"千金买马骨” literally means buying horse bones with much gold.
This Chinese idiom comes from "Stratagems of the Warring States- Yan Dynasty" 《战国策·燕策一·燕昭王收破燕后即位》.
It is said that an ancient courtier bought a horse for the king, but only bought the bones of the dead horse, and the king was furious. The king didn’t understand.
The courtier explained to the confused king that if they see that the king has bought just the bones of the dead horse with so much gold, the people will think that the king is really fervent to find superb horses and is willing to pay handsomely. People will naturally bring their best horses to the door.
Pursuing a certain thing or a certain talent does not necessarily mean to catch up with it. But rather, one can work on the fundamentals like improving one’s own ability, quality and strength and good things will naturally come.