are you an Outlier?

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential

My daughter (yes, the cute-as-a-button one), and her husband bought me a book a while back, which I read with relish, and then set aside. It was a short book by my standards, only 299 pages long (don't get too excited... it's only a 5x7 book)..  called Outliers.

It's a book that explores the reasons behind success and quickly and effectively debunks the theory that you can become a success by "fluke".  He's not saying that just anyone can become a success, nor is he denying the fact that sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time, but just being in the right place at the right time might not be enough, because not everyone will recognize the opportunity, not everyone will know what to do about the opportunity and how to take advantage of it, and not everyone will be prepared to do so.

He theorizes that being successful is a skill in itself and requires hours and hours of practice at your craft.  He holds out, as examples, (among others) the Beatles, and a young fella named Bill Gates.  He suggests that in order to become a success... and not just a moderate success as many of us have become, but a raving success... you have to put in about 10,000 hours of practice into refining your craft (whatever that might be) in order to take advantage of any incredible opportunity that might cross your path.

the Beatles.  landed in the U.S. in 1964... but they'd been playing as a band since 1957... seven full year before invading the United States and worrying mom's all over the country with their mop-top haircuts.  In 1960, as a struggling high-school band, they were invited to play at a hole-in-the-wall club in Hamburg, Germany.  The plan, in Hamburg, was to have a band playing non-stop to catch the attention of passersby, so that they would pop into that club.  George, Paul, John & Pete Best played non-stop for 8 hours a day, seven days a week.  They took this gig for just over a year and a half, and it that time they played over 1200 shows.  Most bands don't play 1200 shows in the life of the band, let alone in less than 2 years.   The lads left for Hamburg a struggling garage band, and returned a veteran, highly trained, weathered performing machine.

Bill Gates.  Bill's parents sent him to a prestigious Seattle school that had a computer club... in 1968.  Most of us had barely heard of computers in 1968, and Bill's school had a club (this would be one of those incredible opportunities)... better yet, the computer the school owned shared time with a downtown mainframe... so in 1968, as an eighth-grader, Bill had the opportunity to do real-time programming on a mainframe computer. Over time, they had several opportunities that allowed them free computing time, in exchange for creating modest little programs for companies with mainframes.  Bill ran up thousands of hours of programming (free) under this plan... something just not available to the average schmo...  As a youth, Gates practiced his trade, and as you know, became good at it.

So.

Real estate blogging.  Active Rain.  Sounds like a unique opportunity here.   Somehow, someone has given you a virtually free... or very inexpensive platform on which to practice your craft and become skilled.  Am I suggesting that you need to put in 10,000 hours of time in order to become as successful as Gates, or the Beatles at your craft?  Maybe... but I'm not aiming quite that high... (okay, okay... maybe I am... do I have 10,000 hours in yet)... but not everyone needs to aim that high.  But in order to be successful at this craft... either Real Estate, or Blogging, or Real Estate Blogging, you have to put in time.  It's not just going to come to you, while sitting at your desk.

If you blog it, they will come.  If you blog quality content, they will come.  Sometimes if you blog crap, they'll still read... I'm a perfect example of that... but get in there and blog.

Are you Pete Best, or are you "the cute one"?

(note, modification:  the 10,000 hours mentioned in the book are what is considered a requirement to have a "world class mastery" of whatever field you choose.... not the barrier for success... )

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 2929 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois

   

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Show All Comments
Rainer
191,555
Debbe Perry
Real Living Carolina Property - Morganton, NC
828.439.3084 Morganton/Lake James NC

LOVE Malcolm Gladwell, loved Outliers. Gonna start now calculating how far along I am - think I may have my 10,000 hours in real estate, but certainly not in blogging!

Great post!

Sep 12, 2010 06:27 PM #51
Ambassador
987,914
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Marshall - we are who we are... regardless, or in part due, to our parents.

Ross - you're welcome.

Ann - most of us aren't.

Empire - I would imagine that you become pretty good at anything you do for 10,000 hours.

Kathy - what can we learn from L.L.?  let me know.

Gene - the point, exactly.

Judy - a valid point.

Julie - whatever floats your boat.

Marte - 1,000 hours would certainly make you good... it's a start.

Debbe - let me know what you come up with.

Sep 12, 2010 07:20 PM #52
Rainmaker
265,346
Carrie Sampron
Home Smart Realty Group - Highlands Ranch, CO
ABR SFR & Kathy Sampron (303) 931-3629 Highlands R

18 days into the challenge and we're commited to continue well past the 30!

