10,000 Hours To Become Good At Something? Not Really.

Hey there!

You may have heard that it takes 10,000 hours to become really, really good at something…a world class expert at a particular skill. You might even have heard it from me.

But do you have that kind of time to get good at being a professional at performance? I doubt it. The good news is, it takes a tiny fraction of that time to become competent at something. But how long exactly should you set aside on your calendar? The answer will very pleasantly surprise you.

(Click/tap ↑↑↑↑↑↑ that red YouTube button to subscribe to my channel. You’ll get notified when I release new videos.)

The Outliers:

The First 20 Hours:

Josh Kaufman’s TEDxCSU talk:

Hope this helps!


All Episodes

One Step At A Time

Five Ways To Have An Excellent Coffee Date With Me

Five Ways To Have A Crappy Coffee Date With Me

Taking Advantage Of The Wisdom Of The Tribe

How To Be A World Class Complainer

The False Nobility Of The Struggle

Watch Out – The Rules Are Going To Change

“Show Me The Secret, Daddy!”

Coaching vs Consulting vs Facilitating

The Perils of Live Performance And Why Jeremy Kappell Should Not Have Been Fired

Let’s Welcome To The Stage…Failure!

Don’t Confuse Price With Value

Whiteboards In The Hallways

Go Wake Up Your Luck

Playing and Planning

The Two Things Most Talent Try to Accomplish Way Too Soon

10,000 Hours To Become Good At Something? Not Really.

The Curse of Knowledge

The Trick Charlie Munger Uses To Make Better Decisions

Everyone’s A Customer, Not Just Your Customers

“What do you mean, you’re a ‘process guy’?”

Pay Attention To Your Storytelling, Not Removing Your Breaths

How To Conquer FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

The Problem In Every Commercial Script

The Job In Every Commercial Script

The Secret In Every Commercial Script

How To Pick Your Stage Name

Voice Over Is REALLY Hard. Until It Isn’t.

Helping Make Resolutions Stick

ACX Jobs: They’re ALL SAG-AFTRA-Friendly

Non-Union? You Can Still Open An AFTRA H&R Account. What?

Who Says You Need To “Feel Like It?”

Are You Engaged?

Your Day Job Might Just Be Worth Keeping For A Bit Longer

Want To Learn Something Really Well? Teach It To Others

Don’t Confuse What Works With What You Like

The Lost Keys And The Microphone In My Elevator

My Insane Backup System Plus Two Helpful Tips

What Open Loops Are And Why They Work So Well

Two More Things For Which You Can Use Open Loops

Three Things Not To Say Or Do…When Trying To Learn Something New

Front Burner and Back Burner Project Management

How To Properly List The Accents and Dialects You Perform

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 1)

My SAG-AFTRA Presentation On VO Demos (Part 2)

A Simple, One-Word Decision-Making Question To Ask Yourself

Ready, Shoot…Aim

How You Can Use The MVP Model As A Performer

How Lazy Can You Be?

Avoid The Struggle Porn

The Robocall Equivalent Of Unsubscribe

Saying Goodbye To A “Failure”

Making Your Links Irresistible

HTTPS Is Not Just For Banks – It’s For You

The Threat That Made Me Create a New Page For LAME

The Resource You Must Guard Most Carefully

How New Media Is Using The Oldest Ad Model Ever

“You Could Be Hit By A Bus!”

Killing Customers With Kindness

I Found Out What She Was Podcasting About

How I Answered’s Inquiry

Turning Mountains Into Molehills

Motivation: Your Three Big Needs In A Cool Little Package

Go Ahead. Multitask. But Try It Like This.

The Prodigy Game Doesn’t Deserve This Treatment

I Don’t Want To Go Blind

What Fair Markets Are, And Why Isn’t One

Trevor’s Three A’s From Apple On Killing Customers With Kindness

Getting Ready vs. Getting Started

You’ll Never Believe Who Got Rejected By Harvard

There Is No Failure, Only Feedback

Who Is Your Most Dangerous Adversary?

73 Videos In, My First Hater Appears

If You’re The Smartest Person In The Room, Do This ASAP

Your Glasses And Crucial Laptop Positioning Info

One More Insanely Over-engineered Piece Of Gear: My UPS

The Crazy Backward Way IKEA Prices Their Stuff Complained To YouTube That I Violated Their Privacy

The Gig Economy: RIP?

For Your Health: Not Perfect. Just Better.

Celebrate Your Isolation!

