The following is an excerpt from the book The KnowledgeA novel written by my favorite author and mentor, Steven Pressfield. In a recent email, Steven titled this passage:

“Talent is B.S.”

“I have a literary agent. His name is Martin Fabrikant. Marty is ninety-six years old. That’s not a typo. Marty is Dutch. He speaks with an accent. He’s about four-foot-ten and likes to joke that he used to be six-four…

Marty is a death camp survivor. He’s got the tattoo. He never speaks about the experience directly (I only know through my friend Pablo, who originally introduced me to Marty) but he’ll make remarks from time to time whose gist is, “Appreciate life. Never complain. Work hard and do your best.”

Marty has one other mantra: “Talent is Bullshit.”

“I’ve seen a million writers (musicians, actors, entrepreneurs) with talent. It means nothing. You need guts, you need stick-to-it-iveness. It’s work, you gotta work, do the freaking work. That’s why you’re gonna make it, son. You work. No one can take that away from you.”

“And I’ll tell you something else,” Marty says to me now over the phone: “Appreciate these days. These days when you’re broke and struggling, they’re the best days of your life. You’re gonna break through, my boy. And when you do, you’ll look back on this time and think this is when I was really an artist, when everything was pure and I had nothing but the dream and the work. Enjoy it now. Pay attention. These are the good days. Be grateful for them.”

Important because check out Steven’s new best seller: Put your Ass (where your HEART wants to be)

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