“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out” – Robert Collier
I heard a story the other day about a woman in the UK who won a $33 million lottery jackpot and didn’t realize she had won for several weeks. That she didn’t know she won wasn’t what struck me as odd. Rather, it was what she told the reporter when interviewed – “I don’t typically play the lottery, and I probably won’t ever play it again”.
Well, no kidding!!! The odds of winning a lottery are 1 in 300 million. And the odds of winning a second lottery jackpot are astronomical – 1 in 10 billion. The very fact that she won in the first place is extraordinary. And for the rest of us, we could play the lottery every day from now until we die and statistically never have a legitimate chance of winning.
Success in life rarely follows the lottery formula. Instead, it follows a much more predictable and attainable formula. One built on practice, persistence, and repetition. And thank God for that!
One of my favorite authors is a gentlemen named Malcolm Gladwell. No doubt many of you have read his works. If you haven’t, it’s a must. He has one of the most compelling ways of telling a story and driving home a message – mixing theory with fact, often with an interesting twist.
Among his most popular works is a book called “Outliers”. This book chronicles the story of several overachievers – asking the question “what makes them successful”. And while traditional success factors like grit and determination play a huge part, he highlights another important but lesser promoted factor – the impact of repetition.
In fact, he coined a new phrase that many of you will recognize – the 10,000-hour Rule. According to this concept, “Outliers” also share a dedication to practice, persistence, and repetition, suggesting that the math supports a minimum of 10,000 hours needed to truly “master” any pursuit.
Think about that for a minute. 10,000 hours. If you worked 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, specifically focused mastering a new pursuit, it would take you 5 years. And that’s doing it 8 hours a day.
Apply this to your own work and personal life, and you’ll get my point. Success doesn’t come overnight. It comes through hard work, practice, persistence, and repetition. It comes from trying over and over again until it becomes routine. And once it becomes routine, it requires continuance. And it doesn’t end when you reach that 10,000 hour mark, because the game changes and requires new techniques, new approaches, new solutions.
Just under 5 years ago I joined Genuent. Working with my leadership team, we started a journey to rebuild Genuent into a recognized market leader, providing qualified, experienced technologists for our clients. Today, our business stands apart, with above market growth and a growing reputation of the value of our offering. That same story applies at an individual level for many of our team members.
So many of you are on that same journey. Stay the course. Success may not come overnight, but it will come, so long as you keep the focus and rhythm, day after day.