Stop everything! It is finally happening – the first Book Club review is here. I say “first” because we’ve recently launched the 2.0 version of the book club – a bigger and better version with fancy looking emails and more interaction with readers. The book lists are better, the community is bigger and there’s even a chance for you to submit books and reviews for our newsletter.
“But this is 2020, book clubs are so early 2000’s”… are they? When did books stop being cool? Bill Gates reads 50 books a year. Elon Musk grew up reading two books a day. Mark Zuckerberg reads a book every two weeks.
Books are cool but better than that, they’re valuable. They will teach you new skills, challenge your perceptions and mould your way of thinking. Reading is learning, understanding and evolving as a person. Books are your fast track way to becoming your best self – you’ve just got to know which books to read!
Book Review of Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
We’ll begin our book club with a banger: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. This book is a great opener for a few reasons but namely, because it dissects common misperceptions around success and what makes a person successful.
If you asked me what makes a person successful before reading this book, I might have responded “talent, hard work and perseverance”. All of these qualities indeed make a person successful, but my theory misses one major flaw: circumstance. Timing plays a huge role in one’s success, as does their geographic location, cultural norms, and who they are outside of their talents.
“[this book] dissects common misperceptions around success and what makes a person successful”
At risk of being self indulgent (but who better do I know than myself), while reading this book I saw my own self as an example of this. Timing is a beautiful thing. I started a travel blog back in 2012 when hardly anyone was doing it. Those that were travel blogging had found their niche in backpacking and budget travel. Of course there is a huge audience for this type of travel, but after a bad experience at a hostel when I was twenty, I vouched never to return.
So with timing on my side, I started one of the first luxury travel blogs with a corresponding instagram account back in 2012. At the time popular instagram accounts were focused on fashion (think the likes of Gary Pepper Girl and Tuula Vintage). They were travelling the world promoting things for their audience to buy, whereas I wanted to sell experiences.
Sure, hard work played a role and my mum will be the first to tell you that I didn’t sleep for three weeks when I was building my website. I became obsessed with creating a platform that would show the best of the best in travel. I aimed to inspire other young people – especially women – to travel solo. I spent a full year travelling solo visiting 5 continents to build up the content on my website. Before long, I was getting paid to travel.
But the timing to my success is even more prevalent when you consider that I was coming out of university when Instagram was starting to take off. I was one of the early adaptors of the platform and can still remember convincing my friends to join when they insisted they would rather keep using Facebook.
If understanding why a person is successful or how certain people in history have found success (i.e. Bill Gates is a subject in chapter two) , then this book is for you. The most actionable piece of advice from the book comes from the same chapter which outlines the 10,000 hours rule. This is said to be the amount of time it takes a person to master a skill. So matched with being in the right place at the right time, a person can achieve success through committing 10,000 hours to reach success. Mozart is another example used in the chapter and the more you apply the rule, the more it rings true.
When reading this book I would urge you to apply these concepts toward your own successes or failures. Just by picking this book up off the shelf suggests you have an interest to do so and by using an introspective lens you can create a clearer path toward what it is you look to achieve.