Mr. Wonderful Is Actually More Wonderful Than I Thought

Let’s Finally Close The Digital Literacy Gender Gap

The Guaranteed Way To Completely Avoid Criticism

The Two Things People Judge About You Within Seconds

Prioritizing…Nashville Style

Are You Committed? Or Just…Interested?

Audible Retail Samples: Why They Suck And Why It Doesn’t Really Matter

How To Voice Copy That’s Set In Italics

Dyslexia, And The Palindromic Poem. The Wha?

Increase Your Chances Of Being Seen And Heard On Facebook

Jamie Has Some Thoughts About Fiverr

Is Simply Discouraging Distracted Driving Enough?

“Young People Are Just Smarter.”

The Real Purpose Of The “Can You Hear Me?” Phone Scam

Beware Of Overkill

Laying Down The Perfect Slate

An AMA Preview: The Word “Ethnic” – A Slur, Or An Essential Adjective?

10 Rules of Profitable Self Discipline from Napoleon Hill

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 1)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 2)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 3)

AMA (Ask Me Anything): Here Are The Answers (Part 4)

AMA Answers Part 5 Plus A Medical Warning

Last AMA Answers (#6): Gear, Services and Success

A 7-Word Reminder: “Don’t correct people when it matters little.”

Do You Have A Plan? And Is It The Right One?

What’s Your Next Big Move? Are You Ready?

Build Your Future On Your Own Platform, Not Someone Else’s

I’m Leaving Facebook: Why Groups and FB Live No Longer Spark Joy

Time To Accept That I’ve Failed At Something – Happily

Crowdfunding Without The Internet: Pulitzer And The Statue Of Liberty

The Amazing Power Of Recognition And Badging

Might We Have A Possible Cause For Alzheimer’s?

Why Podcasting And Radio Are Out Of Whack

Value Enthusiasm, But Value Persistence More

Ten Ways To Make Money With Podcasts Besides Ads

One Quick Question To Find Out How Important Something Actually Is

The Workflow For Producing These Videos (So Far) Part 1

Why Not Wade? And…Why Not You?

Audiobook Narrators: How Paymasters Work, And The One I Recommend

Why Gen Z And Millennials’ Love For Audiobooks Is Crucial

American Idol: It’s All About Story, Not Just Singing

Less Beating Yourself Up, More Talking Yourself Up

Resist Oversharing. Instead, Start A Dialogue.

Vocal Care: It’s All About What Works For You

3 Biases You Should Be Aware Of

3 More Biases You Should Also Be Aware Of

Wow. People Really Grokked Biases. Let’s Tackle Fallacies.

Three More Fallacies You Need To Watch For

What’s Your Imprint?

Fallacy Follies, Volume 3

Two Last Big Creativity-Crippling Fallacies

Fail Sooner To Succeed Sooner

A New Lead Source For Performers: Voice Assistants And Smart Speakers

A Great Way To Handle Trolls and Haters

Quantity Does Not Usually Equal Quality

Is Facebook Truly A Monopoly? No More Than Microsoft Was.

Fear Of The Unknown, Or The Day Before My Surgery

A Strange Aspect To Performing That Should Be Cause For Protest, But Isn’t

Want To Grow? Don’t Go It Alone.

How Am I Doing? I’m Gobsmacked. That’s How Am I Doing.

Why I Give My Agents 10% Of Everything

Not Just Explainer Videos, But Video That Explain Things Spectacularly

Mental Floss To The Rescue: Skills You Can Pick Up On YouTube

What’s Better Than Willpower? Grit.

Regarding Apple’s App Store: Be Careful What You Wish For, Pepper

Of COURSE You Wonder What Porter’s Five Forces Are. Who Doesn’t?

Don’t Waste Your Time: Talk Shows Aren’t Meant To Be Fair

Sooner Or Later, I’m Really Going To Tick You Off

Just Because You Can Do Something Doesn’t Mean You Should

Wait, What? Audacity Records In The Background?!

Enjoy Your First Booking. Pay Close Attention To The Next Three.

Pattern Interruption And The Musicality Of Voice Over

Do You Still Have A Landline? Is It POTS? Wait, What’s POTS?

Increase Your VO Accuracy, And You’ll Increase Your VO Profits

Age Range Isn’t Really A Valid Metric For VO

What Is The Overton Window?

How To Stop Jealousy From Killing Your Progress

Even The Bible (And Game Of Thrones) Has One-Star Reviews

How Much Is Enough To Make Per Hour?

With Royalty Share Plus, ACX Makes Hybrid Stipends Official

Wait, Vices Can Be Good For Your Health?

