The Surprising Power of 20 Hours


Do you ever hold back on learning something or developing a new skill because it feels daunting and you wonder where you will ever find the time?

I recently discovered this great TEDX talk by Josh Kaufman "The First 20 Hours – How To Learn anything". What he shares is important to all of us interested in growing our businesses. Up-leveling your business often means new learning and new skill acquisition.

In this video, Kaufman challenges the widespread belief that we need 10,000 hours to develop expertise and found that we really only need 20 hours of practice to become proficient at something.

Big, big difference between 10,000 hours and 20 hours.

Think for a moment about what you want to create.

What expertise or new skill set will help you get there? Maybe you want to learn to write a sales page or get really good at converting comp sessions or create your first online course. One of the things on my list in the new year is to develop enough expertise in art journaling to use it in my programs. What a relief to learn that it can be done with 20 hours of practice. That translates to about 45 minutes per day for a month. Now, that's doable!

Here's the formula laid out in the video

Deconstruct the skill you want to learn. In other words, there may be multiple skills involved in this one learning objective. Break it down and start with the ones that will make the most difference quickly.

Learn just enough to self-correct. You have to do some basic learning before you can actually start to practice the thing you are learning. Maybe you want to get proficient at converting prospective clients to paying clients. You would need to get familiar with the elements of a high converting comp session enough to begin to practice doing it.

Remove barriers to practice.  Josh says that the most common barrier is not intellectual but emotional. No one likes that feeling of being a newbie and not knowing what you are doing. Knowing that feeling will shift in 20 hours (or less), goes a long way toward alleviating that angst.

Practice 20 hours. Remember that is about 45 minutes per day for a month.

What are you inspired to learn next?

Do take time to watch the video – it's quite entertaining.