It took him 30 years to become the richest man in Africa! 30 years. Three full decades!! I wonder how many people can be patient, persistent and strive so hard to follow their vision and goals. After that many years of trials, failure and disappointments. I wonder if I would be so patient.
In this era of social media, we read blog posts, books and encounter success teachers, pastors and motivational speakers who claim that they can teach us how to “master” a skill or how to be rich and successful in only 10 days or even 3 days or the even more intriguing promise from native doctors we watch in African Movies who can turn around your fortune in hours , minutes and the more charming ones promise seconds. At some point I believe it took at least 21 days to master a habit- not even excelling at it or 10, 000 hours to become masters in a trade but I at this rate I would not be surprised to see adverts on the papers and Web offering "instant mastery of skills, knowledge and wealth while you wait!"
Yet even I with this understanding will acknowledge that I am not where I want to be (career wise and on the social ladder) according to my own standards. The few people I look up to in this life I do not compare myself to them, I just use them as my inspiration, mentors and a Map. A kind of GPS system and it is ok if I get lost once in a while but then…. I am still me and they are who they are. Yet a consistent message with all these people is that there is only one way to learn and perfect a skill or become successful in anything I want to master or even the wealth I intend to acquire and that is by DOING!
First, you must learn and there are many ways to do this- by reading about it, listening to audio material about it or watching others who know how to do it, but whatever mode of learning works for you- it all then comes down to starting to do whatever you learnt.
Then you do some more. At this point, you will start to understand it. Note that in the beginning there will be loads and loads of mistakes. People will even laugh and jeer at you, some would not understand, many will call you a fool and a waste of time and at this stage, if you really know how to follow your plans and discipline yourself, you would end up successful. It could take up to several months and maybe a few years…. But you must not give up, you have to do some more. After a couple of years, you will get fairly good at it. Whatever happens you have to keep doing and practice very often. If you learn from your mistakes, and are not afraid to make mistakes, you will go from good to great.
According to the experts and those who have succeeded in this quest, It takes anywhere from 6-10 years to get great at something or successful in a business, depending on the individual. (which reminds me of what a consultant told my partner and I when we first started business- he told us without mincing words that most businesses do not survive their first five years). Some estimated that it takes 10,000 hours to master something or perfect a skill, but personally I think it varies from person to person and depends on the skill and other factors.
Want to be a great writer? It’s possible to be great within a few months, if you have the natural talent of Uncle Shakespeare, but most of us toil for over a decade and are still trying to get better. We are still learning to this day, and if we look back on our first few years of writing of any kind, we will tell you we sucked at it (for the most part) back then. And this cuts across all industries and fields. Mozart my favorite classical composer, started composing when he was 11 years old, he made his first masterpiece at 23, I think you can do the maths. You want to be a great business mogul? Remember how long it took Dangote.
There is no one who is breathtakingly great at what they do who has not invested a lot of time and energy into their practice. No designer, no programmer, no carpenter, no architect, no surgeon, no teacher, no musician, no artist, no bus, no blogger really became an overnight success. If you know one, please link them up to me, we may feature them on #TheProcess but I am sure you get my point now. I dare you to name one.
Most have been doing it for over a decade, and are still looking to improve.
It takes desire, it takes passion, it takes discipline, it takes consistency, it takes drive, it takes mistakes and failure and lots and lots of doing. So do not get discouraged if you are just starting out. Do not compare yourself with those that have made it but use their story as a road map. Do not despair and disapprove of yourself or even look down on yourself, do not forget to have fun while you doing it like all successful people did in the beginning.
If you have fun, you would learn to love it, and THAT IS when you start getting a hang of it. When you love something, you will want to do it all the time, sometimes late at night, sometimes in the middle of the day. Sometimes early in the morning before you even go to the bathroom. You dream of it, you sleep eat and talk about it. It totally consumes you.
Find that thing you want to be a master of and start doing it, don’t just read about it. Don't just Google it or wish you can do it, don’t buy a single book or magazine or whatever it is that claims to teach you something in minutes, hours, days. They are not speaking the truth and most times with an eye in your pocket to collect the little you have. Yes I said it!
Do it, keep doing it, then keep doing it some more.
And note that it is very okay to Fail and make mistakes……but when you do
*pick yourself up
*change your strategy
*Revisit the drawing board