Today we wrap up an eight week sales course that I have been the lead instructor for. It is a really cool day for me, because at the end of this class today I will now be a certified Dale Carnegie Instructor. What a long road it has been to get here. I am excited that I have finally completed the instructor training process, but at the same time I am sad that this class is now over.
I plan on closing today with this group and sending them off with their new acquired skills and knowledge with the philosophical view of the 10,000 hour rule. The 10,000 hour rule states that to be an expert in a field you must devote at least 10,000 hours to that trade or skill. The premise is that you can only devote about 3 hours or so a day to a skill at maximum efficiency and focus. So if you devote that much time to something for 7 days a week. that is roughly 21 hours a week. Then times that 21 X 52 (weeks in a a year) = 1,092 and then times that by 10 (10 years) it is 10,920 hours.
For example: To be an NBA basketball player. Most people start playing when they are about five or so. But they don’t start getting coached at a high level until they reach high school in most cases. So by the time they reach high school (4 years of organized coaching) and then college (4 years of organized coaching) they have accumulated about 10,000 hours of time to that skill. The 10,000 hour rule doesn’t work unless you have a coach to help you work in the areas of which you need help. How long does it take to become a doctor. 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, and then you become specialized in a certain discipline of medicine. So when you add it all up, it is more than 10 years.
So my fellow colleagues and class participants will have had about 32 hours of focused discipline, practice, and effort on learning a processed selling skill set. So for them to become experts on selling they will need a lot of practice and a lot of coaching. Some of them will leave the class and say “Whew” I am glad that is over, I will get back to what I have always done. Some of them will have taken away a few nuggets and they will start applying them and have already started applying them since the course began. Some of them will put the manual on the shelf and never pick it up again. Some will look at the manual every now and then. Some will embrace it and become an expert in it.
I am going to challenge the class participants with this: There are 4 ifs to life and life can be worthwhile if:
Life is worthwhile if you try: Why wouldn’t you at least try something. Give it a shot.
Life is worthwhile if you learn: I have discovered life is a lot more fun and lot more opportunities come my way, the more I learn.
Life is worthwhile if you care: Man, if you don’t care, nothing much can really happen.
Life is worthwhile if you stay: The 10,000 hour rule represents this, if you just stay dedicated and focused to something, life is worthwhile. Ask Tiger Woods, ask Michael Jordan, ask Bill gates, Ask Steve Jobs. They all stayed.