The 500 Hour Rule: Free Yourself by Being Competent

💡 Get ahead of 99% of people by investing 20X less effort.

Heyo 👋 Jordan here,

Today, you'll learn how to live a more free life.

But what does freedom even mean?

  • Spending time with your family?

  • Finding a higher-paid job?

  • Getting more autonomy?

  • Being less stressed?

  • Having more fun?

All of those.

But how do you get there?


The more competent you are, the more value you can provide. This is rewarded by society with freedom, money, and autonomy.

Unfortunately, becoming competent is a big mountain to climb.

⏰ Learning takes a LOT of time.

There are big challenges between you and becoming a master:

  • Knowing where to start

  • Not having a system to follow

  • Spending 10,000 hours just to be good

  • Having 0 chance of success with everyone else being so good

But you don't need to become a master to gain freedom or get paid. You need to be good. Today, I'll share how you can become good in 20X less time

Let's break it down. Step by step:

🚀 500 hours is all you need

This time next year, you can be celebrating your success. It's not a get-rich-quick scheme but, unlike those, it works.

Using this framework, after 500 hours, I was able to perform in a magic show, shoot pro videos, and create crazy CGI effects. A friend of mine tried this framework years ago and became a Machine Learning engineer. He's currently building AI systems in Oxford.

💭 Step 1: It's not 10,000 hours

Myth: You need 10,000 hours of work to become good enough to help people.

Reality: 99% of people have invested less than 500 hours in most skills.

Goal: Be able to help 99% of people by investing 500 hours in a skill.

This shift is important because it gives you the right mindset to tackle the challenge.

🎯 Step 2: Set your starting point

Getting started is often the hardest part.

Let's break it down to make it easy. You need two things to speed yourself up:

  1. A person who has done it

  2. The right 20% of skills

First, find someone who has done what you want to learn. It can be a friend or a content creator who regularly shares their insights on the topic. 

Next, understand what they do in intricate detail. Go out for coffees or binge their videos; download their brain. Find the 20% of things they find are most important. You will be spending at least 80% of your time on them.

It's important to have one, single mentor to avoid overthinking and information overload. Trying to learn from everyone sounds better, but will only slow you down.

📆 Step 3: Set up your daily routine

90 minutes.

90 * 365 = 32,850 minutes = 547.5 hours

You need exactly 90 minutes every single day to make it to 500 hours in 1 year. You even have space to take a day off here and there.

To make sure you do those 90 minutes every day, schedule them in your calendar.

Here are two options:

1/ Schedule 60 minutes first thing in the morning. Schedule 30 minutes in the afternoon or after work.2/ Schedule 90 minutes first thing in the morning.

Use the morning when you have fewer distractions to get those done.

Do more than 90 if you can.

Don't skip 2 days in a row.

If you can't stick to 90 minutes — take more time. It's okay. It's better to take 45 minutes a day for 2 years than to quit after 2 months. Or go faster. You know yourself best.

🎬 Step 4: Ready set... ACTION

The beauty of the framework is that this makes the process clear.

Lack of clarity is the biggest road stop of action.

Use that clarity and take action. Daily.

Apply all of this and in 500 hours, you'll know more than enough on a topic to:

  • Help others

  • Find a better job

  • Start your own business

Giving you that much more freedom.

I hope this helps!

Your biggest fan,Jordan

💡 Idea of the Week

Life happens wherever you are, whether you make it or not.

— Iroh, Avatar the Last Airbender

⚙️ Tools, Apps, 'n' Gadgets

As we're talking about learning (and everyone is preparing for the new year), here are 3 different skills you can learn (& something to help you out):

  • Programming — Roadmap — Roadmap is a great website detailing your entire programming journey. I’ve done it for 15 years and still enjoyed it.

  • Public Speaking — Poised — Poised is your AI public speaking coach. It gives you real-time feedback on how you’re doing during any of your calls.

  • Copywriting — Marketing Examples — You write so people can understand you. You copywrite so people can feel understood. This is a fantastic collection of examples.

👋 Enjoying this so far?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

🔦 Creator Spotlight

Jamie is two things:

  1. A YouTube consultant. He produces Ali Abdaal’s channel which you might know.

  2. A very nice dude. He’s actively helping people out on Twitter and sharing his learnings in his newsletter.

If you want to grow on YouTube, his newsletter is a must:

The Creator StreamA weekly dose of The Creator Stream, where we learn to craft irresistible video ideas and supercharge your titles & thumbnails! Join over 1,750 Creators!

📰 Last Week with Jordan

A wild week so far. I've been putting most of my time into writing:

  • How to actually learn — There are so many learning myths floating around. Read this to avoid those and find a better way to learn.

  • How to make friends online — socials aren’t about consuming or parasocial relationships. They’re for making friends.

  • Are we all gamblers — Aren’t we all spinning virtual slot machines every single day?

If you're busy, read the learning thread. It's 5 years of research in about 3 minutes 👇

That was it for today. Happy Holidays and I'll see you next year (that's still next Sunday)!

— Jordan

PS: Help me out by sharing this with a friend who'll find it useful 🫶