10,000 Hours

I wrote before about what it takes to be an expert. Recently, I’ve been reading a book called Outliers by Malcom Gladwell. It was a book recommended for any budding entrepreneur, and since I have my hand in a couple cookie jars at the moment, I thought a book like this would be good for me.

What Outliers aims to do is to inspire it’s readers to put in the work even when there isn’t a definite target ahead of you. It talks about the concept of 10,000 hours, and how you can’t truly become an expert at something until you’ve put in 10,000 hours reading, practicing, absorbing and doing that thing. It cites some of the world’s most successful people and shows you that it wasn’t always their drive to be the biggest/best in the world at something, but rather they did something they loved or were good at, and when the opportunity came, they were ready for it.

So if you’re like me, you want to take over the world. I want to create a business that is so successful that I can set my own hours and have the peace of mind that I can take care of myself and my family without having to worry about finances. I want to work when I want to work, and work HARD for something that I can see grow and see reward.

My wife and I talk about it all the time, what it would be like when we don’t have to answer to anyone but ourselves and we have the freedom to work harder and see a direct correlation in benefits. But what does it take to get there?

That’s where the idea of 10,000 hours comes in to play…

In a nutshell, if you do something for 10,000 hours to truly be an expert at it. It doesn’t mean that if you love fishing, and you fish for 10,000 hours that you’ll somehow find some magic formula that will make you rich. It means that, provided you keep your eyes open and you are dedicated to reaching for your dreams and not giving up, that after those 10,000 hours something might happen where you’re expertise will allow you an opportunity that you might not otherwise have ever received.

My brother is going through some hard times stemming a lot from motivation. I think he is at an age where it’s easy to pass your classes with little more than the smarts you woke up with, and he doesn’t apply himself to anything he really loves. I remember being that age and remember those same feelings. My parents tried to motivate me, but it never seems to come out right when you don’t want to hear it. I wish at his age I could have read something like Outliers and taken it to heart because it would have let me see my passions in a different light.

I loved baseball. I think I knew deep down that I would never go pro, but from the time I was 5 years old, I played every spring, summer, and fall (and for the few years I lived in South Florida, winter too). I put in 10,000 hours and I could have been an expert at baseball. But my problem was motivation and a lack of foresight to see past my lack of ability to be a professional. I could have been a great, GREAT baseball writer. I could have called games. I could have been a scout, agent, coach, GM, or even a great owner if I would have not decided to move on to something else.

So now, I write. I am a great writer and I am using this tool to explore a couple of business ventures that I am committed to making successful. And the best part is I have someone behind me who wants the same thing. And beyond that, I am so optimistic because my wife balances out what I am not great at so that we can collaborate on ideas and projects that WILL be successful in the near future.

So I’m done with hoping, wishing, thinking that I deserve something because I want it or anything like that. It’s time to put in the time and earn every reward I have coming my way!

Viva Las Vegas

I think about Las Vegas like:

  • A six year old thinks about Christmas
  • A dog thinks about car rides
  • David Hasselhoff thinks about himself
  • A junkie thinks about the race track/his dealer/ [insert vice here]

I am obsessed with Las Vegas and I am convinced it is the best place on earth and there isn’t anything anyone can do to convince me otherwise.

I am going to Las Vegas in 3 weeks (515 hours or 30902 minutes <– thanks, Google).

Not only am I going to Las Vegas, I will be going to Las Vegas during the Super Bowl. That is like going to New York City on New Years Eve or going to Germany during Oktoberfest. There is nowhere in the world I would rather be than the heart of debauchery and craziness during the biggest sporting event of the year.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me try to express my feelings in a different manner.

This will be my second trip to Vegas. I was super excited the first time, but for a completely different reason. I was excited for the newness, for the thought of what it might be like. I was excited because I had watched 21, Casino and Ocean’s 11 to prepare myself for what might be.

This time around is different. This time I know what I’m getting in to and I know how to ration my time better. The first time I kind of just went and “went with it.” I let come what may and threw caution to the wind and “wung it.”

Now I am going to Vegas with a plan. This time, shows kind of take the cake since last time we were too excited we didn’t see any. We tried to see Love, but got a tip to find one of those street-side ticket sales places, and apparently we were 5 minutes too late to buy the tickets so we missed out.

VEGAS TIP 1: Deals are great; I get it. It’s an expensive city and you want to cut a few corners. But, Vegas is an expensive city. Sometimes in the whole scheme of things, jumping through 15 hoops to save $20 on a show isn’t always worth it. If you want to see something, just spend the money. You’ll remember the show, not the few bucks you saved.

We are staying at the Encore at Wynn. I hear good things about it. The last time my wife and I went to Vegas, we never made it further down the strip than to the Venetian. We stayed at Monte Carlo last time, so I am also excited to set up our operations out of the other side of town and see what kind of trouble we can get in. My wife really wants to “go clubbin'” this time, since last time we bunkered down in the casinos instead of seeing what else was out there to do past midnight.

VEGAS TIP 2: Know what you’re getting into when you “go clubbin’.” The strobey, foamy, DJ Tiesto-looking club shots with the girls in cages look really cool on TV, but I’ve heard horror stories about mandatory bottle service and $3000 tabs for a table and a bottle of Absolute Vodka. Know the costs of something before you go in.

Another thing I found to be the case, at least when I went the first time, was that I was unable to get drunk. There was one late night/early morning we stayed up and began drinking again for breakfast where I ended up taking a nap by the pool one day, but I chalk that up more too staying up playing roulette at Wild Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall than I do being drunk. I think this time I would like to get my tipsy on at least one night and explore Sin City that way.

I do remember seeing one guy face down in a sports book, so I know it’s possible. Not saying that’s where I want to spend this next trip to Vegas, but maybe something in between that and last time.

VEGAS TIP 3: Know your limits. Alcohol makes everything better in Vegas…to a point. Too much alcohol will end your night early and you might wake up somewhere with a cement bench and a few bars between you and the next guy who likes to party.

Otherwise, I’m pumped. I have been having a hard time focusing because…Vegas… and I’ve been pretty much excusing my ADD by “yea, well….Vegas.”

Here’s to you, Vegas. I’ll see you in 3 weeks and I’m coming prepared!