Tuesday, May 05, 2009

10,000 hours = Expert

One of my clients gave me the book- Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

It is a great book, I am about half way through. She wrote in the front of it- "To Rachel, My outlier and inspiration..." I thought- wow, "one of her outliers..." and had to dig in to the book just to figure out what she meant by that. The book is all about how to become successful and an expert at what you do.

That same week someone asked my husband, "How did Rachel set herself up to become the expert training women?" Interesting that I had become known as the expert, at least to this person. And I couldn't really pinpoint what I did to "become the expert." I knew I had worked my way to the point of getting in the magazines and getting my first book published this year but how did I get to this point?

This all came together for me when I started the book. In Outliers he talks about how it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something and that is usually about 10 years for most people. It all clicked that I had put in my 10,000 hours and very well could be an expert at what I do. I love what I do and everyday work with women and learn more with every client about how to help them become the best they can be. I didn't start with my first client thinking- how do I become known as the expert? Instead I just kept my nose to the ground stone and did what I did the best I could do and continued to learn and apply what I learn. I listened to my clients and learned from them with every session.

It all started with my very first client in 1997(12 years ago). Her name was Mary Sue. Mary if you are out there- hello and thank you for being my first client! She was a fantastic client, a writer for a Soap Opera and I trained her in New York where I moved right after college. She was my client for a couple years. I would take her around the circuit of machines at the gym I worked at, Manhattan Plaza Athletic Club in midtown New York, and talk to her about her day and she saw improvements. In fact, after we had worked together for awhile she started riding horses again. But I think back now and I think how far I have come since 1997 when I started training that very first woman I ever trained. I gave her the best I knew how but from there have continued to learn with every client I have trained, every book I have read, every seminar I have attended, every experience, every conference I have been to and my philosophies and ideas have been shaped and formed and at this point I have definitely put in 10,000 hours training women. It wasn't until just a few years ago I did consciously say to myself- "I want to be the best at training women and know everything there is to know about it."

The more I think about it, I think this 10,000 hour rule is pretty accurate. You have to put the time in. We also see this with our business. We are going into our tenth year of having our business open and are now becoming known as experts in the fitness business. It has taken us 10 years to become experts running our business, making mistakes, reading business books, attending business seminars. But now after 10 years are becoming known as experts and have new fitness business entrepreneurs coming to us to learn from us. We have put the time in.

Another example is the coaches who work at our gym who get really good, really fast because they train a LOT of people. More than they would ever train working at another gym. They are all full time so work with clients 30-40 hours a week and see up to 3 people each hour. I have always noticed that this accelerates how good they get because of the mere number of clients they are training and learning from.

Decide what you want to be the best at in life, what you want to be an expert in and put your time in. Every hour you spend doing it, get everything out of that hour. There is no quick fix to becoming an expert or the best at what you do. You have to put the time and work in.

Although, people see me as an expert at what I do now, I will never stop learning, getting better and giving my best every day.

What will that make me 10 years from now when I look back?

Thank you Micaela for giving me the book, Outliers and for inspiring me to write this post. You are a pleasure to work with and to have in the gym.