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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 56804  
Subject: Career success: Hard work or luck? Date: 12/1/2008 1:04 PM
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Interesting perspective on why people are successful.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/30/books/review/Leonhardt-t.h...

In many of the best leagues in the world, amateur or professional, roughly 40 percent of the players were born in January, February orMarch, while only 10 percent were born in October, November or December. It’s a profoundly strange pattern, with a simple explanation. The cutoff birth date for many youth hockey leagues is Jan. 1. So the children born in the first three months of the year are just a little older, bigger and stronger than their peers. These older children are then funneled into all-star teams that offer the best, most intense training. By the time they become teenagers, their random initial advantage has turned into a real one.

“We look at the young Bill Gates and marvel that our world allowed that 13-year-old to become a fabulously successful entrepreneur,” he writes at the end. “But that’s the wrong lesson. Our world only allowed one 13-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?”

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In my own case, an aversion to the burdens and hassles of owning a home, and the decision to plow my earnings into the stock market from 1981-on, paved the way for my retirement in 1994 at age 38.

If I'd decided to become a landlord, I'd probably still be working.

intercst
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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15872 of 56804
Subject: Re: Career success: Hard work or luck? Date: 12/2/2008 11:26 AM
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Bill Gates: “I had a better exposure to software development at a young age than I think anyone did in that period of time, and all because of an incredibly lucky series of events.”

I bet his understanding of the role played by luck in his success has informed his post-Microsoft career as a philanthropist. Good on ya, Bill.

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