Black and white photo of lamp post and ornate building on NY's East Side, taken by Joana Miranda

My empire building took a bit of a back seat this past week to other work – namely performances of Swan Lake with the New York City Ballet orchestra – and, with the same group, rehearsals of a new ballet composed by former Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney.  Oh, and did I mention that Paul McCartney was in attendance at the rehearsal and was standing right in my line of sight?

Talk about a worldwide sensation!   The Beatles obviously knew a thing or two about empire building.  But, as Malcolm Gladwell points out in his 2008 bestseller, The Outliers: The Story of Success, (and summarizes eloquently in the video below), the band also knew that no empire is built without a foundation of hours of practice (10,000 hours, to be exact), and the blood, sweat and tears to go along with it.

It’s easy to lose sight of this fact when you are trying to build an empire in just one year.  “Empire Foundation Building Kit” just doesn’t have quite the right ring to it, though.  In Week 39 of the Empire Building Kit, Chris Guillebeau – the EBK’s author – touched on the importance of having realistic business expectations.  In an interview with an extremely successful magician earning a 6-figure income from his 1-man act, we learned (not surprisingly) that even a magician doesn’t have the magic formula.   What’s behind his success is a lifetime of hard work, training and sacrifice.

As I move forward in the EBK course and in the pursuit of my dreams, I’m reminded of the importance of being patient, and of being realistic.  I’m also reminded to keep doing what I love to do, since that is the only way that I will be able to commit the time  necessary to get where I want to be.

How about you?  What passion can you spend 10,000 hours on?


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