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Books

Success Thanks to Good Luck In Outliers

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

Kim Kardashian is arguably one of the most successful people in the world with a following on Instagram that ranks her as the 4th most followed person in the world, a net worth of over 350 million dollars, ownership over various companies and her reality show. Overall, Kim Kardashian has taken the world by storm through building her empire from scratch and making her a household name a name that dominates various aspects of everyday life such as television, books, retail, makeup and much more. While Kim’s empire has produced her immense wealth, success in her eyes was not defined by the money but by the fame she obtained. At a young age, Kim Kardashian knew what she wanted in life; She wanted fame. In a 2019 interview, Kim stated “Money was always the goal but I was obsessed with fame, like, embarrassingly obsessed…I do agree that fame can be addictive” (Cosmopolitan). This obsession to fame can be traced back to her teen years as a video of her 8th-grade graduation resurfaced the media for her 34th birthday in which she said: “When I’m famous, remember me as this beautiful little girl” (Entertainment Tonight). Being famous was always on Kim’s radar and yet she had no “skills” that would catalyst her into fame. Kim Kardashian’s path to what she perceives as success might distinguish her as an outlier, yet she is not the typical outlier as Malcolm Gladwell described in his book Outliers.

Gladwell’s account of success includes the analysis of the 10,000-hour rule which states that one must practice for 10,000 hours to receive mastery in a skill. However, not everyone’s success has been built upon the 10,000-hour rule such as Kim. How can Kim Kardashian practice for 10,000 hours when her end goal is to become famous without being the best actress, singer, lawyer or even athlete? The answer is simple: She can’t. Becoming famous is not a skill that you can work upon to be the ‘most famous person’. For Kim Kardashian, she would need better ways to reach her end goal of becoming famous. Practicing for 10,000 hours, as Gladwell states in his novel, was simply not possible. Instead, Kim Kardashian spent her focus on always being in the spotlight. In her 8th-grade graduation video, she can be seen as the main focus of the camera as she tried doing outrageous things to stay relevant, such as her calling herself “ropest of the dopest” (Entertainment Tonight). Throughout her early years, she has always tried her best to gain popularity such as being spotted with the most famous and relevant people. Such instances include being seen with Paris Hilton, despite only being her closet organizer, or even dating people such as Nick Lachey and Kris Humphries, to name a few. In one instance, Kim used his stepbrother Brody Jenner to get on the most popular reality show at the time: The Hills. Although Kim Kardashian couldn’t ultimately practice for 10,000 hours on a specific skill to reach fame, she did find multiple ways to put herself in the spotlight.

Opportunity is another huge factor for success presented in the book Outliers. Throughout the book, there were multiple examples in which wealth was emphasized as an important factor to reach success as it gave an opportunity. We were shown this through Christopher Langan who had one of the highest IQ yet wasn’t able to finish college and reach his full potential as he was financially set back. Another example was seen through Marita, a child in the KIPP program which was able to reach her full potential through this program as it provided the preparation which a wealthier family would be able to provide yet her original economic status didn’t. While Kim Kardashian was born into a wealthy family which in turn would have given her the advantage to reach success, it didn’t. Her father Rob Kardashian was one of the greatest lawyers in the state of California and had a net worth of over 30 million dollars at the time of his death. She attended a private catholic school throughout her whole life and going to college wouldn’t be a burden to their economic status. The only problem with this was college couldn’t provide her goal of becoming famous. Therefore she never attended college. Money also couldn’t provide her with an advantage of becoming famous. If Kim Kardashian wanted to be a singer, she could be provided with singing lessons, if she wanted to become an actress, she could be provided with acting classes yet her main goal was to become famous. You can’t buy your way into fame as there’s no skill or things to improve that money can achieve. While this wealth might have provided her with relief and struggles of money, she was still working hard as she served as a personal closet organizer for famous and rich people and selling whatever they didn’t want. In an interview by Elite Daily Kim said, “I was never one of those people who were handed everything from their parents. Even when I worked in my dad’s office, I was doing side eBay jobs on my lunch break. I lived a great life growing up, but we were taught that if we wanted to keep that up, we had to work.” Yes, Kim lived a good life but she still hustled on her own time and worked hard to make money of her own. Wealth is also often connotated with fame yet fame and wealth don’t always go together. Have you ever heard of the Fredriksen sisters? Most likely not yet they are the daughters of John Fredriksen, a Norwegian-born oil tanker and shipping billionaire businessman, who owns the world’s largest oil tanker fleet. They’re the heiress to their family’s shipping fortune, valued at $16.4 billion. While they are among one of the wealthiest people in the world at the moment they aren’t famous; You can’t even find them on Instagram. Gladwell described wealth as the door to many opportunities that in turn help achieve success but in Kim’s case, wealth couldn’t help achieve her fame.

Luck, which is out of our control, is another accredited factor of what Malcom Gladwell calls success. Through the book along with practice and opportunity, luck is a major theme presented as we are given examples of how hockey players born in earlier months have an advantage over others born later. Luck which is out of our control gave certain players an advantage over others as they got more time to practice. Using the idea of luck, many might argue that Kim Kardashian solely gained fame because of a leaked sex video in early 2007 which catalyst her success and gained her the fame she had been pursuing throughout her whole life. Yet is this considered lucky? Kim Kardashian’s privacy was violated and looked down upon by many. Kim Kardashian recalls this as a very hard time as she remembers how she had to explain to her high school-aged sisters to be careful over what they shouldn’t do. A leaked sex video is solely not going to catalyst someone’s success into fame. Take Alexandra-Kim Martin-Roberge for example, she joined the Canadian Forces in May 2009, dreaming of serving in the infantry but one indiscretion destroyed her reputation, her self-esteem and her integrity in the eyes of comrades: A leaked sex video (Toronto Sun). Her dream of serving her country vanished and today she is looking to switch to a career in real estate. Alexandra was far from reaching her dream of serving her country as she suffered “public rape” in her own words. This leaked video didn’t help her career, it destroyed it. It also didn’t gain fame or money. For Kim Kardashian, a leaked video that was more likely to hurt her career did the opposite. Kim player her cards right and her involvement in being in the spotlight and her hunger for fame made the spotlight gained from the video turn in her favor. She made the best out of the worst situation as she brought attention to herself right before Keeping up with the Kardashians which hit 9 months later after the leaked video. Keeping up with the Kardashians was an instant success. That ultimately gave the spotlight to Kim which she utilized to expand her brand and rebrand herself to the person she is today.

While Kim Kardashian is often called famous for being famous and a person without true skills, she is truly living the life she always wanted. She is famous, something she had always dreamed of becoming. While many might argue that success was bound to happen to her due to her wealth and free time, her money couldn’t buy fame and she still worked hard on her time while following her path to fame. While Malcom Gladwell provided reasonable and various instances of success and how certain factors played a favorable role to success, success is not bound to happen within the various advantages that he provided as success has various definitions. As seen through Kim Kardashian’s life; She wanted fame something money can’t buy or investing time would improve. Overall Kim turned an unfortunate event in life that would have destroyed her career and she turned it into a great marketing scheme that turned her life for the better and gave her the fame she wanted. She rebranded herself to the person today; media personality, model, entrepreneur, socialite, and actress. 

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