I am always fascinated by what makes some people succeed and why some very gifted people don’t really accomplish anything of note.
So the book “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell was a pretty good read, not because of the underlying ideas but because of his writing style and the examples he used.
Some of the premises of the book include:
- Being an intellectual genius does not guarantee success.
- Once you are smart enough, other skills come into play, like how to deal with people in the real world.
- There are few “instant” success stories, mostly it’s hard work and persistence.
- Your parents and culture play a huge role in your potential.
- The white collar middle class was more likely to nurture their children and give them more opportunities to learn and grow than the working class.
- Being in the right place at the right time just when you are ready (skilled enough) to seize the opportunity, plays the biggest role.
I see this in action all the time. Some people are predisposed to be entrepreneurial by virtue of their culture, their upbringing and their history.
My parents were the traditional North American middle class mindset. Get an education, work hard for the right employer and retire with a pension. They did well for themselves in their reality.
But the world is changing. Employers don’t guarantee lifetime employment. Pensions are disappearing. The economy is global.
And I am different. I want the challenge of being an entrepreneur. I love creating things.
So I am going to try to be smart enough, work hard on my core skills and with some luck, be in the right place at the right time to connect with an emerging opportunity.
My belief is that you can create your luck by being ready, being open to new things and by exposing yourself to as many other people and opportunities as you can. Then when you see something, Sprint!