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It Takes More Than 10,000 Hours to Be a Success

The time it takes to be a BIGG SuccessIn his wonderful book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell popularized the 10,000 Hour Rule. World-class performers invest 10,000 hours or approximately 10 years honing their craft.

Now a lot of people tout the 10,000 hour rule. But there’s a problem: they don’t understand what it means.

People heard 10,000 hours and think it’s just about doing the time. You won’t go far if that’s your attitude.

Psychology Professor K. Anders Ericsson is part of the duo that brought us the 10,000 hour rule. He notes that it takes deliberate practice.

Deliberate practice involves activities specifically designed to improve specific aspects of your performance.

In other words, don’t work on those things you’ve already mastered. Focus on things you don’t know or can’t do.

Growth occurs where you push past what you know into the unknown. As humans, we tend to fall back to what we’re already good at.

If you want to be world-class, you have to push yourself to go to places you’ve never gone before. You have to get out of your comfort zone.

You have to reach the point of frustration if you want the thrill of realizing your full potential. You have to master all aspects of your craft, not just one.

The price of BIGG success

BIGG success is life on your own terms. A basic principle of negotiation goes like this: “You get to set the price or the terms, but not both.”

If you want to set the terms, you must be willing to pay the price. Ericsson’s studies show that the masters practice consistently and deliberately.

The best invest twice the effort as the also-rans. And they devote five times as much as the most serious amateurs.

But it leads to BIGG success!

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The Coming Age of Small Business-Part 2

small-businessMalcolm Gladwell wrote a great article for The New Yorker a while ago. He talks about how David beats Goliath. It’s a great read full of stories about underdogs.

The main story is about a girl’s basketball team that made the national championships when they shouldn’t have won a game. The other stories – from David to Lawrence of Arabia – all support why these girls were able to achieve what they did.



He cites a study that showed that small armies beat superior opponents a little over one-fourth of the time (28.5%). However, when these underdogs ignored the conventions of war and fought on their own terms, they won nearly two-thirds of the time (63.6%)!

So you’re two times more likely to win if you set the rules of the game!

Set your terms to get your terms

Bigg success is life on your own terms. So it turns out that it’s a circle. You set the terms (your strategy) so you get the terms you desire (your mission).

You are the entrepreneur of your life. You’re in charge. Set the terms for the battles you engage in so you’re more likely to win those battles.

Small businesses, the Davids of the business world, can trump the Goliaths. Not by trying to compete head on. Not by following the conventions.

By crafting strategies that may fly in the face of wisdom and engaging the Goliaths in unfamiliar ways, Davids can be victorious.

The price for bigg success

If you plan to go head-to-head with the Goliaths, there’s a price you must be willing to pay.

It takes effort. You have to be willing to work longer. You have to work harder. As Gladwell says, effort trumps ability.

He cites the girls’ basketball team. Their secret? A full court press. Not just when the game was in its final minutes like a lot of teams do. These girls used a full court press for the entire game.

It rattled their opponents who hadn’t practiced for a full court press. Their standard plays started at half court. By engaging their opponents on the whole court, these girls put them on unfamiliar turf.

There are many ways today for small businesses – even solopreneurs – to trump large competitors. In many cases, they don’t involve money. They involve time. But that’s okay because you know that effort trumps ability if you focus that effort on unconventional tactics.

That’s how to make your small business a bigg success!


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Thank you so much for checking in with us today. Next time, we’ll chat about why women shouldn’t compete with men. Or is it the other way around? Please join us next time to find out. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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The Coming Age of Small Business – Part 1