What Does It Take to Achieve Success?

by Carol Douthitt on July 21, 2011

One of my favorite places to vacation is in North Carolina.  I just got back from spending a week on a gorgeous mountain top in Spruce Pine, NC with my daughter, Sarah.  We brought her little 1 year old daughter, Azalea, with us and I was the "Granny Nanny" while Sarah was in class for the week working on her gem cutting skills with a Master Gem Cutter.

Speaking of the term Master… Do you know what it takes to become a Master at something?

How long does it take to get really good at something?

According to Malcolm Gladwell in his book, Outliers, the average time it takes to become a Master of anything is about 10,000 hours.

Ponder that idea for a moment and think about all the really successful musicians, composers, artists, business owners etc.

Gladwell gives an example of The Beatles and their rise to stardom.  It definitely did not happen over night.

In fact, when the Beatles first started playing together in 1957, they weren’t even that good.  In 1960 when they were still struggling, they were invited to go to Hamburg, Germany and play in strip clubs.

While in Liverpool, they would perform only one hour shows and it would be their same best songs played over and over again.  However once they started playing in Hamburg, they had to play for eight hours straight.  Since they were foreigners, they had to try even harder and find a new way of playing.  They put their heart and soul into their performances.

By the time they had their first success and came to America to perform on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964 they had already performed live twelve hundred times.  Most bands today don’t perform that many times in their entire careers.

The time that elapsed between their first gig and one of their greatest achievements – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – was about 10 years.

People often start working on their new home business with high expectations and good intentions, but few will actually do what it takes and see things through to success.

Many have a tendency to be impatient when they don’t get the results they want immediately and begin making excuses and blaming others for their failures.  Worse still… they quit.

Success is as dependable as the rules of mathematics.  Success is NOT complicated.

According to the Law of Compensation by Ralph Waldo Emerson, you’ll receive money in direct proportion to the following….

1.    The need for what you sell or service you provide
2.    Your ability to sell or provide the service
3.    How difficult you are to replace

Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.  The key word here is progressive.  On your journey to success you’ll be trading your time and your life for a goal so make sure it’s a goal that is worthwhile.  

The more passionate you are about your goal, the longer you are likely to be persistent and consistent in moving toward it.  

Move toward a predetermined target.

You will start getting paid a little in the beginning.  Your first sale is usually the hardest to make.  Then each one gets easier.

In my first attempt at marketing a Top Tier program back in 1998, it took me a full six months to make my first sale.  Surprisingly, I made my second sale the very next week!

When you actually experience success, you not only believe you can be successful… you have proof in knowing you can succeed.

Once you have achieved success and time freedom, then you have options.  You can pick and choose other projects to work on, and you can add more passive residual income to your portfolio.

If you’ll do tomorrow what others won’t, you will be able to live tomorrow like others can’t.  

Discipline is the ability to give yourself a command and follow it.  

Don’t put off your success by failing to take action.  Be effective with your time.  Create a habit of time management and use whatever system works best for you.

Don’t get frustrated.  Know that success takes time.  Do what you love… and you’ll breeze through those 10,000 hours to achieve Mastery.

Life is not about the destination though.  It's about the Journey – It's all about the person you become in the process.

Enjoy Your Journey!;-)


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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

denny hagel July 21, 2011 at 11:55 am

Very timely article for me Carol! Feeling I am at a bit of a crossroad these days! I am going to print this and read it a few more times…thanks for your wisdom! :))


Carol Douthitt July 21, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Thanks for commenting Denny! And speaking of crossroads … in the photo of Sarah and Zaley on top of Roan Mountain … that’s where we kinda got lost and confused on the path in the rhododendron gardens because it came to a fork and we didn’t know which way to turn. It felt like being in Alice in Wonderland!;-) As in life… sometimes you just have to go where your heart and your intuition takes you. Wishing you Joy & Abundance today!


Carol Giambri July 21, 2011 at 11:58 am

Carol, great article. Loved how you related it to real life–real business and still have fun along the path.  Enjoyed how Malcolm Gladwell saw that to master something like the Beatles it doesn't happen over night.  It takes lots of time, hours, months and years to get there. Looks like many of us are a  work in progress.  Your daughter and granddaughter are gorgeous.   How wonderful to enjoy the baby and help your daughter as she was in school with a Master improving her skill level. Glad you got the vacation to recharge–had to be with the 2 beauties with you.   


Carol Douthitt July 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Thank you for your kind words Carol! And yes… we are all beautiful works in progress… experiencing more every day as we travel our journey.


Claudia Looi July 21, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Carol, thanks for reminder that nothing happens overnight. I enjoyed Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and have learned a lot from this article. The law of compensation is absolutely true. I am undergoing training now, at this age because…was the jack of all trade, master of none…hard truths. I love Spruce Pine. A friend of mine has a vacation home on top of the hill. We spent several days with her family few years ago.


Carol Douthitt July 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Thanks for stopping by and commenting Claudia. Yes… Spruce Pine is lovely… but my favorite place in North Carolina is the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. The energy field in that area is amazing. I’m going back there in September and going to spend 3 days in a workshop with Esther Hicks!;-)


Olga Hermans July 21, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Thanks Carol, step by step, that's what it takes. Master of anything is about 10,000 hours, that is more than a few steps :) and how difficult you are to replace really stood out to me. Great insight!!


Carol Douthitt July 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Hi Olga, Thanks for commenting!;-)


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