Like Butter Scrapped Over Too Much Bread

15 03 2010

Steven Huff and I were discussing again recently other thoughts we had about Malcom Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success. Steven indicated that to become an expert in his field, he should focus his research and energies in areas where he had already developed key contacts and expertise through his previous studies.

Getting sidetracked into areas where he would need a lot more “ramp up” time would be similar to one of his favorite lines from the movie The Fellowship of the Ring, “I feel thin… sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”

Entrepreneurs recognize that that stretched feeling comes from trying to appeal to every client rather than selecting a niche. With a targeted niche, you keep your focus and provide a specialized service that your clients want and need.  With a specialized service, you develop key skills that brand you as an expert.

So how do you obtain those expert skills? Gladwell repeatedly mentions the “10,000-Hour Rule,” claiming that the key to success in any field is a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours. Those 10,000 hours of concentrated work and focus will help you achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world class expert. 

What particular skills have you already developed some expertise in?

Bev McCrostie, M.Ed.
Virtual Assistant Certificate
Red Deer College




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