10,000 Hours

kristina leonardi
6 min readJan 6, 2018


Commitment is the new black. — Andrew Sullivan

In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell studied highly successful people and came up with the theory that applying 10,000 hours of dedicated practice was required to perfect a skill or master a field. He talks about how the Beatles played hundreds of concerts in Germany before they performed on The Ed Sullivan Show, Bill Gates had access to computers years before most, and Tiger Woods was swinging a golf club from the age of 3.

I have also read how Beyoncé was singing and dancing in heels since she was around 10, and heard Meghan Trainor talk about writing something like 2,000 songs before making it big. And what about those Olympic athletes? How many breaststrokes or backflips did Michael Phelps or Simone Biles have to do before winning their gold medals?

Whether the 10,000 Hours rule is accurate or not, it speaks to dedicating yourself to your work, your craft, your art or sport in a serious way over a significant and consistent period of time. With our 24/7 world of distraction and superficiality, it has become increasingly difficult to focus and commit oneself to anything — whether it is a career path, a specific skill or habit you want to develop, a new relationship, or reading an actual book or even full-length article!

In the big picture, however, the most important commitment you can make is to yourself. Knowing, accepting and loving who you are and knowing the cycles of personal growth and TIME it takes to become your very best in order to maximize your potential and prosperity — this is the root of all the other commitments. If you have done that, only then can you think about and be successful in what specifically you want to “practice” as part of the journey.

What can you commit (or have you been committing) 10,000 hours to right now? This can, of course, change as your life grows and evolves.

Over the past few months I’ve been feeling like I’ve hit a turning point in my work with clients and, thinking about this concept, wondering if perhaps I’ve hit my 10,000 hours. Then on Monday, LinkedIn reminded me it was my 9-year (?!) anniversary [NOTE: it is now almost 11 years …] as a professional coach. I really didn’t know what I was doing or what I should call myself when I started back then, and I have no formal training or certifications, but hundreds of you have trusted me over these years with the honor of helping you get unstuck and on the right track with your career and life, and in turn that has fulfilled me in mine.

I have always approached my work in a very organic way, and the title that currently seems to fit is holistic career coach. My ability to quickly and accurately assess and advise clients about who they are and what they should be doing with their lives has blossomed more than I could have imagined, yet at the same time, deep down I trusted it would evolve in a way that would best serve those who sought my services.

That, in and of itself, has been an interesting journey for me, and the results are reflected in the feedback I have received. Here is some of the most recent:

The 30 minutes we spent discussing my general career malaise and concern over what to do next were infinitely more helpful than the hours I’ve spent discussing this with other people in my life.

By the end of the conversation, I had an actionable plan, a timeline and confidence to invest in myself that I’ve never had before.

Her questions really got me thinking and she made me aware that some of my goals were not actually out of reach but with hard work could be obtained.

After the session I felt so empowered and revved up, I felt like I was ready to take on the world! — and I still do. Kristina really listened and provided insightful feedback to get my life back or going in a more positive direction that will ultimately make me happier.

My hour with Kristina felt more like a therapy session than a career coaching session, but it turns out that is exactly what I needed!

She’s great at identifying the root cause of a problem (even when you think you might have had the answer to begin with) … I can tell you after about 20 minutes of her asking all the right questions, she wrapped everything up for me in a nice package in the final minutes and BAM I had a breakthrough.

I have a new focus for my career, and I will continue to leverage her knowledge in order to find that perfect job!

I came away feeling empowered, more confident about who I am as a job seeker and more aware of my strengths.

After working with Kristina for over a year and landing my dream job, I can say that I feel joy with every dollar I earn.

She’s not going to tell you what you want to hear, she’s going to tell you what you NEED to hear. A great listener and motivator. Time and money well spent.

And how timely that just this past Friday, right before my anniversary, I received an email out of the blue from someone with whom I did only a half-hour session weeks ago with this simple one-liner message:

Kristina, Thanks for giving me a new look on life.

What could be a better job than that? :)))

A great big THANKS goes out to all of you who have ever worked with me — your trust and faith in my abilities has allowed me to put in my 10,000 hours and I never would have gotten this far or been able to do work that I absolutely love and suits me best without your support. I look forward to working with many more of you over the next 10 years and beyond!

(Originally published on www.kristinaleonardi.com on August 18, 2016)


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This past June I had someone film parts of my New Attitude Summer School series, which resulted in this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)

In this excerpt covering the final ten minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

Click here to watch video


About the Author:

Kristina Leonardi is a career/life coach and motivational speaker who has a proven record of getting “stuck” clients empowered to make lasting changes aligned with their true passions and talents in a short time. She provides a practical framework for each individual to make the most of their personal and professional lives, allowing them to recognize, connect to, and fulfill their role in the world at large and live with clarity, balance and direction. For more information visit www.kristinaleonardi.com or check out her profile on The Muse’s Coach Connect.

Click here to check out Kristina’s book of 131 “thought-provoking, inspirational and entertaining essays to keep you connected to yourself and this journey called Life” Personal Growth Gab (PGG) Volume One from Amazon.


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Read more about me and my work in these essays, which I refer to as PGG’s:

All Roads, Same Place | And Now, A Word from Our Sponsor | Strong Medicine | 10,000 Hours | Express Yourself | A Decade of Doing What I Do

If you like what I write, you’ll love what I have to say in person! Click on above links for info about my coaching and speaking services and contact me today.



kristina leonardi

Speaker,Coach,Writer.Very Tall. Expertise:People. All kinds, what makes 'em tick, how they fit into the world, how they can best connect to themselves + others.