BECOMING THE NEXT (OUTLIER) STEVE JOBS, WARREN BUFFETT, ELON MUSK, ETC.

Disclaimer: Good Day, Readers.  WealthBuildingPowers blog is a financial literacy/competency blog and does not provide specific investment recommendations.  

This week I read Outlier – The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell.  Gladwell looks at why only a few “Outliers” can perfect their talents. We know some: Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, etc.  Each of their talent levels is rare; the author calls them Outliers {Sounds like space aliens}.  Gladwell believes by making changes to home life and school systems, we can multiply the number of outliers. Imagine if we had hundreds of people like the above.

We as a community can do a much better job of helping young people of all races escape poverty.  Giving more an opportunity to become the next Elon Musk. Keep reading to learn what needs to be done.

BOOK SUMMARY: OUTLIER – THE STORY OF SUCCESS – BY MALCOLM GLADWELL  

BECOMING THE NEXT (OUTLIER) STEVE JOBS, WARREN BUFFETT, ELON MUSK

MORE THAN IQ

Gladwell’s research demonstrates a lot of our success depends on more than I.Q. depends on the “community we live in, where we come from, and the values we have.” 

WHEN YOU WERE BORN MATTERS 

In the U.S. education system, the month you were born can play a role in whether you will succeed.  A child that is almost a year younger than his or her classmates will be at a disadvantage from the start. The older children will seem more intelligent. If you were born later in the year, your chances of success are lower than your older peers!

Not only does the birth month make a difference to success but so does the birth year.  In the world of computers, the most successful men, such as Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, and Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, were born in the mid-1950s. They were the perfect age in 1975 when the first affordable personal computer came onto the market. 

10,000 HOURS OF PRACTICE MAKES AN OUTLIER

BECOMING THE NEXT (OUTLIER) STEVE JOBS, WARREN BUFFETT, ELON MUSK

An average of 10,000 hours of practice and talent is needed to become a world-class violinist or pianist, for example. “In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, and what have you, this number comes up again and again. We are too much in awe of those who succeed and far too dismissive of those who fail. And, most of all, we become much too passive. We overlook just how large a role we all play—and by “we,” I mean society—in determining who makes it and who doesn’t.”

“It’s all but impossible to reach 10,000 hours all by yourself by the time you’re a young adult. You have to have parents who encourage and support you. You can’t be poor because if you have to hold down a part-time job on the side to help make ends meet, there won’t be time left in the day to practice enough. Most people can reach that number only if they get into some unique program—like a hockey all-star squad—or get some kind of extraordinary opportunity that gives them a chance to put in those hours.

They gave Bill Gates extra time to practice. By the time Gates dropped out of Harvard after his sophomore year to try his hand at his own software company, he’d been programming practically nonstop for seven consecutive years. He was way past ten thousand hours.”

PARENTING MATTERS!

BECOMING THE NEXT (OUTLIER) STEVE JOBS, WARREN BUFFETT, ELON MUSK

“The wealthier parents were heavily involved in their children’s free time, shuttling them from one activity to the next, quizzing them about their teachers and coaches and teammates. One of the well-off children Lareau followed played on a baseball team, two soccer teams, a swim team, a basketball team in the summer, and playing in an orchestra and taking piano lessons.

That kind of intensive scheduling was almost absent from the lives of the poor children. Play for them wasn’t soccer practice twice a week. It was making up games outside with their siblings and other kids in the neighborhood. 

The middle-class parents talked things through with their children, reasoning with them. They didn’t just issue commands. They expected their children to talk back to them, to negotiate, to question adults in positions of authority. If their children were doing poorly at school, the wealthier parents challenged their teachers. They intervened on behalf of their kids. One child Lareau follows just misses qualifying for a gifted program. Her mother arranges for her to be retested privately, petitions the school, and gets her daughter admitted. The poor parents, by contrast, are intimidated by authority. They react passively and stay in the background. Lareau writes of one low-income parent:

Lareau calls the middle-class parenting style “concerted cultivation.” It’s an attempt to actively “foster and assess a child’s talents, opinions, and skills.” Poor parents tend to follow, by contrast, a strategy of “accomplishment of natural growth.” They see it as their responsibility to care for their children and let them grow and develop on their own.

The heavily scheduled middle-class child learns teamwork and how to cope in highly structured settings. She is taught how to interact comfortably with adults and to speak up when she needs to. In Lareau’s words, the middle-class children learn a sense of “entitlement.”

“What did the Cs lack, though? It is not expensive or impossible to find, not something encoded in D.N.A. or hardwired into their brains’ circuits. They lacked a community around them that prepared them properly for the world. The Cs have squandered talent. But they didn’t need to be.”

