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!