard Work Are Essential to Thrive

It cannot be said that hard work beats talent or the other way around. Both talent and hard work play pivotal roles in comprehensive and continuous development.

Working hard and utilizing natural talents are equally important to reach the top. Undermining either of the two means all of your efforts will be in vain.

Which is More Important: Hard Work or Talent? Hard Work or Talent

The Argument That Hard Work Beats Talent

Hard work is essentially the preparation and training that allows you to intensify and fine-tune your natural abilities.

Talent is the enigmatic factor that can be used to your advantage, but, on its own, is not sufficient to succeed.

Consider the story of the tortoise and the hare. The hare has the natural ability to win the race effortlessly, but its lack of perseverance causes it to lose.

Simple as this example may be, instances of this story’s message can be seen in virtually every area of life today, from the business world to the sports industry.

According to a study by Clemens Tesch-Romer, Ralf Th. Krampe and K. Anderson Ericsson, the efficiency of deliberate practice is indispensable.

This study definitively proved that meticulous work and deliberation are crucial to being successful in any undertaking.

Simply put, although talent increases the likelihood of succeeding, it is not worth much without a steadfast approach.

Which is More Important: Hard Work or Talent? Hard Work or Talent


To conclude this age-old “hard work vs talent” debate, it is clear that putting in the effort is essential to becoming an accomplished individual, and that talent alone is not enough to succeed.

In other words, it cannot be said that hard work is more important than talent or vice versa. No person should solely rely on their talents to get them where they aspire to be. Instead, continuous hard work and endurance is the key to pursuing any goal, be it personal, business, or sports-related.

Whether you are a talented individual or a hard worker, it’s important to be discovered by the right people. That’s where a headhunter can be incredibly valuable in connecting you with the right opportunities that match your skills and experience.