CHARTER SCHOOLS CREATE OUTLIERS!

BECOMING THE NEXT (OUTLIER) STEVE JOBS, WARREN BUFFETT, ELON MUSK

“Poor kids may out-learn rich kids during the school year. But during the summer, they fall far behind.

When it comes to reading skills, poor kids learn nothing when school is not in session. The reading scores of the rich kids, by contrast, go up by a whopping 52.49 points. Virtually all of the advantages that wealthy students have over poor students result from differences in how privileged kids learn while NOT in school.

EDUCATION DOES NOT TAKE A SUMMER BREAK!

BECOMING THE NEXT (OUTLIER) STEVE JOBS, WARREN BUFFETT, ELON MUSK

For its poorest students, America doesn’t have a school problem. It has a summer vacation problem, and that’s the problem the KIPP schools set out to solve. They decided to bring the lessons of the rice paddy to the American inner city.”

KIPP CHARTER SCHOOL STUDENTS’ TYPICAL DAYS

“The day goes from seven twenty-five until five p.m. After five, there are homework clubs, detention, sports teams. There are kids here from seven twenty-five until seven p.m. If you take an average day, and you take out lunch and recess, our kids are spending fifty to sixty percent more time learning than the traditional public-school student.”

“Saturdays they come in nine to one. In the summer, it’s eight to two.” By summer, Levin was referring to the fact that KIPP students do three extra weeks of school in July. These are, after all, precisely the kind of lower-income kids who Alexander identified as losing ground over the long summer vacation. Hence, KIPP’s response is simply not to have an extended summer vacation.”

KIPP STUDENT – MARITA’S DAY 

“She will get up at five forty-five in the morning, go in on Saturdays, and do homework until eleven at night. In return, KIPP promises that it will take kids like her stuck in poverty and give them a chance to get out. It will get 84 percent of them up to or above their grade level in mathematics. On the strength of that performance, 90 percent of KIPP students get scholarships to private or parochial high schools instead of attending their desultory high schools in the Bronx. And on the strength of that high school experience, more than 80 percent of KIPP graduates will go on to college, in many cases being the first in their family to do so.

Outliers are those who have been given opportunities—and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.

We are so caught in the myths of the best and the brightest and the self-made that we think outliers spring naturally from the earth. We look at the young Bill Gates and marvel that our world allowed that thirteen-year-old to become a fabulously successful entrepreneur. But that’s the wrong lesson. Our world only allowed one thirteen-year-old unlimited access to a time-sharing terminal in 1968.”

“If a million teenagers had been given the same opportunity, how many more Microsofts would we have today?To build a better world, we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success—the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history—with a society that provides opportunities for all.”

We should get rid of the idea that successful people have gotten to where they are all by themselves. “To build a better world, we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages that today determine success – the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history – with a society that provides opportunities for all.” 

WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM ASIAN AMERICANS?

  

HOURS SPENT STUDYING {1-12th GRADE} – MATTER!

  • White Students spend on average ~3,500 total hours
  • Asian Americans spend on average ~8,100 hours. 
    • Some top Asian American students spend over 18,000 hours 
  • Blacks spend <1,000 hours over their 1-12th grade education 
  • KIPP Charter Schools students average closer to Asian Americans studying over 8,000 hours 

If all you know are the number of hours spent studying, which group(s)will be more successful?

BECOMING THE NEXT (OUTLIER) STEVE JOBS, WARREN BUFFETT, ELON MUSK

Many Asian Americans live the above quote.  They score higher on standardized tests than any other students because they and their parents have the strength and presence of mind to seize the opportunities they have been granted.  So, what are we doing?  We are dropping the S.A.T. AND A.C.T testing exam requirements precisely because Asian Americans and Asians do so well.  We are discriminating against thousands of people who have normalized becoming outliers, by working harder than their classmates.  This is Un-American, unethical and wrong.  

Like our refusal to learn what works in charter schools (discipline and hard work), we ignore what works in Asian student’s cultures and families.

CONCLUSION

BECOMING THE NEXT (OUTLIER) STEVE JOBS, WARREN BUFFETT, ELON MUSK

Last week President Biden proposed increasing the Department of Education’s budget by 45 percent.  Serious question- what has the Department of Education accomplished since its inception?  Nothing.  Throwing more taxpayer money in an incinerator will not lift more young people out of poverty.  

An enormous amount of time is spent talking about reducing class size, rewriting curricula, buying every student a shiny new laptop, and increasing school funding—all of which assume that there is something fundamentally wrong with the job schools are doing. The problem with school for the kids who aren’t achieving is that there isn’t enough of it.”

If we genuinely desire to raise more young people out of poverty, let’s utilize the lessons from Charter Schools and Outliers..  

