Many have said on our podcast that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. That number seems daunting. Think about some of our greatest athletes, musicians, or scientists; they would not argue.
Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers” raises an important question: if it takes such a significant amount of time and effort to become proficient in something, why don’t we always value it when we finally reach that level of expertise?
Think about everything you know as a business person, mechanic or diagnostician. So much of what we know has been ‘learn by doing’; the mistakes, comebacks, and do-overs that have given you proficiency. Not that you can do a specific mechanical job with your eyes closed means you should give it away. And that is the point of valuing your expertise.
Think of the investment in tools, training, and the school of hard knocks that have honed your mastery that came from relentless practice. Mastery of a job and a career is a challenging feat.
Yet despite the immense investment of time and energy required to reach this level of proficiency, our society often fails to recognize and appreciate the value that comes with it entirely. This lack of recognition can be disheartening for individuals who have poured their heart and soul into honing their craft, therefore not charging for the experience, knowledge, and proficiency.
We think that speed and efficiency equate to what we charge. Imagine doing a heavy diag job that could take 3 hours. You booked a minimum of 2 hours. Yet the experience, training, tools and networking accomplished the fix in 1.5 hours. Would you charge 1.5 or keep it at the two hours of minimal diag time? Do we value our knowledge and investment in people, training, and tools? We must recognize the years spent perfecting our collective skills.
However, despite these challenges, we must continue to recognize our value that comes with mastery. True experts bring unique perspectives and insights gained through years of experience that cannot be replicated or replaced by shortcuts or automated tools. You and your people deserve to be paid for their mastery.
Individuals who have invested countless hours refining their craft to reach this pinnacle level of proficiency deserve respect, fair compensation, and growth opportunities. By acknowledging and valuing expertise, we can foster a culture that encourages continuous learning, innovation, and excellence.
The 10,000-hour rule serves as a reminder of the dedication required to achieve mastery in any field. While our society may only sometimes fully appreciate the significance of this milestone, we must recognize and value the expertise and contributions of those who dedicate themselves to their craft. Doing so can create an environment where we celebrate mastery and reward accordingly.