By Gino Blefari
“Achievement is talent plus preparation.” – Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
This week, my travels took me to Minneapolis, Dallas and St. Louis. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting all three cities but for today’s post, I want to focus on Dallas and what exactly brought me to the Lone Star State. As many of you know, the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Convention is fast approaching and during the event, I’ll have a chance to address a crowd of agents and affiliates from the stage at the Mirage in Las Vegas, explaining my vision for our company and our future.
While in Dallas, I stood in front of a green screen rehearsing my presentation, making changes and deciding how best to convey my thoughts … and even after leaving rehearsals, the process of preparation is far from over.
Why? Because the only way to find real success is to prepare for it. Success isn’t instantaneous and it isn’t easy. True success is about sitting down and practicing your craft until you’ve mastered it, just as a concert violinist would go over a concerto hundreds of times before performing it to a crowd or a neurosurgeon would spend years observing and researching before stepping foot inside an operating room. Do you know how many shows the Beatles played in little clubs in Liverpool before becoming an international music sensation?
This concept of preparation is nothing new. In fact, it’s been around forever, although I think it was best explained in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers: The Story of Success. As the title suggests, the text delves into the idea of outliers or people “who do things out of the ordinary.” In less than 300 pages, Gladwell debunks the myth that success is an illusory concept, achieved only by the few who seem to know about some secret door behind which it can be found.
Success, as Gladwell defines it, is the end result of individuals—outliers who become world-renowned scientists, award-winning athletes or rock stars—putting in incredible amounts of time and effort to achieve extraordinary results.
In a 2013 editorial for The New Yorker, Gladwell illustrates this theory even further, defending it from naysayers who argue for natural aptitude over perseverance. He wrote: “The closer psychologists look at the careers of the gifted, the smaller the role innate talent seems to play and the bigger the role preparation seems to play. In cognitively demanding fields, there are no naturals.”
So, what’s the message? Success is hard. It requires dedication, practice and preparation. If you’ve found it, you probably already know this. If you haven’t, think of today as your rehearsal for a brilliant tomorrow. Go over your listing presentation, spend time perfecting what you’ll say when you call a client. And always remember those outliers who only found success because they worked at it every single day.