When you hear the word Elite, what springs to mind? Elite athletes, the best of the best, someone at the top of their field, the world’s top performers?
So, what does it take to become ‘elite’ at something? Sure genetics plays a part, but application, dedication, motivation, determination and practice (most importantly) are key ingredients in the ‘elite’ recipe.
One of Perth’s top business coaches and a great friend of mine, Leigh Farnell, told me the ‘elite formula’ recently. It’s a nugget of information that really resonated with me, so I thought I’d share it with you.
The 10,000 Hour Rule
The theory is, if you ‘deliberately’ practice something for 10,000 hours, you’ll become elite at it … that’s 20 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, for 10 years. The 10,000 hour rule was made popular by Malcolm Gladwell, through his book Outliers, but his research and discussion builds on the original study and findings of Dr K Anders Ericsson.
Ericsson co-authored an article based on his original study and published it in the Harvard Business Review where he explained, becoming ‘elite’ or ‘expert’ at something requires 10,000 Hours of, “engaging in “deliberate” practice—practice that focuses on tasks beyond your current level of competence and comfort. You will need a well-informed coach not only to guide you through deliberate practice but also to help you learn how to coach yourself.”
Gladwell’s own enquiry and interviews led him to the same conclusion and he states, “No one—not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses—ever makes it alone.”
What about you?
According to Ericsson and Gladwell you just need to engage the services of the right coach or mentor, which will change as you and your skill grows over the years, and dedicate 20 hours a week to deliberate practice for a decade or so. Of course, you could do 10 hours a week over 20 years and have the same result over a longer timeframe.
A word of warning … if you’re over the age of 5 and you want to become an Olympic Gold Medalist in Athletics or the world’s top Violinist and you haven’t already begun your ‘Elite’ journey, Ericsson and Gladwell would agree your odds are slim and the 10,000 Hour Rule probably won’t be applicable in this instance. However, there are plenty of other fields where it will hold true (and is even necessary for one reason or another), even if you start later in life, such as property investing for instance.
Want to be an Elite Property Investor?
I bought my first investment property in Kalgoorlie when I was 19. I’d watched my Dad and my Greek uncles buy rental properties my whole life, so I thought it was normal. I started out doing it the way they did … buy one and pay it off before you buy another one. Too slow for my liking, but effective none-the-less.
Once I got a taste for it, I decided there had to be a faster and better way to accumulate investment properties. So I set about devouring every book I could find on the subject of property investing … I was thirsty for it (‘obsessed’ people used to say) … and of course I put into practice what I learned (not always winning … sometimes failing forward). My knowledge continued to grow and I deliberately sought to push the boundaries of what I knew.
More than 3 decades of deliberate practice in property investment and 79 properties later, I’ve earned my ‘Elite’ badge and I’m here to mentor and coach others who have a burning desire to do the same.
In 2017, I’m personally taking on 10 mentoring clients. The program will include an intensive strategic planning day to identify your goals and set the framework and then we’ll have monthly one-on-one coaching sessions plus regular phone & skype calls to stretch you and keep you on track with your deliberate practice.
Whether you’ve already begun your property investment ‘deliberate practice’ regime and you’re ready for a change of coach, or you’re just starting out, contact me for a chat.
I’ll let Ericsson have the final word on the subject:
“… living in a cave does not make you a geologist. Not all practice makes perfect. You need a particular kind of practice—deliberate practice—to develop expertise. When most people practice, they focus on the things they already know how to do. Deliberate practice is different. It entails considerable, specific, and sustained efforts to do something you can’t do well—or even at all.”
What does it take to be Elite at something?