Sunday, October 17, 2010

10,000 Hours

Did you know that to become an expert; someone really good at something, you need to spend 10,000 hours practicing your skill to achieve this?

If you use a regular work year which is generally, 2,080 hours, that would mean 4.81 years focusing on one area.  Seems like a long time?  Not really when you think about how many years you've been working in your field or doing the technical tasks you do that you are now providing to others as a self-employed individual.  It's actually quite comforting to know that you've done your homework and have probably put in at least those 10,000 hours and can feel confident that you do have something to offer.

Sometimes I'm sure you don't feel that confident, especially when being on your own means there's no guarantee that next client will show up.  There's no one handing you a project or giving you a's all up to you and the days can present many challenges that being an employee does not prepare you for when you stepped away from the job and moved into self-employment.

I've noticed since the days have been slowly getting shorter I've been getting more anxious about each day and how I'm going to get the business with less daylight hours to work?  I almost feel like the farmer who worked from sunrise to sunset.  When the days are long much can be accomplished, however, as winter grows near, daylight is lessened and to some degree so is our time to be out there building business.  No, the hours available are the same but somehow the feeling is different. 

This morning when I was reading the article that talked about the 10,000 hours, I thought about how long I've been working and with a rough calculation I found that I've worked over 85,000 hours!  First, how is it possible that I've worked that many hours? Second, that means there's a high probability that in that time I've developed an 'expert' skill at something and third, I feel pretty good knowing I've put so much time into working with and learning to understanding people, small business management, office management and financial statements.  When I look at that span of time, the numerous positions I've held and the number of business environments I've worked in I realize that I definitely have something to offer BUT...being self-employed, on my own, working daily to build a, that's a different story.  I haven't put in 10,000 hours being self-employed...maybe 1000 with only 9,000 to go.

It's actually inspiring to me to think that I've only got 4.33 years before I reach a point where even building a business will be something I would have put 10,000 hours into and I believe I will do it...why not?  What's another 4 years when one considers all that will be happening during that time.  Building a business is such an exciting adventure...and one that seems to be the culmination of all the other 85,000 hours.  It's not like I'm going off without any experience.

So, why don't you start your week by thinking about how many hours you've spent developing your skills.  Make your own calculations - how many hours have you been working in your field?  I bet that once you find out how many hours you've put into your profession, you will feel stronger, more confident and better able to look at each week as one week closer to your own 10,000 hours. 

No comments:

Post a Comment