“Marita doesn’t need a brand-new school with acres of playing fields and gleaming facilities. She doesn’t need a laptop, a smaller class, a teacher with a Ph.D., or a bigger apartment. She doesn’t need a higher I.Q.  All those things would be nice, of course. But they miss the point. Marita just needed a chance. And look at the chance she was given!

REAL SOLUTIONS:

  • Increase the hours kids spend in school, especially our inner cities for those who are not receiving the needed encouragement and support at home.
  • Make after-hour tutoring available.  Versus kids going to an empty home because one or both parents are working long hours.
  • Reduce summer breaks to four weeks.
  • Accept the lessons learned from charter schools and implement those lessons in our public schools.
  • Give inner city and poor children more opportunities to work hard and thrive! 
  • We must give a damn.

Virtually every success story you will see in Outlier – The Story of Success, involves someone working harder than their peers.

Bill Gates was addicted to his computer as a child. Michael Jordan was determined to make his team after being cut. Working hard is what successful people do.  The culture formed in the Chinese rice paddies is that hard work gave those in the fields a way to find meaning amid great uncertainty and poverty. That lesson has served Asians well in many endeavors, especially in mathematics and education. That lesson can help U. S. kids just as easily.

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REAL SOLUTIONS TO THE CRITICAL ISSUES DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY AND YOUR FUTURE {PART 1 OF 4}

THE AMERICAN DREAM IS ALIVE – BUT FRAYING FOR MANY! } {Excerpts FROM JAMIE DIMON, CEO J.P. MORGAN CHASE, ANNUAL LETTER- Public Policy} {PART 1 of 4

 

REAL SOLUTIONS TO THE CRITICAL ISSUES DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY AND YOUR FUTURE {PART 2 OF 4}

PART 2:  “WE MUST HAVE A PROPER DIAGNOSIS OF OUR PROBLEMS – THE ISSUES ARE REAL AND SERIOUS — IF WE WANT TO HAVE THE PROPE PRESCRIPTIONS THAT LEADS TO WORKABLE SOLUTIONS” {PART 2 of 4 – Excerpts FROM JAMIE DIAMOND, CEJ.P.PJ.P.RGAN CHASE, ANNUAL LETTER – Public Policy} 

 

 

{PART 3 OF 4} SOLUTIONS TO THE CRITICAL ISSUES DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY AND YOUR FUTURE

PART 3: “OUR PROBLEMS ARE FIXABLE, BUT WILL HAPPEN ONLY IF WE SET ASIDE PARTISAN POLITICS AND NARROW SELF INTEREST – OUR COUNTRY MUST COME FIRST!”  {Excerpts FROM JAMIE DIAMOND, CEJ.P.PJ.P.RGAN CHASE, CEO AND CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, ANNUAL LETTER- Public Policy} 

 

{PART 4 OF 4} THE SOLUTIONS TO OUR COMMON NATIONAL PROBLEMS IMPACTING EVERY AMERICAN

(OUR) GOVERNMENTS (FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL) MUST BE BETTER AND MORE EFFECTIVE.   WE CANNOT AND WILL NOT SUCCEED WITHOUT THEIR HELP!  THE REST OF US MUST DO A BETTER JOB TOO! {Excerpts FROM JAMIE DIMON, CEJ.P.PJ.P.RGAN CHASE, CEO AND CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, ANNUAL LETTER- Public Policy} 

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ABOUT ME

I am a proud nerd (as my beautiful wife and daughter have told me) investment and finance blogger with a N.C. State, Chemical Engineering, University Rutgers, M.B.A. and Harvard University, Advanced Management education.

I left a corporate career because I desired to make a difference as a speaker and writer. I was blessed to be coached and mentored by strong women and men in my family and professional life.  It is my time to serve and give back.

DISCLAIMER

I started my first business at ~13 years of age (a small but brilliantly created plant nursery). I am a successful investor in stocks, options, real estate, and happy to share my finance and investment lessons.  I am NOT a licensed financial advisor.  Please do not construe my suggestions on this blog as recommendations for your situation.As an investor, you must establish your risk/loss tolerance. Investment in any asset involves risk, including complete loss. 

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Powers Investments Management, LLC

This blog will provide, information and simple strategies, that will assist you to achieve YOUR financial objectives and long term targets. For over 30 years, I solved multi-million dollar problems, for Fortune 10-250, companies. My formal education includes: Business, Finance and Chemical Engineering {Problem Solving} at: Harvard, Rutgers and North Carolina State. And an additional 30+ years, managing my family’s investment decisions. I currently manage/advise people with net-worths ranging from the tens of thousands to several million dollars.

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