The amount of effort that it takes to reach a passable grade is small.
If you were to say that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something, it would only take 1000 hours to be decent at it.
After those 1000 hours people will probably notice your new skill. They’ll say “Wow, you’re good at that” because you’re better than most at it. But that doesn’t make you an expert.
It’s the other 9000 hours of work, the thankless blood sweat and tears work, the work that will go unnoticed, that will get you to a world class level.
If you were to graph it out, it would look something like this:
You can see that as you rise in skill level, the amount of effort required to get you to the next level increases exponentially.
The middle of this curve is what Seth Godin calls the dip. It’s a place where the momentum starts to wane, and your rate of improvement starts to slow.
If you start going to the gym you’ll notice results right away, but to keep seeing results you need to increase your effort level. This is the point that most gym goers drop off.
If you learn how to write sales copy you will quickly become better than 95% of the population at this skill. People will congratulate you on your efforts, but it will take 10x more work to become an expert.
Getting through the dip is difficult, but worth it. Once you’re past it however, what’s next?
The other thing to notice is that the curve will never reach perfection. This curve is an asymptote. The curve will never reach the end because the closer it gets, the slower it becomes.
This is ok because perfection should not be the goal. Instead, the goal becomes finding small ways to improve despite the monumental effort required to do so.