3.31.2006

TIP: Make Millions in 30 minutes or Less

A few weeks ago I saw Elton John in concert in Indianapolis, Robert May blogged... The next day, there was a tv show about him on some educational network (he was being interviewed in front of a bunch of musicians), and someone asked him how long it took him to write "Your Song." He said about 30 minutes.

That song has made him millions of dollars. For 30 minutes worth of work.

Or, that's how some people see it. But that would be wrong. You have to peel back a layer. Elton had studied piano for years. He played hours and hours a day. He pushed himself to master his instrument until such bursts of creativity and talent seemed easy. When we wonder why we haven't had the "instant success" that so many others have, do we look at all the time they put in that we didn't? Elton John didn't really write "Your Song" in 30 minutes. He wrote it during 15 years of rigorous musical training.

Why does this matter? Because if you want to have those creative breakthroughs, if you want to make the easy money, if you want to be an instant success, you have to put in an inordinate amount of time up front. So now the secret is out, but don't worry - this is one secret that is safe in public - because most people hate hard work.

Category: C++ Quant > Fix the Job You Got

1 comment:

  1. This is like one of the classic consulting stories:

    A power plant was having turbine activity problems and for weeks could not figure the problem out. Finally they hired a consultant to fix the problem. He walked around the plant, inspected a number of pipes up and down, and finally pulled out a piece of chalk and put an X on one of them.

    "Hit right here with a hammer and your problem will be solved," the consultant told them. One of the engineers pulled out a hammer, hit the pipe at the X and the turbine began running smoothly again.

    He then presented them a bill for $7500. The plant manager was taken aback by the amount of the bill, especially because the consultant didn't appear to do much at all. Flustered, he said, "Well, we need an itemized list of the work done."

    The consultant took back the bill and scribbled two lines on it:

    $0.05 - Chalk

    $7495.95 - Knowing where to put the mark

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