Have You Put in 10,000 Hours?

10,000 hours was popularized in 1970s academia and later by Malcom Gladwell in his book Outliers. When researchers look at any kind of cognitively complex field they finds you must invest 10,000 hours of practice in order to master the field at an Olympic level. That’s 20 hours a week for 10 years. or 40 hours for 5 years.

personal branding requires Olympic level mastery of specialtyIn personal branding, the branding portion only works if you have mastered your area of expertise.  If you are a Registered Dietitian the 10,000 hours does not translate to 5 years of full-time employment as a Registered Dietitian.  Instead, you must focus on a niche for 10,000 hours in order to truly excel at it.  That may mean niching in diabetes with children; weight loss for women with 100 pounds or less to lose; or analyzing food nutrition labels for food company compliance.

Branding is a communication of  a promise to your ideal target market. If you do not deliver on the promise – are not Olympic-like great at what you do, then clients or customers will not return or refer others to you.

The desired picture is you are exceptional in your niche, then combined with powerful branding you will attract your ideal customers.  The best part is customers will come back to you over and over and pass on rave reviews to others.

Here is a great article about mastering a skill: What the Study of Chess Experts Teaches Us About Building a Remarkable Life

If you are just starting out, no worries.  Use your passion to in every way you can achieve excellence in your niche and master your specialty through deliberate practice.  Branding is not a way to cut corners and make up for being weak in your specialty.  Word will get out that you do not deliver, so instead, focus on mastering your field of study and combine it with a powerful branding program to become ridiculously successful.

What do you have 10,000 hours of mastery in?


  1. […] the rule of 10,000 hours?  That is Olympic-like greatness mastery of a skill or 20 hours a week for 10 years.   […]

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