How to Get Rewarded for Your Skills

July 03, 2019 • written by

During my first training session, we learned that performers get paid and observers pay.

My first big excuse is…

People who perform have skills.

The trainer wrote on the board.

“Anything you need to know can be learned.

He asked us how many of us knew how to draw.

Three people raised their hands.

He asked us if we can draw Superman.

Only one person said yes.

He drew Superman on his notebook and showed us.

Then the trainer went to a person who doesn’t know how to draw.

He called the trainee to the whiteboard.

He confirmed that the trainee did not have any drawing experience.

He has zero drawing experience.

He instructed the guy to draw an egg.

Then a rectangle.

Then a reverse triangle.

Then a big S.

Then he asked the guy to draw stick arms and legs.

And do his best to add some hair, eyes, a smile and a cape.

He asked us if the drawing resembled Superman.

We all said yes.

Then the trainer called the people who knew how to draw that didn’t draw Superman.

Myself included.

I felt ashamed.

He gave the guy who drew Superman well on his notebook two hundred pesos.

He then gave the guy who drew Superman on the whiteboard three hundred pesos.

He gave the people who knew how to draw but said can’t draw Superman zero pesos.

Nothing.

His next question.

What if there was a company that held an event.

Everyone who submitted a drawing of Superman wins a prize.

The best five people gets ten thousand pesos.

And everyone who submits a good enough Superman drawing gets five hundred pesos.

What will you do if you want the five hundred pesos?

Practice until you do it well.

What will you do if you want the ten thousand pesos?

Practice until you do it well.

Then practice some more if you get better.

He showed us the drawing on the whiteboard.

An egg with a face with a rectangle for a body with an S with stick hands and ugly hair and cape.

This is what day one of practice looks like.

He asked the guy who drew on the notebook.

How long have you been drawing?

Since I was a kid.

He answered.

And how old are you now?

Twenty-seven.

He answered.

So you have over twenty years of drawing experience.

He passed around the Superman drawing on the notebook.

He said that is what it looks like if someone did it at year twenty.

If you practiced drawing Superman, every day for twenty years.

Can you do better than this guy?

Everyone shouted a competitive “YES!!!”

He then wrote on the board.

“Anything you need to know can be learned. And any skill can be learned if you study and practice.”

Then he called the attention of the people who knew how to draw but said can’t draw Superman.

He asked us.

If you knew there was a prize would you have said: “yes I know how to draw Superman”?

I said yes.

It’s just a man with a cape and an “S” on his chest right?

He then said the reason why these two guys got the reward was not just because of the skill.

It’s also because they had confidence.

The trainee who privately drew the good Superman on his notebook got paid less because he had the skill.

The trainee who drew the egg Superman on the whiteboard in front of the crowd got paid a little more because he had confidence.

To advance, you need both skill and confidence.

Because your confidence level matches your skill level.

And you are the perfect example.

He said to me directly.

You knew how to draw a person.

And you knew you only had to add the “S” and the cape and you had a Superman drawing.

But you didn’t raise your hand.

He called the guy who was given three hundred pesos.

He let me touch the three hundred.

He said this is three hundred pesos.

And it could be yours.

But now it is his.

Because your lack of confidence stopped you for going after it.

I remember this lesson until today.

This lesson stuck to me.

So when someone gets paid a higher salary, I have no reason to complain.

The person has either more skills.

Or more confidence.

But chances are, that person has both.

Because if you only have confidence, you’re called a scammer and people will find out and you can’t fake it till you make it for long.

And people who have both skill and confidence gets rewarded.

Two things to remember.

  1. Practice to build skills.
  2. Skills are only rewarded when combined with confidence.

More than ten years later, I encounter the drawings of Alex Ross, one of my favorite comic book artists.

Then I saw this posted on his social media page.

Just look at that comparison.

Alex Ross at age 7 and 37

Alex Ross at age 7 and 37.

Thank you for reading this far and thank you for your attention. God bless.

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