Which is More Important: Hard Work or Talent?

Career Strategies & Advice

Are you, like so many others, looking for the key to being successful? Most people ponder the significance of the contributions of natural talent vs. hard work in achieving success.

The question of whether hard work beats talent has been a popular topic of discussion for a long time. While someone who is naturally talented certainly has a head start, to what extent is hard work necessary to achieve success?

In truth, both talent and hard work are major contributing factors to the success of a person. Talent is a 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 already have a steady foot in the door, what would happen if they paused for a second? Hardworking people will 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

For the sake of clarity, consider a person who desires to become a famous singer. Their natural talent will further their chances of realizing this dream, but their persistence likely won’t have enough of an effect.

Natural talents are innate gifts that can help a person achieve success in particular activities. Many of us have witnessed some individuals who undoubtedly have natural-born talents fail to execute their talents optimally.

In such cases, hardworking people who don’t have the natural ability to execute an activity to the same extent a talented person would might have a better-developed ability to deliver, which surpasses that of talented people.

Hardworking individuals have developed their skills through determined practice. Although this is an extremely valuable quality, a gifted person may still be able to galvanize a skill better than anyone else.

Hard Work is a Form of Talent

Innate talent is generally regarded as more valuable for achieving success, but nobody becomes super successful overnight. Hard work may be an underrated endeavor, but it ultimately gets a person across the finish line.

Having the determination and persistence to work hard despite tribulations is a form of natural talent.

Working hard is not easy when one obstacle after another presents itself, but having the ability to persevere despite such difficulties gives you a significant advantage.

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

Hard Work Can Develop Natural Talent

Hard work can effectively develop a natural talent to high levels. Hard work in conjunction with natural abilities will prove much more efficient than if they were to act respectively.

Therefore, if you are a naturally talented person and you don’t have the ability to sustain hard work, your talent may prove to be virtually useless as it is not utilized and applied to its full potential.

When you apply your strong work ethic to develop and leverage your talents, hard work will ultimately be the factor that transcends your efforts to achievements.

Hard Work Creates More Opportunities for Success

Using an appropriate metaphor, talent is a matchstick while hard work fuels the fire. Your natural skills are vital for getting a 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

We tend to find it ironic when talented individuals fail to achieve their goals when they have all the natural skills they need to succeed at their disposal.

Many gifted people misuse or neglect their gifts by not applying the effort needed to realize their dreams.

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

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

In so many cases, people praise talent above labor, missing 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

One cannot state that hard work beats talent or the other way around. Both qualities 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 will leave your effort 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 you practice to intensify and fine-tune your natural abilities.

Talent is the enigmatic factor that can be used to your advantage, but it, 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 the race.

Simple as this example may be, instances of this story’s message can be seen today in virtually every area of life, 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 effort.

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 debate, it is safe to state that hard work is essential to be victorious, and talent alone is not enough to succeed.

Continuous hard work and endurance are fundamental in any area of life, including business, career, sports, and personal journeys.

No person should rely solely on their talents to get them where they aspire to be. Trusting your ability to work hard despite hardships will give you the confidence many talented individuals lack, and you will be in an advantageous position to pursue any goal.