The 10,000 Hour Rule in Network Marketing

Today I want to discuss the rule of 10,000 hours in network marketing.  I hope this concept helps you as much as it has helped me.

One of my favorite books is Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell.  In his book, he discusses the rule of 10,000 hours, which states that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill and become an expert at something. For example:

  • It takes a doctor 10,000 hours to become an expert doctor
  • It takes an accountant 10,000 hours to become an expert accountant
  • It takes 10,000 hours of writing to become a great writer
  • It takes an auctioneer 10,000 hours to become a world-class auctioneer
  • It takes 10,000 hours of swimming to become a master swimmer
  • And on, and on, and on!

As an example, it would take 40 hours per week for 50 weeks a year for five years to reach 10,000 hours.  It sounds like a lot of time, but when you put it in context, it isn’t that long.

When it comes to network marketing, I personally believe there is also a 10,000 hour rule.  You can’t just join network marketing with no sales, marketing, network marketing or entrepreneurial experience and expect to succeed right away.  You have to invest time and money to develop those skills, just like anyone else would.

  • If you are working your network marketing business five hours per week, it would take 40 years to master your craft and become a network marketing expert.
  • If you are working your network marketing business 10 hours per week, it would take you 20 YEARS to master your craft and become a network marketing expert.
  • If you are working your network marketing business 20 hours per week, it would take 10 years to master your craft and become a network marketing expert.
  • And if you are working your network marketing business 40 hours per week, it would take five years to master your craft and become a network marketing expert.

The more time you put in each week, the quicker you will become an expert in network marketing (and successful).

On a side note, I am not telling you that you have to become an expert in network marketing BEFORE you can start making money or make it to the top ranks.  Nothing is further from the truth.  As you start developing your skills, you will improve at what you do and start making money.  As your skills develop further, you will do even better.   But, it does take time!  Rome wasn’t build in a day!

So many folks join our industry and expect to make big money in the first few months.  It’s as if they have a lottery mentality and think that by signing up they’ve found their winning lottery ticket.  Expecting to succeed in MLM right away would be like a doctor expecting to be a good doctor before she even attended medical school!

As of today, I’ve been in this industry a little over 13 years.  I’m sure I’ve invested close to 10,000 hours honing my skills and mastering my craft (maybe even more).  That’s why I’ve been able to develop the skills it takes to become successful.  Once again, it took me more than a decade to develop these skills!

When I study my mentors who do extremely well in our industry, most of them have invested at least 10,000 hours and many of them have invested significantly more than that.  My current mentor has been in the industry 49 YEARS.  Chew on that!  He’s dedicated his life to the industry and he has a HUGE organization as a result of it.

To succeed in this industry, or anything else in life, you have to put in the time and do the work!  Nothing beats real world experience.  The only way to become a master at something is to practice, and practice and practice until you master your skills.  Of course, you will mess up a lot along the way, while you learn, but eventually things will click and you will succeed (as long as you don’t quit).

The beauty of the 10,000 hour rule in network marketing is that the time is going to pass by anyway.  You cannot stop the time.  And best of all, you are learning these skills part-time while you have a day job!  So, there is very little financial risk involved.  Why not make the time to develop the skills that can pay you for a lifetime?  Why not become an expert in network marketing?  What do you have to lose?

What are your thoughts about the 10,000 hour rule in network marketing?  Do you think it is valid or not?  Leave a comment below to share your opinion.   I look forward to hearing from you.

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Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional (21+ years)
Top Recruiter & Top Rep

4 thoughts on “The 10,000 Hour Rule in Network Marketing”

  1. You really put some things into perspective there with that number. It does seem like such a long time, but I guess if you are busy working then it wouldn’t seem that long at all. Ultimately that number just lets me know that I have a lot more work to do and a lot more time to invest. But I look at it as a positive because I know eventually I will reach the place I desire to be and it will have all been worth it.

  2. I like how you showed how the 10,000 hour rule works with anything. I would have to agree with this rule. It may not be exactly perfect, but on average, 10,000 hours would make a person a lot wider about their business. Like you said, an MLM takes time. You don’t usually just jump in and get rich. Very good post.

    1. I think this rule applies to any business or just about anything else in life! You have to invest a bunch of time in something to become really, really good at it.

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