Are You Willing To Put In 10+ Years Of Hard Work To Be Successful?

In the book “The Dip,” Seth Godin, who is a popular blogger and marketer, explains that disproportionate success always (always) comes to the top 1% of people in any field.

Godin says,

“The rewards are always heavily skewed, so much so that it’s typical for #1 to get ten times the benefit of #10, and a hundred times the benefit of #100.”

Most people however would assume that #1 would only do just a little bit slightly better than #2.

This assumption would be false.

The example that Godin gives about this is ice cream sales. According to the International Ice Cream Association, the number one flavor of ice cream sold is Vanilla. And number two is Chocolate.

But look at how much better Vanilla does compared to Chocolate.

And Chocolate doesn’t even significantly do that much better than all the other flavors. There’s no real distinction between #2 and #8.

This idea, Godin explains, is what’s known as Zipf’s Law, and is true when it comes to any field, whether it’s writing/blogging, business, and resumes and job applications.

It pays to be in the top %1.

Getting in the top 1% of writers, income earners, or job applicants however, is hard, but well worth it. Getting in the top 1% is going to take you 10+ years of hard work.

The question then is, are you willing to stick with something for 10+ years, even if you don’t see any success during that time?

If not, then think deeply before you decide to start.

I understand that you don’t have to be in the top 1% to be successful. I understand that being in the top 10% is great as well. However, this post isn’t about that idea.


10 thoughts on “Are You Willing To Put In 10+ Years Of Hard Work To Be Successful?

      1. Anything by Seth Godin is a great read:) I wrote another post about this book a while ago so it has a lot of great ideas in it that I want to talk about eventually. And you could easily finish this book in way under a day:) I would highly recommend you read it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Vincent. Thank you for another advice of productivity booster and motivation. But I had a question.

    Can’t we cut that 10+ years of hardwork to 5? I’m looking for a shortcut to be successful in my field right now(Software Engineering) as shortest time possible.

    I’m not trying to cut corners but, I think there’s a way to compress it and still arrive to the same result as working hard as 10+ years.

    Hope you can enlighten me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wherever it is you want to go in life, there is a long and conventional route (10+ years), and then there are shorter, less conventional routes. (5 years)

      The conventional route is what happens when you let other people dictate your career. But if you know what you want in life and where you want to be in 10 years in relation to software engineering, then you can then seek out mentors and opportunities that will help you get there in 5. So it’s possible, but it takes initiative, not just academic smarts.

      Also, 88% of your success, even in fields like engineering, come down to emotional intelligence so learn to understand people.

      Liked by 1 person

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