Put In Your 1,000 Hours

February 13th, 2018

photographer standing on mountain

To be truly good at something, put in your 1,000 hours.

Maybe that seems excessive, but consider how much time you’ve spent learning how to read, write, use a computer, file your taxes, play an instrument or cook a steak. Your life is full of sufficiently mediocre talents. I don’t say, “mediocre” to be derogatory -- I mean that we are all average at a great deal of things we do. And we’ve probably spent hundreds of hours doing those tasks.

Hundreds of hours just to be sufficiently capable.


But there are a handful of tasks that you’re great at.

Maybe you’ve put some time and money into perfecting that steak recipe. Maybe your evenings include relaxing with a few riffs on the guitar. Or perhaps after 25 years of reading, challenging and solving brand strategy, you’ve realized you actually know what you’re talking about when it comes to marketing (shameless nod to our own studio).

To go from mediocre to master may just be the difference of putting in a few hundred more hours.

I have a friend whose son is seven, and he’s gotten into photography. The kid is good, but imagine if he sticks with it until he graduates high school. At age 18, he would already have 10 years experience with photography. He’d already have well over 1,000 hours in his craft. How will he compare to other students applying for liberal arts programs? How will he compare to other interns and employees competing for photography jobs?

If you want to go from sufficient to great, if you want to learn to make apps or to lay out brochures or to write headlines or to code websites -- or any number of marketable skills that you see others getting paid for -- know that your journey starts with your 1,000 hours.


Don’t be intimidated by that. Accept it!

Get started, and in 6-12 months, you’ll have your 1,000 hours done and a new mastered skill.