At this point in all things internet and entrepreneurship most people have heard about the 10,000 hours rule. It's a mantra that says that to be an expert or a master in anything it takes 10,000 hours worth of practice and experience. That's a lot of hours. It ends up being pretty close to about 10 years if you break it up evenly per day.
When you are running your business, starting a business or even just trying to be savvier about your personal finances - it's tough to think that you might not be an expert for 10 years. While I agree that within that time you will definitely achieve that "mastery" status and that it's absolutely possible to love something enough to throw that many hours at it, I don't think it's efficient. Not only is it not efficient but when it comes to trying to learn new things or develop new skills to offer as a service let's say it's not very feasible.
This is why I loved Josh Kaufman's TED Talk about The First 20 Hours. In a nutshell he says that if you practice something, dedicated practice, for 20 hours you can be proficient enough to be a real resource. Anything from playing an instrument to bettering your SEO skills as an internet marketer. It's in those 20 hours that we develop the skills necessary to have command over a new skill set.
As you can probably guess this week has been a big week for me in terms of my consumption of TED Talks. Also HBR's podcast the Ideacast. Give Josh a watch today because watching something is way better than reading and see what you might be able to add to your tool-box-of-awesome with an extra 20 hours of practice.