What A Lovely Thing To Discover: Praise From CourVO

I Figured Out What I Provide: The Onboarding Performers Don’t Get

You Don’t Need Permission To Care Or Contribute

It’s Not Just You. It’s The Superstars, Too.

Do You Sometimes Think Irrationally? Maybe. Here’s How To Stop It.

The Struggle Of Announcer-y Versus Non-Announcer-y Voice Over

How My VAs Support Me And My Team

What Exactly Is “The Cloud?”

The Often “Most Difficult” Concept I Teach

Please Unsubscribe From This List. But Don’t Do This One Destructive, Lazy Thing.

Don’t Mistake The Joy Of Knowing For The Joy Of Doing

Why Giving Yourself Some Simple Homework Can Be Life-Changing

One Weird Trick I Do That Makes My Note-Taking Superhuman

The Worst Thing About The Biggest Money-Making Entertainment Category

What Can We Grab From A Schedule This Strict?

Get Better At Executing Today’s Plan By Starting Last Night

How To Create Useful, Organized Audition File Names

Where To Find Related PDFs For Audiobooks on Audible

I’m Halfway Finished. What Have You Valued Most? What Can I Do Better?

Our Digital Attention Span Is Incredibly Brief

“Serves You Right!” She Actually Has No Idea How Right.

Create A Safe Environment For Self-Improvement

Why I Use One Single Channel For Crucial Communication

The Even Cheaper AT-2020 USB Plus Microphone?

Fred Willard (and Billy West) On Quickly Creating Authentic VO Characters

Leo Makes Your Searching Spectacular

On Asking For Things Performers Can’t Do

How To Battle The Urge of “Efficiency”

One More Best-Of-Breed Way To Brilliantly Complain

Changing Audacity’s Sampling Rate To 48,000 Hz

10 Words Of Encouragement When You’re Stuck

Seek/Give Mentorship That’s Appropriate To The Journey

Two Cases Where You Might Not Want To Simply “Follow Your Passion”

Having Fun With Headphone Volume

Please Stop Rushing To Perform

Something To Consider: Everyone’s Internal Menu

One Crazy Key To Creativity: Pure, Unadulterated Boredom

For The Sheer Joy Of It

The Most Commonly Consumed Media Is…!

What’s Dangerous For Us To Care About

Please, Clever Copywriters…Stop Using This Term

Wait, Wait…What? They Actually Listened?!

Why You Should Take The Same Classes Twice

How Your Character’s Menu Informs Your Performance Choices

What Shouldn’t Be Your Metric For VO Success

Someone Awesome Who’s Also Rising To A 365-Day Challenge

Union Or Not, Start With Union Rates

O. M. G. Look What Matt Zurbo Did!

So Where Will That Huge Facebook Fine End Up?

The Root Words of “Typecast”

Avoid That One Obvious “That Worked” Sound We Make

Why Union Members Can Audition For Non-Union Work

200 Auditions. 1 Booking. A Ghost. Really?

I Can’t Do One Thing I’m Asked To Do Every Single Day

One Of Your Secret Weapons: Agility

Do Networking Events Make You Anxious? Let’s Fix That.

Project X Is Just About Ready. I’m A Bit Giddy.

The Difference Between Mansplaining and Advice?

Too Late, Melissa. You Already Are.

Help Me Solve A Lovely Mystery!

