How and why you should develop a clear list of all your current – and future – talents.

History of the Talent Stack

A talent stack is a precise combination of skills or talents that you possess. The combination of these abilities makes you unique while ensuring that you remain an asset to those around you.

Credit where credit is due. I first heard of the talent stack from Scott Adams. Adams showed that each of his individual talents (such as drawing) were quite mediocre. However, by putting them together, he argued that his abilities created a unique and compelling package.

That’s the general concept behind the idea of the talent stack. We’re no longer in an economy where we can be the best at one subject. It’s much more valuable to be good at many connected topics. For example, instead of being the best at web design, it pays to develop SEO and web development skills.

My Talent Stack

web design

Web design and development are two essential talents in my current talent stack.

My current talent stack is:

  • Web design (average but better than most people especially business owners)
  • Web development (slightly above average, but not a master – I know CSS, HTML, PHP, jQuery, and JavaScript very well but I don’t know how to build anything substantial from scratch)
  • SEO (Above average, although I lag in things like Google Analytics)
  • Content Writing (Above average – I know how to spin a tale)
  • Communication (slightly above average – I can dominate a conversation and give talks)
  • Marketing (mediocre but better than most)

I’m not a master at anything listed above. However, taken together, I create a unique package of interconnected skills that can help business owners create an online presence (my current job).

By creating a talent stack, we can understand ourselves better. We can see our actual worth and better leverage the skills that we do have and make them work together. Additionally, we can better understand where we are and where we want to go regarding skill growth and development.

Create future talent stacks

However, my talent stack will not be the same by next year. This is why it’s crucial to craft tentative, future stacks that give us a view of where we want to be. Here is mine:

  • Web Design, web development (average but better than most people especially small business owners)
  • Writing, primarily fiction (master)
  • Drawing (above average and consistently improving)
  • Communication (master)
  • Content writing (above average)
  • Marketing (average)

In my future talent stack, I want to reduce web design and web development into one general skill. However, I want to increase my drawing, writing, and communication which makes sense considering my life goals.

By creating a future talent stack, we can better understand what skills we should try to build.



Interconnection is important in a talent stack.

Lastly, my talent stack is interconnected. Web design, web development, and SEO make up a substantial trifecta in skillsets, and all go together. By combining these skills, I’ve made myself a linchpin at my office which allows me to work when and how I want.

However, abilities and gifts can be interconnected even if they don’t seem so at first viewing. If you’re great at web development and cooking, you can start an online store for instance. Leverage your abilities and have them work for you – this is what a talent stack helps us do.


List your talent stack and study what you know and where you’re going. Reflect on your goals and see how your talent stack matches up with everything else in your life.


Read the following:

  1. Of course, make your talent stack. What skills do you know and how would you rank your knowledge of those skills?
  2. How do you think these skills make you unique? How can you leverage these skills in your personal and professional lives?
  3. Based on your talent stack, where can you improve? What do you think you need to outsource?
  4. What do you want your talent stack to look like in a year?
  5. Do your talents in your stacks help you reach your life goals?

Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.

*Image credit to Unsplash.