A few weeks ago I saw Elton John in concert in Indianapolis. It was a great show and a ton of people were there. Mrs. Businesspundit and I began to discuss Elton's net take at the end of the concert. 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.