Malcom Gladwell evangelized the idea of 10.000 hours of working to become a world-class professional.
In his book, Outliers, he sustains the idea of working 10.000 hours on a project, hobby, professional way and you can become a world-class professional.
But Outliers was launched in 2008 and I think that this principle is a little outdated.
Some principles can be challenged only by asking other questions. And maybe these questions will get you to another principle or will get you deeper into that particular principle.
That’s why I believe that asking questions is really great for your creativity and also for your day-to-day life.
After reading Outliers and doing some research I was thinking if I can find a better way of becoming a world-class professional. So I started asking myself all kinds of questions.
What if I don’t need 10.000 hours to work on something to become a world-class professional? What if I can change these 10.000 hours into something different? Something I can document, something I can observe easier, and something I can inspect from one step to another.
What if the 10.000 hours principle isn’t working anymore?
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not defeating and ignoring this principle. I’m just asking some questions to see if it’s still relevant these days.
Instead of working 10.000 hours to become a world-class professional, what if you do 100 experiments to start the journey of becoming a world-class professional?
Why 100 experiments?
- Because it’s easier to track 100 experiments than 10.000 hours
- Experiments are challenging you to ask questions
- Experiments are helping you to learn on your own
- Experiments are giving you the chance to trial and error
- Every experiment can be its own journey and the lesson you can learn from
I’m not saying that this is a better principle than the 10.000 hours one. I’m just coming up with another perspective that maybe can be a better solution for you than the 10.000 hours.
And I also understand that if you are a doctor and you want to become a world-class professional, you can’t just start experimenting with medicine.
But what am I saying is that these experiments are projects that are starting from challenging you to ask yourself questions about your industry, about your own professional life, or even about your own personal life?
Sometimes these questions start with a simple … What if?
And if you want to find the answer, you have to start digging after the solution and while you are working on it you can call it an experiment. And while you are doing it you can start learning on your own if it’s working or not.
At the end of your experiment, if you have an answer, that’s great. And if you don’t, it just helps you think from a different angle.
- You can start experimenting with different ideas/principles/projects
- Document your entire process
- Publish it somewhere so people can relate to your experiment
- Lookup for answers if there are questions
I really believe in the principle of documenting your process. Even if you are not a professional in your industry, even if you are not one of the best in your area or you just start working there. While you are experimenting and learning on your own different ideas, start documenting the process.
Maybe you like to write articles – start a blog about your experiment.
Maybe you like to talk – start a podcast about your experiment.
Maybe you can design – start that Instagram account about your experiment.
You don’t have to be an expert to document your process.
All you have to do is just be transparent, show your work (by the way, here’s a book about showing your work), and connect with the ones who consume your content.
It’s so simple. Anybody can do it.
Creating content about your process and publishing it on a platform can help you connect with other folks from your industry and also have the benefit of learning from each other.
I’m a strong believer in documenting our own process. Not because someone told me, but because I experimented with the benefits on my own.
The best thing in documenting your process is that when you create that content, you publish it somewhere there will be people who are interested in it, will find it, will consume it and if it’s interesting enough, will talk about it. And that’s the beauty of putting yourself and your experiment out there.
Another great thing while documenting your process is that you can take your audience behind the scene and make them part of your experiment.
You don’t have to finish your experiment to document it. You can document your process while you are experimenting with that project.
Give your chance to do these 100 experiments because
- It will help you ask more questions – the more questions you have, the more answers you will look up to
- Trial and error – I’m a big believer in trial & error because in this way you can learn, fail, learn, try new things, and just move forward because there is something you care about
- It will put you on a journey to be a better version of yourself.
In conclusion I will let you with a question:
Will you start that 1 experiment that will teach you how to be a better version of yourself?