Time, Expertise and Money

Time, expertise and money are the three key resources for personal and business development. Time is what I call “the great equalizer.” Everyone has the same number of hours in a day. It’s what you do with your time that makes all the difference in your life. Henry Ford said:

It’s been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.”

Think about the truth of  that statement for a moment. If you fully understand the power of this statement then you know the secret to success in all areas of your life.

When we start out on our journey to make our mark in life we have lots of time, little or no expertise and little or no money. There  are people who achieve high levels of expertise at very young ages in sports (tennis and golf), music (piano and violin), and other areas such as chess. But for most people, it isn’t until after high school that we begin developing the particular expertise that will have a significant impact on the quality of our lives. But whether it’s a so-called child prodigy (Tiger Woods) or a late-blooming CEO of a major corporation (Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE) the way is the same – investing time and money to develop expertise. And time is a bigger factor than money.

Education + Practice + Experience over Time determines the level of Expertise. Money can have an influence on the amount of Time available, the quality of Education (schools, teachers, mentors, coaches), the quality of Practice (deliberate practice VS unfocused practice) and the quality of Experience (internships, on-the-job-training). But for the truly determined person, willing to persist with patience “until,” the lack of money is only another obstacle to overcome and never an excuse for failure. Money can buy Time, so the lack of Money usually just means it will take more Time.

These “4 Prosperity Pillars” – |Earn| |Save| |Invest| |Protect| – are the foundation to Financial Independence. The road to Financial Independence is building Expertise. Since Education, Practice and Experience are key to building Expertise, the purpose of Earning and Saving Money in your younger years is to Invest it in Time, Education, Practice and Experience in order to build Expertise. The more Expertise you have, the more Money you’ll be able Earn.

A team of researchers led by K. Anders Ericcson published a paper – “The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance” that proposed a new framework for understanding why some people are so “talented” – and so-called prodigies. This ground-breaking research concluded that:

…the search for stable heritable characteristics that could predict or at least account for the superior performance of eminent individuals has been surprisingly unsuccessful. The difference between expert performers and normal adult reflect a life-long period of deliberate effort to improve performance in a specific domain.”

In other words, there are no prodigies. It was found that all so-called prodigies had the right set of circumstances that enabled them to focus a lot of Time to build their Expertise. These circumstances included such things as priority of parents, access to the right resources, teachers and coaches and a willingness for the child to go along with the plan. Since this report, many books have been written on this topic. It’s eye-opening and mind-expanding. It removes all excuses for not achieving what we want to achieve in life. It’s a matter of how much you want it and what you’re willing to do to achieve it. It really is your choice. That reality is hard for a lot of people because it’s much easier to say to yourself   “I’m not that talented so I could never do that and so I just have to settle for who I am.” No, it’s not that at all. What it really is, is not willing to Invest Time and Money in building Expertise.

Below is a list of books that I’ve read that springboard from Ericcson’s research. They are all worth reading. Especially if you want to give your children a huge advantage in today’s competitive world.

Talent is Overrated, by Geoff Colvin

Outliers, by Malcom Gladwell

The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle

The Genius in All of Us, by David Shenk

Bounce, by Matthew Syed

Best of Luck Always,

D. Scott Elder

(C) 2011 Cosmic Bridge, LLC

Published in: on February 11, 2011 at 6:14 PM  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I really liked this post. It is too bad that you don’t write more often. “Deliberate effort towards acquiring a skill” need to focus on this more.

  2. Scott I liked reading your blog and being reminded of some great truths!

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Your friend,


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