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What punters can learn from The Beatles, Hendrix, Gates and Obama

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Are the world’s greatest artists, sportspeople, business leaders and punters born with unmatched talents that allow them to coast through life and do it ‘on the bit’?

Or is sheer hard work the real driving force behind most successful people?

Many people believe that talent is the all-important factor and this leads to thinking that professional punters are also a breed apart and rely on innate skill to make untold millions.

But I strongly believe that hard work, rather than pure talent, is the key and here are just a few examples:

Malcolm Gladwell

While not famous amongst the general public in his own right, Gladwell is a New York Times bestselling author whose research on extraordinarily successful people led him to come up with the 10,000 Hour Rule.  Gladwell argues that almost anyone can be an expert in their chosen field – you just have to spend 10,000 hours honing your craft. His book ‘Outliers’ gave numerous examples of people who were the best in the world in their chosen field and every single one of them had put in at least 10,000 hours towards perfecting their craft. Gladwell explains that reaching the 10,000 Hour Rule can be achieved by practicing a specific task for 20 hours a week over a 10 year period.

The Beatles

The boys from Liverpool learned their trade performing for 8 hours a day, 7 days a week at a seedy club in Hamburg, Germany. From 1960-1962 they were required to perform every day, with one hour off between each 60 minute set. “We had to play for hours and hours on end”, John Lennon said. “Every song lasted twenty minutes and had twenty solos in it. That’s what improved the playing”.

Their music was their job and they have often credited this period of hard graft as a key factor in their later success.

Jimi Hendrix

Tired of having his guitar stolen from him, Jimi literally slept with it in his hands for 3 straight years and spent his every waking moment playing it. No surprise then that not long after this period he went from wannabe to world-famous.

Barack Obama

His mother was adamant that for her son to succeed he needed the best possible education. So for a number of years she used to wake Barack at 4am every morning to read to him and help him learn. If Barack balked at her 4 am home-schooling program, his mother replied “this is no picnic for me either, Buster.”

An unrelenting work ethic was instilled in Obama and regardless of whether you agree with his politics or not, his rapid rise from virtual unknown to US President in just a few years was quite amazing.

Bill Gates

Gates gained access to a high school computer in 1968 at the age of 13, and spent 10,000 hours programming on it. The Microsoft founder later said that this access to a computer at a time if they were not commonplace helped him succeed. Without that early experience, Gladwell states that Gates would still be “a highly intelligent, driven, charming person and a successful professional”, but that he might not be worth US$50 billion.

The people listed above are quite an eclectic bunch and this was deliberate on my part. It doesn’t really matter what field of endeavour we’re talking about, it is almost universally true that success comes to those who dedicate themselves and put in the required effort.

To succeed as a serious punter you need to put in many hours to develop your approach and fine-tune your winning edge.  The old saying of “The harder I work, the luckier I get” certainly applies to punting and I have never come across anyone successful who doesn’t also work very hard. Even if you’re working full-time you can still simply switch off the TV at night and get learning.

Full-time punting is a grind and it takes a certain level of work ethic and discipline to succeed.

You may be just a few thousand hours away from going professional!

Good punting

David Duffield

Read more @ Horse Racing tips blog

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