Skill Mastery Takes 7 Years and 10,000 Hours

By Mikael | 9,057 views

Skill Mastery To SuccessHave you made a habit out of listening to motivational and personal development talks and lectures yet? What about reading books on personal development and achievement as well as biographies of people that have accomplished great things in their lives? If you answer is “no” then you REALLY need to start making this into a habit ASAP. If you haven’t even considered listening and reading material like this I can only encourage you to stop reading this post right now and go pick up your first book or CD.

But enough “call to action” :)

What I really wanted to talk to you about is something I re-learned from listening to a 2004 Jim Rohn leadership event training.

In that training, one of the speakers is the well known Denis Waitley and even though I had heard this lecture several times, then one of the things he talked about hit me and I therefore want to share that with you as I believe it can help anyone that is struggling or who feels discouraged or impatient.

Becoming a Master at What You Do

We live in a world where everything is happening at rapid and increasing speeds and still we’re struggling with accepting the speed (or lack thereof) and most of us feel that things should happen even faster (especially the success we seek). I don’t know about you but I find it to be a very strange phenomenon even though I also suffer from it from time to time.

In the seminar Denis talks about the fact that it will take 7 years and 10,000 hours of practice to become a master of your field. 7 years and 10,000 hours! That will probably seem like forever for most people.

But when you think of it then it probably makes sense. Practice makes perfect and whatever you job or education is I am sure you can agree that you didn’t become a master in that area in a year or two. You will definitely get better and you might even become “good” in a matter of a few years but mastering the skill takes more time than that.

So if you take this as a fact and apply it to your online business or in your search for financial independence, then ask yourself if you have really spent 7 full years and 10,000 focused hours to get to where you want to go and master the skills of that particular area? My personal answer is NO and I therefore know and accept that I am not there yet and that more work, trial & error and education are needed. But when you have a deadline that says “7 years and 10,000 hours” it isn’t quite as difficult to accept as when you work without a definite goal and timeframe.

It will still feel like a lot of time on days where you’re in a bad mood or feeling discouraged but that is when you need to remember that it will take 7 years and 10,000 hours and if you choose to do nothing for a week, you’re only postponing the deadline.

But What If I Can Only Find 1 Hour Per Day?

The short answer is that it will take you more than 7 years but still about 10,000 hours. This might not be what we want to hear but I find that it is even more important that we stop lying to ourselves. Lying to yourself or living in denial is one of the easiest ways to waste your time and end by giving up. So stop doing that. Call a spade a spade and get going.

The more action you take, the more momentum you’ll get and momentum creates the results that will be required for you to stay motivated to keep going towards the 10,000 hours of practice and trial & error. 1 hour per day will not create a momentum in most cases.

If you can’t find more than one hour per day, then tell your family that for the next long period of time you will need to have Saturdays or Sundays for yourself in order to work on your dream. Lock yourself in your room and plug away. If you cut back on sleep and eat fast, you should be able to crank out at least 15 hours of work in one day and that kind of action is what creates the momentum and generates the results that keep you going.

But since I am not always around to remind you, please (for your own sake) go find some motivational tapes or CDs and start listening to them on a regular basis. They are great when you’re driving your car, vacuuming or before you go to bed. 30-60 minutes per day is enough and it will change your thinking in a way that you will not believe until you have tried it. I promise!

To Your Success,

13 Responses so far

Reading and listening to motivational things is something I need to do at the moment, not just for business reasons but for personal reasons as well.

But the ones I’ve found are always trying to sell you something.

Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place. :)
.-= Dean Saliba´s last blog ..Understanding Forex Trading A Little Better =-.

Dean, at Jim Rohn’s website as well as Denis Waitley’s websites there are free newsletters that you can sign up for.

However I do recommend buying some of their stuff. It is simply priceless and if you apply the principles they teach you will never have to worry about money. But it IS a process and it will NOT happen to you tomorrow. ;)


Great advice. This schedule is extremely demanding, but I think that that only means that you’ll find out very soon if what you’re aiming for is really your dream. If you’re cutting back on sleeping and family time for something and it’s not making you happy – or creating momentum – then it’s probably not for you after all. If it is keeping you excited, then you’ll persevere.
.-= Ravi@How to make quick money´s last blog ..How I Got 700 Unique Visitors Last Month? =-.

A very vital point Ravi. Unfortunately I think that it will be hard for many people to “swallow” that fact (that it might not be a dream that they want THAT bad).

For a confirming take on the 10,000 hour requirement to master a profession or field of interest see Malcolm Gladwell’s excellent book, Outliers: The Story of Success. This is a short book and well worth reading, especially for those who want to see some empirical evidence before they commit themselves.

Hi Dan, I’ve never heard of that book. Thank you for sharing. Better put it on my Amazon wish list :)

To be honest, I think skill mastery takes a lifetime. Never know EVERYTHING, especially for SEO. Everything is constantly changing.

Anyways, what happen to you and Nicolas?

I stopped blogging for awhile, but now I am back :)

Happy New Years,
Kai Lo

Hi Kai, I’m still here. Just really busy working on a lot of other stuff so I have cut back a little. I’d rather produce better posts than just write to get something out there.

As for Nicolas, I don’t know what he is up to :)

Happy New Year to you too….


Thanks for yourtips. The trouble has another face especially when it come to non proft socities like us who tries to promote their sevices. Evry thing cost money! I found it extremely difficult when it comes to our category

Dan – I read that book as well. I highly recommend it.

People are too focused on what is known as “natural talent”. What people need to know is that many successful people today were just very persistent.

While 7 years or 10,000 hours sounds extreme you just need to compare it to college or higher education and sometimes after graduating people find themselves as lost as when they started. This is great advice and a great post!!

You know, I never thought I would ever see in print the ideas you’ve presented in this article.

I am a cabinet maker, and it has taken me ten years to perfect what I do.

I see so many businesses that want to just get on the net, offer a lame software package for sale and expect to be in the $10,000 per month income category.

There have to be a million people attempting to sell that concept on the net.

And, you know what, it doesn’t work.

My friend, for example, has 100,000 unique visits to his blog every month, but he has nothing of value to sell. Therefore his total income from ads on his blog is $200. He has spent forever blogging, but what he has is a long history of debates on his blog. No one wants to pay him for his opinion.

So, yes, I agree, once a person arrives at a blog, he or she must see something he or she needs and wants.

And, without special knoweldge or skills, why would a client pay an individual anything?

That’s why I am so impressed with this article.

It takes a long time to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to make money. You are not going to log on, spend a few sleepless nights, and then expect in a couple of weeks to be making a living.

You have to know something of value. Having an opinion is often mistaken for having something to say on the net.

That isn’t true of this article. This article is as true as anything anyone is likely to read in their lifetime.

And, also, if you don’t have a ten million dollar trust fund from your parents, you need to get over your loathing for the word “sales.”

Selling is the quickest way for a person who has a skill to offer to make a lot of money. If you don’t like the idea of being a salesman, get over it.


ToysPeriod is a leading online shop specializing in lego sets and model railroad equipment.
.-= Beth Charette´s last blog ..New Product: BRIO 33478 Transportation Station Two Track Train Depot 1996 =-.

Thank you Beth for your kind words. Normally I would have edited out your “lego sets” link but since you took the effort to write a lengthy and insightful comment I’ll keep it ;)

Have a great day,

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