There was a time I was auditioning for Operatic roles in New York City, and getting rejected more and more. That’s when my mentor said, “go back to the practice room.” In my mind, it didn’t make sense why I would go back to the place where no-one could see or hear me. Well, it turns out 30 years later, those hours I spent in the ‘cave’, helped prepare me for my journey to becoming an exponential entrepreneur.
Why am I bringing this up during such dire times in our country, and around the world? Recently, in my conversations from Los Angeles, via virtual calls and check-ins with friends and family, I realized that folks who are entrepreneurs, artists, athletes, coaches, writers, US military, academics, wilderness enthusiasts, and scientists, were making the transition to “safer at home”, “self-isolation’ and “sheltering” more smoothly. (I’m not including the medical professionals, because they are actively on the front line and putting their 10K hours to the ultimate task for all of us.)
Upon further discussion, a group of us, generally 50 years and older in age, came to the conclusion that we had already spent a lot of ‘alone time’ honing or developing an expert skill over the years. Many of us, of course, growing up without mobile technology. So in those times, we were committed to having to ‘stay-put’ in one spot, in order to have access to resources to get better at a skill or craft.
The good news for anyone right now who has to self-isolate and wants to start on their 10,000 hours, is that you don’t have to be any of those ‘titles’ I mentioned above, nor do you have to be in college, or with a lot of money. You just need to start with a clean sheet of paper and a pen or a new blank screen on your device. Resources are now within reach and accessible through our smartphones, tablets or computers. Yes, I support digital technology and invite you to integrate it into what I hope you decide TO DO today.
On that blank sheet or screen, jot down or input a few ideas and skills you are passionate about, and even ones that you are already good at. (FYI: there is always room for growth). Now choose one item on your list and think of a short term project you could complete in a day, a week or even in the next few weeks. You might have one big project that could get broken down into shorter-term goals. Think of it like “daily toast from a loaf of bread”. The loaf of bread being the main project. Remind yourself that during this time of sheltering, it’s your chance to put in some of your 10,000 hours, and GET AHEAD! That’s right, when I went back to audition again, I had improved my craft and moved past my old competition, and was in a new league of singers. So embrace the opportunity to clock some ‘alone time’ and further develop or start on a skill or discipline. It may actually get you closer to the finish line for a project or a job that you are still striving for.
When I was born, the choice to be an ‘exponential entrepreneur’ didn’t even exist. Over my lifetime, I set goals to be a doctor, then an opera singer, Bollywood dancer, live stage producer, strength coach, performance scientist, inventor, professor, and extreme-athlete. Ironically, I eventually achieved all of those roles, and the 10,000 hours I put into each and every one of those crafts or disciplines, cumulatively helped to shape my passion and expertise for entrepreneurship. In hindsight, I now realize that committing to more than one skill and every 10,000 hours that came with each stage, gave clarity to what I was ultimately meant to do on this planet.
When you work on your craft or skill, in my opinion, there are four (4) critical elements you should keep in mind as you activate your 10,000 hours: Creativity, Innovation, Invention, and Strategy. Creativity is what inspires your idea and fuels it with the energy to start. Innovation is the result of a trial and error phase, and where you learn to accept that failure is part of the process. Invention relates to the platform you use to demonstrate or present the results. This is usually something tangible for both you and others to celebrate. Finally, strategy is more personal. It is where you decide in what way to record or document your steps to show yourself (or others) how you measured your progress. It is an important aspect of growth, similar to looking in the rear-view mirror to see where you have come from, knowing where you are now, and looking forward to where you are going.
Now, just so you know. I took a break to share this with you because, in all honesty, I needed some inspiration.
I was finally on the path as an Exponential Entrepreneur in hopes of building my mobile MMO/RPG cross-platform Real-World Game called BRAVE KAVER™, and almost gave up. By May 1, 2020 I was going to scale down to delivering only the analog version of my applications. (i.e. Precision Form Training (PFT) and BUBBLE CHEEK™ tools for human performance mental and physical health.) However, when COVID-19 and sheltering started to take effect, I realized there was a need for more real-world gaming on a mobile device. This could have been the chance to give more people of all ages the opportunity TO DO something REAL-LIVE and FUN to improve the performance of a skill or craft, by engaging either individually or with others virtually through a digitized version of PFT and BUBBLE CHEEK. Realizing that BRAVE KAVER ™ in these ‘self-isolating’ and anxious times would have given folks the opportunity to measure their growth as they create, compete and collaborate with others, making the rigor of clocking in their 10,000 hours more FUN, was the sign I needed, to not ‘throw in the towel’. Instead, it ‘lit a fire under my butt’ to DO MORE.…so back to my ‘Kave’.
I’m looking forward to collaborating with you in a future we can make brighter together. One day soon, I hope you get to experience as a BRAVE KAVER ™ in a real-world mobile game, abundance in life energy through confidence. I believe when you ‘Activate your Brave’, YOU can Change the World, and TOGETHER, we can Save the World!
In the meantime, start on your list. The clock is ticking…..Enjoy the Process!
With love and light, Dr. Veera