In his book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell describes that when someone spends over 10,000 hours of deliberate practice on their vocation, they will become world-class. There’s no doubt that practicing anything for more than 10,000 hours will create a deep expertise in any realm.

The concept began in the early 70’s with two scientists that were studying chess and was picked up along the way until, for some reason, Gladwell became the new unofficial author of this rule. But Gladwell specifically explains that if you do something for more than 10,000 hours it does not mean you are automatically a Master. He outlined that it meant:

Talent + Preparation = Achievement (Mastery)

On its face, this seems like a pretty simple equation but I quickly thought about a client, James, who hired me and wanted to create a business and a life based upon his passion. He had many community interests, but wasn’t totally clear on what his passion might be, or even if his passion could create a profession that created income. Our first hurdle was to figure out what really lit him up. With that, time becomes a major component. I ask: What are you doing when you lose track of time?

If we follow the equation, James’ answer isn’t about Talent or Preparation; it’s based upon hours. Once we could see where his time was spent we began to discover what projects and activities needed to go away, and what activities he wanted to spend more time on. Once we ditched those “time suckers” we began to uncover the skills and training he was using within the projects he loved.

That’s when things began to fall into place. Once we got a handle on what he loved to do, and what he wanted to create as a moneymaker, we were full steam ahead into planning.

Looking back, the T + P = A equation was a great way for James to maintain his level of confidence within his personal change process. Anytime a major change occurs, confidence levels quickly get shaky. In James’ situation, he had a lifetime of hours.

Next inquiry: What do you need to know to move forward on this idea?

The questions that came up for him included both internal and external challenges.

Can I actually make the leap from this 50+ hour/week job to self-employment?

Should I hold out for another few years and suck it up? (I’ll always say “no” to this one!)

Did I choose the right business?

Is it true that doing work you love will never feel like work? (yes!)

All internal…and:

Will I be able to budget my family’s health insurance?

How much money can I make?

How do I create a business plan?

Do I know my strengths and how I will structure my business?

All external, and all of which we have answers for.

The internal work is the hardest – by far! But more often than not, the answers to the external pieces can support the new direction and the internal desires.

My definition of Master Coaching ultimately comes down to using my entire body of work to guide you through personal transformation. It takes a lot of practice to be a Master at anything, but maybe it’s time to jump on the ride that is your life! Let me help. It’s a powerful partnership.

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