Speeding Up The Playback On The Audible App

Why Those Other Casting Sites Usually Aren’t Worth It

Raw YouTube Captioning

hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and I want to talk to you today about
this idea that I’ve labored under for a
long long time and just recently got
some better information now I love
Malcolm Gladwell as an author loved him
in his book the outliers talks about
instances in history where people are
world class best of breed champions
nobody better people like Wayne Gretzky
in hockey
people like Bill Gates in software
development all kinds of examples of
people who when you look at their life
story you realize they’ve spent 10,000
hours on average honing their craft and
so what people come away with sometimes
from those learning about those things
is oh my god
I have to spend 10,000 hours to become
good at what I’m doing so I recently saw
a TED talk and found the book from the
guy that that did this TED talk his name
is Josh Kaufman and he lets everybody
off the hook and in a great way I want
you to get this so it is 10,000 hours if
you want to have a chance at becoming
absolutely the best in the world
world-class world champions but to be
really good at something to just be
competent at something to be able to do
something doesn’t take 10,000 hours he
claims it takes 20 and that makes a lot
of sense to me when we teach people how
to do audiobooks we teach people how to
be on camera when we teach people how to
rehearse with rehearsal Pro um it
doesn’t take 10,000 hours to become able
to make a living at it or to do it on a
professional level it really does take
20 hours or so and the book is called
the first 20 hours how to learn anything
I’ve got links for it below in the below
the video so go check those out so you
20 hours to get started and to actually
accomplish the kinds of of experiences
that you need to become competent and
confident at something then it takes
nine thousand nine hundred and eighty
more hours to become world-class but
here’s the thing if you want to just do
it in 20 hours here’s four tips that
Josh has for you number one break down a
skill to its components so this is
exactly what we do in our classes we
break everything down into manageable
chunks that you can learn not everything
all at once but the individual pieces we
do the same thing in a CX master class
we don’t expect you to have everything
all squared away in the entire process
but learning little tiny steps remember
we talked about getting started and
starting with that just that one little
step and then building on that that’s
number one number two you want to learn
a lot enough to know when you’re making
a mistake
because you can get into the process and
if you haven’t kind of learned what’s
right and what’s wrong about the first
few steps you can go far down the path
and not know that you’re making a
mistake and that’s not something that
you want to have happen you want to
learn just enough to protect yourself
right number three
remove any and all barriers to
practicing now this means don’t just say
you’re going to take the class but
practice what you learn in the class
don’t just watch the lessons don’t just
listen to the the lessons that that we
do get away from things that distract
you and really concentrate on making
some iterations doing some things over
and over again so you get that muscle
memory right really concentrate on the
learning and then finally do that
practice for at least 20 hours and from
personal experience I can say you know
20 hours is an awful long time to be
able to spend with a process to learn
how to do something and to become
competent and I I agree with Josh I
think it’s it’s pretty good but here’s a
tip from me number five
if you want to become world-class then
take another nine thousand nine hundred
eighty hours or so and become really
really really good at what you’re
learning and then teach it to others and
we’re gonna talk about that in another
video how teaching to others is really
something that that really helps you
learn the best I’ve got links to the
outliers by Malcolm Gladwell the first
20 hours by Josh and Josh his name is
Josh Kaufman Josh Kaufman’s TED talk
I’ve got those links below but I want to
know from you what is it
that really stops you from learning is
it the Declaration and then not the
follow-through is that the thinking that
there’s this huge mountain you have to
climb and not wanting to even start that
journey what is it that motivates you
what is it that gets you going what does
it get you learning is it money
isn’t knowledge is it expertise and
being able to declare yourself a
professional is it the satisfaction of
learning is it this what is it tell me
what it is I’d love to know I’m David H
Lawrence the 17th if you want to
subscribe to this channel so you get
notice of what all these videos are
coming out go ahead and click on my head
if there’s a head there if not look for
the subscribe button and click on that
and if you want to see the latest video
I’ve just put out go ahead and tap there
or click there and they’ll play it for
you they do that sort of thing again I’m
David H Lawrence – 17 thank you so much
for watching and I will talk to you

4 Responses to 10,000 Hours To Become Good At Something? Not Really.

  1. Petrea Burchard January 17, 2019 at 7:39 am #

    20 hours? I’m a maven!
    It’s the mountain that scares me, and it can slow me down quite a bit while I beat my head against it. But one little accomplishment, one little “aha!” gives me so much satisfaction and confidence that it hurtles me up the slope, and then I find that mountain climbing is a joy.

  2. Tamara Wexler January 17, 2019 at 1:11 pm #

    For me, the biggest hurdle is making the time to practice and audition. Money’s a big motivator for me right now, but I always expect myself to do my best work possible so sometimes I get in my own way by convincing myself that the conditions are not ideal for that to be possible, and I procrastinate. Yesterday I made a big leap by just DECIDING to do one ACX audition, and I felt so good about it afterwards that it doesn’t even matter if I book the gig. It was just that one step forward, towards my 10,000 hours (LOL), that keeps me moving! I will do another today. I WILL!

  3. Christopher Buckner January 17, 2019 at 1:33 pm #

    The mountain effects me as well. Sometimes I seek out distractions to stall myself. It seems that once I get going, things start to pick up as motivation slowly increases. Getting that initial momentum is sometimes the challenge.

  4. Alexandra Harrington January 20, 2019 at 4:06 am #

    I would say my biggest barrier is, in fact, the most important part…the ACTION part. I’ll admit I have fallen victim to feeling accomplished after taking a class….but never really applying the skills I have learned. What gets me going is finding some fun and juicy story to tell!!

Leave a Reply