Your Ten Thousand Hours: The #1 Strategy of your career

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My wife is reading Malcolm Gladwell’s new book “Outliers” and she loves it. The theme is: What makes a “genius” like Bill Gates or the Beatles is not superior DNA or raw talent, but the right opportunity to clock in 10,000 hours of experience, prior to their world debut.

The Beatles honed their musical chops in clubs in Germany in a very concentrated phase.When the opportunity to step on the world stage came, they were Uber-prepared.

The thing about people who’ve logged in their 10K is, what they do appears so natural, so effortless, so inspiring. It takes your breath away.

The first person to speak to me about my “10,000 hours” was John Carlton. He’d logged in his 10K as a copywriter and he was busting my chops.

‘Wow Perry, the package you just sent me is, uh, not like anything else I’ve ever seen. I suggest you start from scratch and re-write this thing…’ I remember thinking, “Yep, need to write every day so I can be in that zone.”

The number of things you can achieve your 10K in is pretty finite. At 40 hours a week, 10K hours is 5 years of your life. This is a battle you must choose carefully.

Chose wisely: What you’re going to put 10,000 hours into.

The right decision will make you world-class in your profession.

Now… I could sit here and tell you, you “should” invest your 10K hours in being a world class marketer.

But I am in no position to tell you what to do with your life.

What I think I can say is that it’s financially rewarding and it can make your other core expertise known to many, many people. If you own a business of any kind, you should seriously consider it.

"So many options for growing my business, but what should I do NOW?" Tell me your most pressing business problems and I'll show you your BEST next step.

The other thing I’d like to say is: There’s a longer list of things that you can devote ONE thousand (1,000) hours to, and develop a quite respectable level of skill.

I am quite comfortable saying that if you’re reading this message right now, chances are pretty good that investing 1,000 hours of your life into becoming a highly proficient marketer is time well spent.

By that time, you know good and well if that investment is bearing fruit.

If you’ve put your 1,000 hours in and your business is beginning to hit its stride, our personal AdWords coaching 12-week program is likewise a very sound investment: – starts next Tuesday, February 3.

The other thing you ought to be mindful of is when to tap OTHER PEOPLES’ 10,000 hours and put them to work for you.

That’s why we designed Jet Propulsion. Our team in Milwaukee has invested their 10,000 hours in core Pay Per Click, Market Research and Sales Conversion expertise and they stand ready to roll up their sleeves and build the machine for you.

One of my Bobsled Run grads, Jason Chung (very good at PPC already) turned over his campaigns to our guys. This is his report:

“Rocket Clicks DOUBLED my sales and simultaneously reduced my cost per sale by 39.9%. Before working with this team I made 25 sales per week at a cost of $14.60 each. Last month I averaged 53 sales per week at a cost of only $8.89. If you can get in, I’d strongly recommend you hire Rocket Clicks to help take your business to the next level”

Choose your ten thousand hours wisely.

To Your Success,

Perry Marshall

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About the Author

Perry Marshall has launched two revolutions in sales and marketing. In Pay-Per-Click advertising, he pioneered best practices and wrote the world's best selling book on Google advertising. And he's driven the 80/20 Principle deeper than any other author, creating a new movement in business.

He is referenced across the Internet and by Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, INC and Forbes Magazine.

4 Comments on “Your Ten Thousand Hours: The #1 Strategy of your career”

  1. Phyllis,

    Your science fiction is a great example. The best talents often come from things you “mindlessly” invest 10K hours in and maybe not even realize you’re doing it. How many great songwriters are composing music in their heads while they stand in line at the grocery store? How many drummers (like me) are quietly working out a rhythm, tapping their fingers on their knee, while they sit in a meeting?

    It’s those things that you naturally do that nobody ever even told you to do that end up being the big talent zones.


  2. Sometimes you can ‘put in’ your 10k without even realizing it. I grew up reading and watching all the science fiction I could, to the point of excluding a whole lot of other ‘stuff’…perhaps creating a science fiction series was inevitable for me. The worst (or best?) part is that I’m still putting in time with the material. Why not? Science is still making advancements and the last thing I want to do is write a book that comes across as stupid.
    I was the kid who skipped kindergarten and didn’t quite fit into those early social circles so there wasn’t a lot of distraction from the books.
    I doubt most people plan their 10 000 hours until someone comes along and writes a book to point it out; but sometimes a person benefits from looking back to see if there’s anything they’ve already spent that much time on, even ‘by accident.’

  3. I agree 100%, Perry, about needing to put in the time to get proficient.

    I was just saying the same thing last weekend to a friend about how the Beatles played 8-10+ hours a night in clubs to get them to an incredible leve of proficiency in playing, recording, and coming up with catchy tunes.

    You know, I always thought some successful people just “had it” or just were lucky.

    But when you see Michael Jackson singing and Tiger woods practicing golf both at 4 years old, or Brittney Spears practicing dance at 5 years old, you can see how they reached the pinnacle of success by putting in their 10,000 hours.

    In fact Earl Nightengale said if you read just an hour a day on your topic of interest, in 5 years you could be anything you want.

    But I’ll leave you with the best quote of all, by this ancient French dude named Descartes: “The purpose of learning is not knowledge, but rather action.”

    It’s a favorite quote, I’d recommend it to anyone to hang it on their wall in their office.

  4. The pursuit of mastery is one that people always struggle with and they often look for short cuts to get to the top. The 10,000 hours may sound intimidating and even the 1,000 hours may seem intimidating to some but the reward of putting in the time makes you value what you produce all that much more.

    In fact if you can’t see yourself putting it all in get someone to hold you accountable. I will say that after being through Bobsled twice and will be going through it a third time coming up we always improve what we are doing. We have yet not to improve by double digits on what we focus on while in the bobsled run.

    It never gets old improving what you are doing.

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