The concept that success is achieved purely by luck and that those who achieve greatness are people who just happened to be at the right place at the right time is one of the most counterproductive mindsets that has ever existed.
The reason being is that we abdicate all the real things that we need to do to achieve success and throw our hands in the air as if it is some unseen force that will magically make it happen. This usually occurs when we witness someone else who succeeds at something while making it look effortless.
What we don’t see is the countless hours, days… years that went in to perfecting whatever it is that they do. That time is seldom celebrated, as it is usually done in private without an audience or any kind of spectacle. It is grinding, gruelling, boring, tedious and feel free to add any other words that describe the endless practice, practice, practice.
It is the long journey of the “10,000” hours”* where we get really good at something; The Beatles did it, great violinists do it, sports professionals, sales people, actors, me**,you***, inventors do it….
It really does not matter what “IT” is as long as it is something specific that is done with intent and is purposeful. This rules out eating, breathing, watching TV…
*10,000 hours is a common expression referred to by Malcolm Gladwell in his 2008 book “Outliers”. It’s hypothesis is that if you practice something correctly and with some level of intensity over a significant amount of time you will become very good/excellent or even a master it. The most common example is the Beatles who played in Hamburg Germany over 1200 times between 1960-1964 and accumulated about 10,000 hours of playing time which made them very good!
The amount of 10,000 hours is arbitrary. It depends on what you want to perfect, what skill set you are starting with, the level of intensity of your practice good.. So in some instances it might only be 20 hours or 100 hours. Or it really can be 10,000 depending on the level of difficulty of what your are trying to master.
** Me. Yes I believe that I have mastered something. Ever since I can remember I have had an extremely positive disposition. Whether I was lucky enough to be born with it or nurtured it by always perceiving things in a positive manner even if they were not good. I have practised this well in excess of 10,000 hours, actually based on my age and some rudimentary calculations about 200,000 hours. I am so adept at this that I am actually doing it while typing. It is second nature to me.
***You, yes YOU! You are probably amazing at something. One thing, everyone is usually very good, excellent or a master at one single thing. Although we can do many things, we are seldom a master of 2 things or three….What is your thing? Are you amazing at cultivating relationships with people? Are you an expert at mattress design & manufacturing because you have been doing it for years? Are you an expert at running a property management company not because you have been doing it for many years but in the short time you have been doing it, you have done it with such an intensity that your 1 hour is the equivalent to the next guys 10 hours.
So going back to the original theme are you lucky at mattress design & manufacturing? Are you lucky at property management? Are you lucky at being positive? No you are not. As lucky implies that there was an element of chance. There are no elements of chance in the preceding examples. This does not mean you are not lucky in the context of being fortunate to have cultivated these skill-sets or gifts, it just means that they were not acquired by shear luck.
So now the practical aspect of all of this and how does it apply to our businesses. When we speak to our customers it is usually to provide a service or a product. When your customer gets the sense that you are the expert they will probably tend to ask less questions and have less doubt about what it is that you are offering. When people in your sphere are aware that you are the expert in your field they will be more likely to recommend you to someone.
Embrace the one thing that you are unequivocally an expert at by respecting it and not trivialising or diminishing its value, you have worked many years to achieve it. Speak to your customers with a benevolent authority that will let them feel you are looking out for their best interests and that they are in good hands.
The harder you work at this by practising it at every opportunity the “Luckier” you will become.
This weeks action challenge is to make a short description (200 words or less) or a 30-60s video of what you are an expert at in your field. Put it in your “about us”(website/LinkedIn profile…) or email signature.