My Take on Seth Godin’s The 100 Hour Asset

my take on the 100 hour asset by Seth Godin

Can a 100 hour asset really change your life?

I’m huge fan Seth Godin and I’ve been following his Blog for quite some time now.

When I read his post about “The 100 hour asset” there was just something about it that resonated really well with myself and the direction I have for this blog.

It’s one of those things where you get an “aha” moment and suddenly it unlocks an idea that may have been difficult to understand otherwise.

A sense of clarity. Sort of.

By the time you’re done reading this post, I know it’ll resonate with you as well.

Who is Seth Godin?

When you’re familiar with someone’s work and you understand the amount of reach and impact he’s had on so many people’s lives, it’s very easy for you to name-drop.

But if there’s one important lesson I’ve learned throughout my blogging journey it’s that not everyone is familiar with the things you already know.

I think it’s only fair that if I mention someone in the title of the post then he deserves a brief introduction.

If you already know who Seth Godin is then please feel free to move on to the rest of the article.

If you don’t, I recommend you find some time to learn about him and follow his work.

He’s an excellent author, a very successful entrepreneur and a great teacher of all things related to (digital) marketing.

The reason I love his blog is because it’s short, straight to the point and yet the content is still very effective.

Most of his posts aren’t even up to 500 words long yet he still gets million of readers!

That’s the kind of power you get when you’ve put in the work to consistently provide value for others and built enough authority and credibility.

The point of this article is to take a look at one of his posts.

What is the 100 hour asset?

The 100 hour asset is basically Seth’s take on the 100 hour rule which states:

“For most basic disciplines and skills, it only takes 100 hours of practice to become much more competent than an absolute beginner.”

That rule itself is sort of a sub-section of the 10,000 hour rule that states you need 10,000 hours practice to become an expert.

But if we focus on the 100 hour rule alone then it means you don’t need to become an expert to build a profitable online business.

What you need is knowledge and competency.

A concept I’ve spoken about in this post.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying it’ll be easy.

Even with just 100 hours alone, it still requires some work, practice and a lot of effort to make sure you’re eventually successful but it’s better than the amount of work required for 10,000 hours.

Since Seth’s post is really short, I’m going to paraphrase here:

“We’re all so busy doing our work that sometimes we fail to build a skill worth owning.

If you invest 100 hours in a rare skill, you’re likely to acquire it. 

If you could learn to sharpen a tool better than your peers, organize a high-performance database, see the nuances in some sector of cryptography, know how to build a pretty-good WordPress site or really understand the arc of a particular writer’s career, you’d have something of value. 

Something that anyone who was focused enough to invest 100 hours could have, but few will choose to commit to.

String together a few of those, or dig deep and develop a 1,000 hour asset and now you truly have something.

There’s huge pressure to fit in, and plenty of benefits if you invest the time and stand out instead.

Twenty hours a week for a year and you can know something that puts you in a new category. Access to knowledge isn’t nearly as difficult as the desire to learn.”

Courtesy of Seth’s Blog.

Building a 100 Hour Asset

how to build a 100 hour asset

To sum it all up, he’s basically saying if you invested the time to learn a marketable skill then you’d be far better off tomorrow than if you did nothing today.

I understand there are a number of factors that come into play for you to successfully build any skill but imagine where you’d be if you devoted 100 hours to learning something new.

It’s a concept that hit way to close to home as someone who’s been trying to grow this blog for a few months now.

And it’s not even the fact that it made more sense that being successful requires a lot of effort and patience but there’s a particular thought that struck me after I read the post.

Actually 3 things stood out for me:

  • …something of value
  • …huge pressure to fit in
  • …the desire to learn

In so many ways those 3 things represent the different struggles we all face as bloggers.

The struggle to consistently provide something of value, the huge pressure to fit in with other successful bloggers and the desire to learn or lack thereof.

Even though Seth says you only need to invest 100 hours to acquire a rare skill, those 3 things tell me we probably need to step outside of the boundaries of time to understand why it’s difficult for so many aspiring bloggers to make it.

That’s the “aha” moment I’m referring to.

If you’ve read this far then I encourage you to keep on reading because it’ll make a huge difference in the way you approach things from now on.

I know it did for me.

The 3 Things That Matter

I’m going to begin this section with a little bit of tough love.


Okay, here we go.

What if I told you right now everything you’ve thought about your pursuit is wrong?

