Once You Display A Skill, You Own It.


My new favorite thing comes from — of all places — an ESPN article about the Kansas City Royals. Writes Jonah Keri:

“‘Once you display a skill, you own it.’ Fantasy baseball guru Ron Shandler coined that expression, which essentially means that once a player shows the ability to do something in baseball (hit home runs, strike guys out, etc.), he maintains the potential to show that skill again in the future. That applies to displaying a particular skill in the minor leagues. While phenoms like Mike Trout can spoil us with their ability to dominate almost from day one in the big leagues, the reality is that even minor league superstars can take several years to truly blossom in the majors. Still, those dormant skills often resurface over time.”

I freaking LOVE this idea. I’m obsessed with it.

“Once you display a skill, you own it” means that if you can write, if you can dance, if you can play the piccolo while juggling, the expectation is that you’ll be able to show off those skills in the future — and can even get better at it. Maybe you won’t be incredible at it right away, but with work, you could be.

And “Once you display a skill, you own it” also means that the sooner you show off those skills, the sooner the people you want to work with are going to invest their time and money and energy into helping you develop — and eventually own — those skills.

But it’s not enough to say you have the skills. There’s a difference between telling me you’re a photographer and showing me. I’ll put the time into working with (and maybe even coaching) the latter, but the former won’t get much more than a courtesy glance.

Show me what you can do. Even if it’s just a glimpse at what you can do. The sooner, the better.

That photo of former Kansas City Royals pitcher David Riske comes via Flickr’s @flyfshrmn98.