What I learned after practicing more than 10,000 hours

First of all, let me start by saying that I didn’t even realize I’ve been practicing in my profession long enough to have over 10,000 hours. Actually, it’s more like 17,860 hours if I calculate the last 10 years of my life post undergrad. If you have no idea what 10,000 hours mean … let me enlighten you. I first heard the phrase 10,000 hours from Beyoncé. Yep, you read it right, Beyoncé. She was doing an interview with Terrace J. and he mentioned that some say it takes 10,000 hours to master something and she totally agreed.  I agree also because she is one of the biggest entertainers of our time and there is absolutely no comparison to anyone else like her. 

The 10,000 hours theory actually comes from Malcom Gladwell’s book Outliers. Achieving this type of master class is quite perplexing to most because most will not do what it takes to get to 10,000 hours. Let me further explain what I’m talking about. In my case, I started my Engineering career at Kimberly-Clark in Roswell, GA in their supply chain organization. Since then, I have worked for several companies over the last 10 years—still in the supply chain organization.  This is what Malcom Gladwell calls meaningful work.

But what does meaningful work mean for you. It used to mean to me that I stay down one path and nurture it fully. However, this has changed for me the last two years. Once I had the idea to formulate my own consulting firm, I knew I had to learn more than what I already knew. So, in my quest to expand my tool kit past 10,000 hours—I sought after the things I didn’t know. Have you ever taken responsibility to do that? It may seem hard to understand what you don’t know and some may call themselves an unconscious competent. However, I think it’s highly important to recognize where you are and act.

If you’ve achieved 10,000 hours, do you feel it was meaningful work?  Would love to hear from you.


Always Essential,