I am sure that by now you have heard of the 10,000-hour rule. If for some reason this is not ringing any bells for you I will bring you up to speed.
Malcolm Gladwell decided for his third non-fiction book, Outliers, he would examine the factors that contribute to high levels of success. During his research he found a common theme between the high achievers he profiled in his book.
It turned out that they all had invested about 10,000 hours to the thing that brought them success. The Beatles performed live more than 1200 times; amassing more than 10,000 hours playing time before being recognized as the musical superstars they are today.
He also profiles Bill Gates. Who gained access to a computer at the age of 13 and had spent 10,000 hours programming on it before releasing his first operating system.
The book is a fantastic read and I recommend you pick up a copy for yourself. There is so much more to this book than the 10,000 hours, it really helps a reader understand that there are no naturally talented individuals. If they want to be good at something all they need to do is invest a bit more time than their peers and they will become an expert before them.
Even though I love this book, there is one thing that I really don’t like about it. The 10,000-hour rule is very catchy and it is easy to focus on the amount of hours to be an expert. The rest of the book is forgotten and the only thing remembered is 10,000 hours.
We don’t even find accurate retellings of the rule when searching for it on the Internet. Suddenly if you want to be successful in anything you need to invest 10,000 hours or you will just be another fish in the sea of failure.
Suddenly, someone who wants to start a new business learns of this 10,000-hour rule and they think that they can’t take action until they hit that elusive 10,000 hours.
That is not the point of the book. The idea was to show that we are all on a level playing field. There is no such thing as naturally talented.
If you run into someone and the first thing you think is they are just naturally good at it, think on this, and realize that they have just put in more hours than you at getting better.
Again, Outliers is a fantastic book. Go read it. But, remember all the other points that Malcolm Gladwell has to say.
In fact, forget about the 10,000-hour rule.
It has no bearing on you right now.
What I want you to focus on is the 20-hour rule.
Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA has said that it only takes 20 hours to become proficient in your chosen task.
Check out his Tedx talk on this
You think you can do that?
That’s less than an hour a day for a month.
All you need to invest is 20 hours to be good.
When you come up against something that seems intimidating or you feel overwhelmed, commit to investing 20 hours.
Forget about getting through everything. All the training, and all the books that you find on the Internet are too big of a barrier on you right now. Just make a commitment to reach 20 hours.
If you do this the fear and the doubt will melt away, because you know that 20 hours is nothing, especially when you were worried about reaching 10,000.