Sep 12, 2010 07:49 PM #53
Ambassador
987,914
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Carrie & Kathy - I look forward to reading you for many months to come.

Sep 12, 2010 08:48 PM #54
Rainmaker
588,256
Gloria Todor and Doug Durren - Delaware County PA Real Estate
Century 21 Absolute Realty - Media, PA
Hard Working Professionals (484) 431-3686

Alan, Seems like the helping hands along the way come in to play as well, as with your post(s).  Thank you.

Gloria

Sep 12, 2010 09:08 PM #55
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

The idea of those 10,000 hours is very encouraging. I only have 8,500 hours left to become a piano virtuoso. Come to think about it ... another 100,000 hours wouldn't make me a piano virtuoso.

Did I mention that's a very cool photo of the Windows mastermind? He's grinning!

Sep 12, 2010 09:19 PM #56
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

G-L-O-R-I-A - they certainly don't hurt.

Judy - it's his mugshot from a traffic violation in 1977. (according to Wikipedia).

Sep 12, 2010 09:23 PM #57
Rainmaker
197,319
John Alesi
Century 21 Award - Mission Viejo, CA
(Orange County California Real Estate)

Hi ALan,

I found the book fascinating in that it talks mostly about success but also reveals that a lack of being in the right place or getting a lucky break can prevent success.  The story of Christopher Langan is heart breaking in that a guy with the highest IQ is not a success, at least by the standards we typically use to measure.

Sep 12, 2010 09:23 PM #58
Rainmaker
322,774
Jon Quist
LONG REALTY - Tucson, AZ
Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996

Thanks for the tip. I just ordered the book online.

Sep 12, 2010 09:32 PM #59
Ambassador
987,914
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

John - Christopher was a difficult story to hear...

Jon - I think you'll enjoy it...

Sep 12, 2010 10:17 PM #60
Rainer
48,466
Alan M. & Associates (TheVancouverLife.ca)
RE/MAX Crest Realty - Vancouver, BC Canada - Vancouver, BC

Hi Alan,

I have this book also....the 10,000 hrs go by quickly when your passionate about something....

Sep 12, 2010 10:28 PM #61
Rainmaker
50,461
Lynn M. Bower
John R Wood Realtors - Naples, FL
PA, ABR, GRI, RSPS, AHWD, PMN, CNE

Whew! and I thought I was just banging my head against the wall. Honestly, I have just started to see the fruits of my 24/7 labor. I eat and sleep real estate. I love it and now add into the mix Active Rain information and it is a beautiful thing. I will take hour #23 and read that book. It sounds like something to teach me and keep my motivation going.

Sep 13, 2010 06:39 AM #62
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Alan - that's so true

Lynn - I thought it was motivating.

Sep 13, 2010 08:28 AM #63
Rainmaker
333,351
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON

Alan, Gladwell's book does explain why some are successful or not and yes, consistency is the key.

Ty

Sep 13, 2010 12:06 PM #64
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Ty - or at least "part" of the key.

Sep 13, 2010 12:20 PM #65
Rainmaker
13,798
Dave Phillips
Phillips Real Estate, Floyd Virginia - Floyd, VA

I LOVED reading this book when it came out.  Great points.

 

It also suggests why people who absolutely LOVE what they do are so good at it.....because they are doing it constantly.

Sep 13, 2010 04:37 PM #66
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Dave - or vice versa... they're doing it constantly, 'cause they're lovin' it.

Sep 13, 2010 05:47 PM #67
Rainer
6,272
Allison Simson
Summit Real Estate - Dillon, CO

One of my favorite "Business books"  I also loved the part about our education system as it relates to farming and the farmer work ethic.  Good stuff.  Thanks for your thoughts! 

Sep 13, 2010 06:39 PM #68
Ambassador
987,914
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Evanston & Northshore of Chicago real estate

Allison - I'd forgotten about the farming aspect...

Sep 13, 2010 07:17 PM #69
Rainer
146,742
Coleen DeGroff
eXp Realty - Gainesville, FL
Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL

Hi Alan - I've heard about this book but have not read it yet....I will now!  I love your bumper sticker thought:  If you blog it, they will come....oh, and by the way sir, your blog is not in any way crap! :)  Hugs!

Sep 13, 2010 10:07 PM #70
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