The 10,000 hour rule

In 2008, celebrated New York Times author Malcolm Gladwell wrote and published a book about incredibly successful people called Outliers: The Story of Success.

He looked at the overall life pattern of people like Bill Gates to try and see why so few ever reach the truly astounding level of success the Gates has reached. In his book, Gladwell mentioned that, along with ability, dedication to their chosen craft is what truly propels a person forward. In fact, he even mentioned the figure of 10,000 hours as being important. Since his book has come out, many people preach the “10,000 hour rule” as gospel, saying that it is the only sure way to success. If you are just started out on your path to wealth creation, 10,000 hours might seem a huge number to strive towards.

But did Malcolm Gladwell really say that you need to spend 10,000 hours practicing your craft to be “successful”? Actually, you may be surprised to find out that he was making an entirely different point when he mentioned “10,000 hours”. He used the figure when discussing what it took to become an “elite performer”, a “world-class expert”, or a “chess grandmaster”. In other words, to become the best in your chosen field, 10,000 hours (about ten years or so of constant practice) is a good goal to set. But to be successful, much less is required.

I think that staying motivated as you create wealth is an important component of reaching your goals. If you think that you will have to spend ten years learning the ropes before you see the results of your work, chances are that you will give up early on in the game. So whenever anyone tells you that you need to spend 10,000 hours doing something before becoming an expert, remember that the person is taking Malcolm Gladwell’s information out of its proper context. You can become proficient and successful at creating wealth in a short time, and can achieve financial independence in a matter of just three or four years.


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