I learnt about …

Committing time to stand out from the crowd

There is a famous quote that asks how you eat an elephant and the answer is one bite at a time. It can be very daunting when attempting something new especially if it is potentially a large task. However it is impossible if you don’t take the first step.

(By the way, I am not advocating eating elephants - just to be clear)

Seth Godin wrote an article recently called “The 100 hour asset". In it he explains that by focusing 100 hours on a rare skill you are likely to acquire it - or certainly to a level more than most. This investment of time would put you well ahead of your peers. The commitment to learn the skill is something most people will not do and by you doing so will give you a noticeable advantage.

He then goes on to suggest that you could go a stage further. Investing twenty hours per week will give you one thousand hours of knowledge and put you in a new category.

The difficulty for most people is not access to the knowledge - it is the commitment to invest time in acquiring that knowledge.

So, is there something you could or need to make a commitment to learn? Is there something that will get you ahead in your career or something that will improve your life in another way? It could be a hobby you have always wanted to take up.

The prospect of investing twenty hours in a week is like eating an elephant for most people. However as the quote says, it takes a small bite to get started.

There is a training plan called “Couch to 5k” which is an exercise plan spread over a number of weeks to get someone from sitting on the couch to running 5km in one go. It does this by starting with very small first steps and gradually building it up over time - it doesn’t jump to 5km from day one.

So, how much time do you think you could set aside to acquire that knowledge or skill that would make a difference? Maybe you can invest one hour a day or maybe you need to start smaller and invest fifteen minutes. If you can’t invest it every day then maybe you can invest thirty minutes every other day or two hours at the weekend. Over time you will hopefully be able to increase this, possibly only small increment at a time.

Whichever path you take the regular investment of time will build that knowledge and make you stand out from those around you and hopefully open new opportunities.

So what are you going to willing to commit to invest in?


The 100 hour asset

Couch to 5k