How many things have you done for over 10,000 hours in your life?

Today I was reminded about the importance of repetition by a thank-you email from Seth Godin. His email explained that since the beginning of his blog he’s posted 4,300 entries and some of the people receiving that email have been with him since the beginning.

I’ve posted 100 or so entries and I thought I was doing darned well too! At my rate of roughly 220 posts a year give or take for holidays that means I’ll catch up to Seth in about 20 years.

Holy smokes.

If you’ve ever done like me and looked at someone like Seth and gone ‘Wow, I’m not sure I can ever be that good’, think again.  If you have someone who runs a well-tuned business, makes the best products, has the most amazing service or develops the most compelling marketing stop and think about those 4,300 blog posts.

Where are you in your number of attempts, experiments and revisions compared to them?

Malcom Gladwell in his book Outliers explains that his research showed a person must do something for about 10,000 hours to truly master it.  That makes a lot of sense to me because by a very rough estimate I’ve been doing design and marketing work for over that many hours in my life. If I looked back even at things I did half of my career ago I’ll usually cringe – seeing so much unpolished effort and unrefined work.

The point is repetition can help you master anything.  While I may never catch up to Seth that’s quite alright. I’m not really trying to follow his footsteps and become a writer.  But what are YOU hoping to master? Go look at those people that impress you and remember “10,000”.

Always strive to continue on.

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