Everything you believe you’re capable of is based on the wrong assumptions?

What if I told you right now your idea of success will lead you nowhere?

I know all of that sounds like I’m being negative but bear with me because in a few moments I’ll ask you some more questions that will help paint the whole picture.

Here is one thing I’m certain of – Most of my audience includes people who are inspired to do more. 

That deep down you’re capable of accomplishing more and you’re willing to make the necessary sacrifices to get to your ultimate goal. 

Since you’re here, I know you’re one of those people. 

And to be distinctly clear, I don’t want you to feel like I’m placing any labels on you. 

But I’ve since come to realize that a lot of the people I interact with are aspiring bloggers or aspiring creatives in their own right. 

So all i’m referring to here is anyone who has a particular goal and is motivated enough to see it through.

Since you’re one of those people, I have 3 more questions for you: 

WHAT do you want to do? (What are your goals?)

HOW do you want to do those things? (How do you plan on achieving them?)

WHY do you want to do them? (Why should anyone listen to you and what outcomes do you expect for yourself?)

Keep those answers to yourself.

Actually I suggest you write them down somewhere so you can visualize them.

Once you’re done reading this, see if your answers change or not. 

At the very least I’m hoping to flicker a light bulb in your brain. 

Which light bulb? 

Well, read on.

What, How and Why

Let’s begin with the “what”.

What do you want to do?

So many people who are just getting started think they just want to build a blog.

At least that’s what I used to tell myself.

And while there’s nothing wrong with that thought in itself, let’s think about it for a second. 

Yes you want to build a blog but what kind of blog exactly?

Actually you need to take it a step further and ask yourself, “what kind of business?”

  • Who’s your audience?
  • What kind of problems are they struggling with?
  • What kind of solutions can you provide? 

For many bloggers the struggle isn’t the lack of  business ideas.

In fact we have so many of them that it can often be both a gift and a curse. 

That’s why the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) exists.

But FOMO becomes a legitimate problem when you see others being successful with a similar idea so you assume you can just jump right in and run with it.

Assumption usually leads 1 of 2 things:

  1. You don’t validate your idea at all OR
  2. You don’t validate it enough.

If you don’t validate your idea at all then you really shouldn’t be surprised if you don’t get any results.

If you spend 100 hours on something nobody cares about then you would’ve only wasted your own time.

So the first point is pretty self-explanatory.

What typically happens though is you come up with an idea, validate it somewhat and then jump right in.

No credible validation of yours.

That’s our response to the question “what do you want to do?”

It goes something like “I want to start a blog because I’ve been told it has an incredible amount of opportunities and I’ve seen other bloggers become really successful.”

There is a lot of truth to that statement and there’s also nothing wrong with acting instinctively but that’s only a third of the equation.

And if you read the statement again, you’ll find out there’s no credible reason there besides the fact that someone else was successful.

Have people achieved success just off of instinct alone?

Yes they have.

But that’s far from the norm.

So answering the “what” isn’t enough.

You need to dig a little bit more.

Which leads me to..

How do you want to do it?

Now that you’ve come up with an amazing business idea how are you going to execute it? 

What typically happens at this stage is information overload.

And similar to the previous stage, 1 of 2 things happens:

  1. You either have no clue how to OR
  2. You end up reading just about everything you could possibly get your hands on. 

There’s a lot of information out there. Plenty of it. 

Plus you have so many experts and mentors you can learn from.

So when it comes to answering the “How”, you could easily say “I’ll just learn from one of the experts and follow their lead.”

That’s actually an excellent idea.

In fact I 100% recommend you do. 

The question I want you to ask yourself is what happens when things don’t go as planned? 

Do you blame your mentor or yourself? 

Do you blame it on the course you purchased or your inability to execute? 

You had an excellent idea, you finally validated it, learned from the best and yet you’re not getting the same results. 

And you certainly are capable of doing those things or at the very least are investing in the 100 hours you need.

So what went wrong?

Why do you keep falling for the next shiny object?

That’s because there’s something still missing.

You can answer the What and the How but your success will always be bigger than those 2 things alone.

Did that light bulb get a little bit brighter?

Even if it didn’t, let me add a little bit of perspective.

I want you to take a quick second to think about something. 

Look down at whatever device you’re reading this from. 

Why did you purchase it? 

It certainly wasn’t the only one available in the market.

