The Rule of 10000 Hours: How Many Years Becoming An Expert Takes?

Let me confess. The rule of 10000 hours changed my life.

I’ve been struggling with calling myself an expert for as long as I can remember, even when I was only saying this to myself.

I first learned about Malcolm Gladwell when I saw Blink, one of his brilliant books, in an airport. Since then, I’ve been a crazy fan and would.

And then I discovered that Outliers, the second Gladwell book that I purchased, has the answer I’ve been looking for. This book covers an impressive investigation of what success and mastery are and what are the prerequisites to achieve them.

Having looked at multiple examples of well-known people, such as The Beatles, Bill Gates, founders of IT corporations, Gladwell suggested a 10,000 hours theory. According to this rule, to become an expert in something, all you need is to put in 10,000 hours in a given area.

Becoming an expert not only suggests that you’ll have the right to call yourself that way, but also that you’ll be able to earn a decent living with a new venture that you have chosen.


How Much Time Are 10000 Hours?

So why Gladwell used hours and not days or years? Apparently, the number of hours is more precise. If you want to become an expert in SEO, you can choose to practice for 1 hour a day or 8 hours a day. Depending on the length of daily practice, it might take a very different amount of years.

Let’s see how much time it will realistically take you to become an expert in a new field. For instance, blogging. How long will it take you to become an expert blogger?

Before we move on, it’s important to state that you might be an expert in the field you’re blogging about, for instance, cooking. However, you’ll also need time to learn the technical side of blogging, establishing your online presence, attracting customers, and selling your goods.


How Much Are 10000 Hours in Days?

Let’s examine how many days you’ll need to dedicate to become an expert in a new field.

If you’re an employed adult, then the amount of your free time is limited. Let’s say you have 2 hours a day or 14 hours a week to learn a new skill, which in our case is blogging. In such a scenario, you’ll need 5,000 days to develop this new competence and start getting a considerable income stream from your blog.

If you still have an opportunity to dedicate 8 hours a day to something you love, then, according to the 10,000-hour rule, you will need 1,250 days.

Lastly, if you are extremely passionate about what you’re doing and you have a considerable amount of free time that allows you to dedicate 10 hours a day to developing your new competence, you’ll only need 1,000 days.

Therefore, the number of days you need to master a skill depends largely on the amount of time you can dedicate to this skill.


How Many Years are 10,000 Hours?

the rule of 10000 hours to be an expert

Measuring hours in days doesn’t tell us much. So how many years does it take to become an expert?

If you can only practice blogging 2 hours a day, which is feasible for any employed professional, you’ll need a bit over 13,5 years to become an expert in blogging.

If you dedicate 8 hours a day to your passion, then according to the rule of 10000 hours, in 3 years and 5 months you’ll become an expert and will see considerable progress. What’s even more important, your income stream will become stable and it’s very likely that you’ll have an opportunity to become a full-time blogger at this point as your blog will make enough money.

In an extremely optimistic scenario, if you work on your blog for 10 hours a day, you’ll become an expert in a given field within 2 years and 8 months. Not bad, huh?

Limitations of the 10,000-hour Theory

Critics argue that this 10,000 theory has limitations.

For example, even if a 5’2” inch person dedicates 10,000 hours to basketball, it’s highly unlikely that they will become a professional player. Another example would be learning a language, an area, in which some people can’t succeed for years.

While it’s true, any theory is just a lens you use to examine a certain phenomenon. It’s not a universal truth that everyone should accept without thinking. I love this theory as it sheds light on the realistic amount of time and effort you have to put in to reach success.

Is There A Way to Become an Expert Faster?

In the 21st century 3 years, let alone 13 years, sounds like eternity.

So is there any way to achieve the same goal faster? Can you go to a full-time blogging career in less than 3 years?

To me, it’s possible to cut some time. You can learn from your mistakes or you can just learn from someone who’s been through these mistakes and has developed proven strategies that work. In blogging, that might include SEO strategies for beginner bloggers, the most

With the right mentor and the right community around you, you can. But you’ll need to be ready to work because practice is the key. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from Outliers:

Practice isn’t something you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.

Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers

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