The Secret Of Outliers Essay

1182 words - 5 pages

The outliers I have grown up hearing about include Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates. These people, just like any other extremely successful people, work harder than everybody else to be to where they are. Also, they are willing to fail, because they know that in order to succeed they must learn from their failures. Clearly, to become extremely successful a person has to have that burning passion for what he or she does, has to do more than what is required, and has to be talented. Talent alone is not enough to become the world’s next billionaire. Talent, preparation, opportunity, and connections are needed to become an outlier. In the book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell shows just how equally important luck and opportunity is to having talent.
Gladwell emphasizes throughout the book that one of the keys to being successful is being born at the right time. When Gladwell is talking about the world’s seventy-five richest people of all time he remarks, “Of the seventy-five names, an astonishing fourteen are Americans born within nine years of one another in the mid-nineteenth century” (Gladwell 61). This was a very interesting observation to me. All of those fourteen people were extremely lucky to be born when they did. They were born in the perfect time period, right as America’s economy began to boom and as industrial manufacturing became more important than ever. By being born in that time period, those fourteen people took advantage of the immense opportunities and paths that were available for them. This example is the epitome of how important opportunity and luck is. If opportunities or chances, that could change a person’s life if he or she take advantage of them, are not given then success will be unattainable. Opportunities are not given to everyone. Sometimes, opportunity just comes with luck.
All of those fourteen people born in the nine-year range, were very lucky to be born then. It was perfect timing for them to be immensely successful people. But just because a person is born in a certain time period doesn’t mean they are going to be successful. Thousands of people were born during that time period, but only a handful of them are talented. Gladwell showed that talent isn’t just in academics when he stated, “IQ is a measure, to some degree, of innate ability. But social savvy is knowledge. It’s a set of skills that have to be learned” (Gladwell 102). To be successful aptitude is required, but what is equally important is social skills. If a person can’t effectively communicate, that person is never going to be successful. Bill Gates was an average C student. He dropped out of college, but still managed to be a billionaire. How? He had social knowledge and could communicate with others. One of the major reasons he was successful was because he was social, he had many connections. Those connections were the difference between him being an average entrepreneur and him being the person he is today. If he didn’t have connections, he...

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