Written by Davina of RebeccaRice.net
History’s biggest achievers haven’t counted solely on talent or serendipity to attain their goals. Stories of patience, practice and determination aren’t quite as exciting as guessing the winning answer on “So You Want to be a Millionaire”, yet all of these factors are essential in finding wealth and success. Perhaps Ray Kroc said it best, “I was an overnight success alright, but 30 years is a long, long night.”
In 2008, Malcolm Gladwell published his controversial best-seller Outliers: The Story of Success. Basing his theories on a study by Anders Ericsson, Gladwell posits that “researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.” He uses The Beatles as one example. From 1960 through 1963, the unknown band played 1200 shows in Hamburg, Germany, amassing more than 10,000 hours in concert (and, as per the quote above, their second US concert took place in 1964 at Carnegie Hall).
Gladwell also cites Bill Gates, who had access to a high school computer starting at 13 years old. Again, he put in the time – about 10,000 hours of programming – before he graduated. Gates then went on to partner with Paul Allen to start a company you may have never heard of… Traf-O-Data. Yes, before there was Microsoft, there was Traf-O-Data, which attempted to track traffic data. According to a Newsweek article from April of 2011, between 1974 and 1980, Traf-O-Data totaled net losses of $3,494 before they closed up shop.