Interesting question? I doubt whether too many people would even bother asking it for the simple reason that the answer is self-evident …. as long as it takes!
Having said that, how long should you give yourself to master any skill. Practice, it is said, makes perfect and yet so often I hear people say “I can’t do this or that” and then give up after one or two attempts. In my view and certainly in my experience, there are very few worthwhile things in life that are easily accomplished and those that are probably don’t deserve to be listed amongst your achievements. Not only are challenging goals hard, they also typically cost more and take a lot longer than you expect. But what remains are two words: worthwhile goals.
What makes goals worthwhile is the fact that they are hard but that’s what brings out the best in you and from a business perspective this is also what gives you a competitive advantage. Most people are happy to plod along living from day-to-day, achieving little but just surviving. The amazing thing about the pursuit of challenging goals is what you learn from the failure you experience along the way. If you’re not failing your goal is not challenging enough and the payoff will reflect that. If you are failing you’ll be learning and getting closer to a higher level of understanding and competence. Failure is simply a question of attitude; to some people it is seen as a negative outcome to others it is part of their progress towards the desired outcome. Benjamin Franklin said “I didn’t fail the test I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.”
So, if you want to “learn to walk” at anything in life or in business all you really need to do is practice and never give up. Simple isn’t it? Just one more thing no matter how hard something might seem to be, someone has probably been there before you and you can learn from their experience. Don’t re-invent wheels just emulate the behavior of people who have achieved what you seek and take it to another level.