Are You an Outlier?

11 03 2010

Virtual AssistantI was commenting to a fellow faculty member Steven Huff that I had read Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell but was still struggling to figure out what my takeaway would be. At the end of the book, I was still thinking, “And???”

Steven had more carefully thought about the concept of being an outlier – men and women who do things that are out of the ordinary – and suggested that we needed to recognize that each of us has been exposed to circumstances that others were not. Those circumstances put us in a position to be able to see an opportunity and act on it.

Gladwell suggests that it is not that successful people like Bill Gates are better than the rest of us, but that they took advantage of the circumstances they were placed in. Their family, culture, and friendships each played a role in their success.

So I’ve been pondering Steven’s insights and recognize that through timing, connecting with key people, and other events, seven years ago I was able to launch the Red Deer College online Virtual Assistant Certificate, the first government accredited VA training program in Canada. Could someone else have done this?  Certainly – I just happened to be “at the right place, at the right time.” And I recognized, researched, and followed through on an opportunity.

There are millions of ideas out there that you could pursue, but not all of them will lead to a successful business opportunity. But then again, perhaps your circumstances place you in the ideal spot.

Do you have the potential to be an outlier?

Bev McCrostie, M.Ed.
Virtual Assistant Certificate
Red Deer College




One response

12 03 2010

You are so amazing. I hope I’ll do as much 🙂
That is such an interesting thought. I’ll have to be more aware of my opportunities… after all, the right time will only be right for so long!

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