I recently finished Robert Greene’s book, Mastery, yet another master-piece of the author who brought us The 48 Laws Of Power, The 33 Strategies of War, The 50th Law and many others.
If you know me or are familiar with N2ITIV, you know that I believe there is no such thing as an expert (let alone a master) however, that being said, there was a very strong point that he drove home which I think is essential for every entrepreneur to know.
In order to master a skill, Greene concluded that it takes roughly 10,000 hours. If you include distractions, that amounts to approximately 9-10 years, assuming that’s pretty much all you do.
Therefore, how much time does it take to be a master entrepreneur?
How To Become A Master Entrepreneur
In my opinion, there are two answers to that question. The first answer is, quite simply, NEVER. It simply ain’t gonna happen. The other answer I have is also quite simple… 10,000 hours (or 9-10 years).
If you are an entrepreneur you should see that there appears to be a major flaw with that answer because being an entrepreneur requires quite a bit more than learning (or mastering) one particular skill-set or trade. The fact is that an entrepreneur must deal with a cross section of multiple trades and skills on a daily basis.
So how can you become a master entrepreneur in 10,000 hours?
Again, there is only one answer… working with other masters. Let me flesh this out a bit using a personal example.
The most recent project I have been working on is in a space that requires 5 main components:
1) A sales and marketing component
2) A branding and product development component
3) A complex financial component
4) A legal component with heavy IP emphasis
5) A software and coding component
In order to make sure each of the components are handled to the absolute best of their ability, I need the help of not one but 5 masters.
Again, I need to mention that I absolutely hate words like mastery, expert and/or guru HOWEVER, having a tremendous amount of respect for Robert Greene’s work and, being in total agreement with the point he is trying to make, I will make an exception in this case…
OK, back to my current venture…
The People Who Make Me Masterful
From the 5 components listed above, my new venture is in need of 5 such masters. Fortunately, I have four partners who fill 4/5 of the equation:
The first person is me. My mastery is sales and marketing and, fortunately, I have far exceeded 10,000 hours in that area.
The next master is Gary. Gary has a very extensive background in branding and product development having not only run companies with me, but also having run branding and product development for some of the largest and well known brands in the world. (23 years of experience altogether)
The next master is Big John, who I highlighted in my recent article on how to overcome fear. John has an extensive financial background, having worked on Wall Street on a very high level for well over 20 years.
Our fourth master, Ed is an attorney with an extensive background in IP law, and handles the legal work for some of the largest brands in music and entertainment. He also has 25+ years in this field.
If I were to try to handle the responsibilities myself, according to Greene, I would need a minimum of 40 years until I could be masterful enough to handle each area. Couple that with the software and coding component, I would have to be a minimum age of 72 before I could even begin to start a business with the mastery of these 5 areas (50 years out of college).
Hopefully you see where I am going. The only way to be a masterful entrepreneur is to have partners who are masters at what you need, or at least hire people who are masters in a given field.
According to Greene, the road to being a master is first observation, then apprenticeship, and finally, practice. If you are an entrepreneur or have aspirations to become a successful entrepreneur you need to know that there is no such thing as a master entrepreneur who achieves success on the efforts and expertise (and mastery) of him or herself alone.
Note: To view all articles in this blog on startups, click startup advice
What Do You Need To Be A Master Entrepreneur
Here’s a good rule to follow. Look at your business. Most of my businesses have consisted of 6 areas:
2- Branding & product development
3- Marketing & public relations
Look at your company and break down what areas your company needs. Then figure out what can be done in-house and what can be done through outside help. Take those areas and make sure you have each department run by someone who has passed Greene’s criteria.
I know what you may be thinking… I am a startup entrepreneur ya dummy! I don’t have 10 minutes let alone 10 years, nor can I hire anyone with 10 years to help me!
I have an answer to that question. Email me with the subject line HELP ME YA DUMMY and I will respond to you within 48 hours… or leave a comment below.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you want to explore a more in depth look at starting a business and raising money, Gary and I have shot 4 FREE product training videos that we have created that provides a much deeper and comprehensive look into starting a business. To visit that section, click here now.
Have a great day!