The Curse of the Talented

Many of my clients have what I call, The Curse of the Talented.

The Curse of the Talented is simply a way for me to talk about how, if you’re really multitalented, that’s a huge blessing, but it also can come with definite downsides.

First, a few indicators you may have it:

  • You are known as not just smart and capable, but as someone who can always just figure it out or pull it off.

Whatever it is.

  • You get pulled into all kinds of different projects and roles.

Everyone wants a piece of you.

  • You don’t fail, or let the spinning plates drop.

So people give you more plates to spin.

  • Or, you take on more plates to spin.

It’s just that you have high standards and if something is unaddressed, you’re compelled

to handle it.

  • You have “slash roles.”

You have found yourself in positions where your title was whatever it was, but your

responsibilities were more like operations/marketing/HR...with some business

development strategy, too.

It’s a blessing to be so diverse in your strengths. People appreciate you for it, and you can contribute across many categories.

And the downsides are that it can be exhausting to run on the adrenaline of doing so much.

You’re doing everything you have to do, and you may have experience also rescuing others from themselves. Or rescuing the organization from its lack of foresight.

Just because you can do so much.

Doesn’t mean you want to.

It also doesn’t necessarily serve you or others to do all the things. For instance, sometimes I tell my clients, “You’re teaching them that their expectations for your role are sustainable when they’re not. Someone else couldn’t do everything you’re doing.”

But it may just be how you’ve always operated. And you like contributing at a high level.

If you have The Curse of the Talented, I bet that if you get more clear about what you really want, about what you’re truly outstanding at (not just what you can do well or pull off)...

...that you will move to an even higher level of enjoyment and contribution.

Because you’re not diluting the very best of you with things that you’re merely good at.

Like “Sam.” When she first focused on using her best strengths, she felt a little guilty.

After all, she could do those other things. She had done them for years. And she wasn’t better than anyone else, she wasn’t too good to do those things.

Yes, but time spent outside of your strengths is depleting. There’s no prize for who suffers the most in business, either.

When she focused on what she really enjoyed and was the very best at...things almost nobody can do as well as she can...she started experiencing way more energy and momentum.

The feelings of energy and momentum come first, and then opportunities follow.

To free up more energy, I invite you to ask yourself...

What’s one thing you could stop doing in order to gain more energy?

I’m excited about the momentum...and the opportunities that could come from your decision to let go of that thing.

If you want to discuss what you do best, and how to set your life up to do more of it, you can set up a free conversation to explore working together here.

Thank you for reading.

In your corner,


Emma Garrett is an Executive Career Coach, helping high-integrity leaders position themselves for what’s next in work and life. Ready to start doing things differently? Consider scheduling a free call to share your situation and goals or checking out the resources at