By Marc Astley

Read our latest book review from the Astley Media Book Club, by CEO Marc Astley:

Many victories during the Rugby World Cup have been decided by the thinnest of margins.

Winning, in many instances, was the result of a sublime kick, a pinpoint pass or sheer brute force.

But these super-human efforts are unlikely to be down to raw talent alone.

They are also the culmination of the environment the sportsmen grew up in and thousands of hours of hard work and practice – 10,000 hours to be precise.

In his brilliant book Outliers, cultural commentator Malcolm Gladwell argues that there is a minimum amount of time it takes to achieve greatness in any discipline, be it sport or software development.

And his conclusion is that 10,000 hours (or 10 years) is the magic figure.

It is a theory that is further explored by Matthew Syed in his book Bounce.

So what’s my point?

I’ll ask a simple question. What has it taken you 10,000 hours to get good at and are you making the most of it?

I am a former journalist (my 10,000 hours) and can write quicker and more concisely than a lot of people. I can also spot PR angles for clients that they often miss, even though they are right under their noses.

If you have a skill you have taken for granted, now is the time to celebrate it, shout about it and, yes, sell it.

After all, it’s taken you 10,000 hours to get there!

We hope you enjoy the book.