You can talk about pricing but I can easily argue there were other options within the same price range.

Why not go with the competitor? 

Why do you think people stand in line for days waiting for the latest iPhone or the latest pair of shoes?

All of that leads me to…

Why do you want to do it?

Think about some of the brands that came to mind when I asked you those questions.

Why do people camp out to spend hundreds of dollars on the latest pair of shoes?

Apple certainly isn’t the only phone company out there. 

For added perspective, Apple is actually a computer company!

Do you know why all those brands are very successful? 

It’s in their Why. 

By that I mean their core message and ultimately the way they choose to make their customers feel. 

Anything outside of that and they’re just another shoe or tech company. 

So how does it apply to blogging?

Go take a look at your mentor or what the experts in your niche are doing.

I guarantee they’ve tackled all 3 of those points and you’ll always see a glaring Why.

That Why is the main reason for all of their success and if you think about it, it really is the only thing that separates them from the rest of the bunch.

That Why is the reason some top bloggers can pre-sell a course and make 5 or 6 figures before they even create it.

That Why is the reason for their loyal following.

And that Why permeates everything they do.

So think about yourself and your blog. 

Why did you decide to start one? 

I’m sure your time could be better served elsewhere. 

Why do you want to go through all of the headaches and struggles? 

Forget about making money. 

Yes it is important but the money ALWAYS comes last.

Believe me if you don’t have a strong why, you’ll quit the first moment you don’t see any money coming in – even if you had a great idea. 

So I’m talking about the kind of Why that drives you to wake up and work on your business everyday. 

The kind of why that consistently brings you back to your business when things don’t work out. 

The kind of reason that tells you to adapt instead of quitting when you’ve given it your all and failed. 

The foundation of your business should be built on your why. 

And only you can answer that.

But I’d like to use this blog as an example to show you what I mean. 

Lead by example right?

The main reason why this blog exists today is because I believe every busy professional can live the life of their dreams without all the work burnout by building a successful side-hustle.

For many people (yourself included) they know deep down they can accomplish more for themselves besides a draining full-time job.

I believe starting a blog is one the best ways to accomplish that.

Building this blog has been a far stretch from easy but I’m motivated to pull through because I want to see you win.

I want to see You win – in life and in business. 

We all have our ups and downs and when things aren’t going as planned, we ultimately need to remember why we got into this in the first place.

I wrote a post prior to this that talked about the struggle to be relevant.

I recommend you read it because believe me you’ll face the same issues as well.

I wrote that post because in so many ways I was already drifting away from my Why.

When I asked those introductory questions they weren’t intended to make you feel bad about yourself but to make you think about exactly what it is you’re trying to accomplish.

Better yet, WHY you’re doing it. 

If you don’t understand your Why, it’ll be tough for you or your blog to grow.

It’ll be tough for you to build a brand that your audience resonates with.

I’m not teaching anything that doesn’t already exist out there.

I’m doing it using my own experiences, the things I’ve learned and I’m driven by my Why.

When people send me emails asking questions, sign up to my mailing list or purchase anything I recommend, it’s because they resonate with the same things.

When you have that deeper connection with what it is you’re trying to accomplish, it’s easier to survive the tough times. 

What & How don’t matter if there’s no reason Why. 

If you’re lacking one then you’ll ultimately start looking for shortcuts and those unfortunately do not exist.

That’s where the frustrations, stress and eventually the desire to quit begin to happen.

Separate yourself from the pack by understanding your purpose.

Final Thoughts on The 100 Hour Asset

I agree if you invest 100 hours in a rare skill you’re likely going to acquire it.

But I also think you need to go beyond just the hours alone. 

You can’t assume “any 100 hours” will get you all the results you want. 

If you have no sense of direction or you’re repeating the wrong steps for the next 100 or even 10,000 hours then all you would’ve done is learn how to fail really well.

I’ve listed the 3 things that really matter:

  • What
  • How
  • Why

They’re not independent of each other but of all three your Why is the most important.

I am by no means undermining the value of investing 100 hours in a particular skillset.

In fact I believe you should think long term and suggest you invest more hours.

Target a 10,000 hour asset.

Put some thought into it, be decisive and smart about your actions and remember why you’re doing any of it in the first place.

Go back and look at the answers you had earlier and see if anything changed.

Let me know what you think and share your thoughts below.

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