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Arruda: The One Thing Successful People Do Every Day (Book Report Sample)


I was required to read a book and then give a personal opinion regarding a few issues

Story of Success
Story of Success
In his article, The One Thing Successful People Do Every Day, Arruda (p.1) defines success as the feeling of fulfillment somebody gets when they achieve whatever they have been working hard for. Success has different meanings depending on the context. In the current education system, the successful student is one who scores A’s in all the subjects. Students, who might have achieved their learning objectives and felt a sense of achievement, might not be considered as "successful" if they do not attain the right grades. In the work place, the most successful employee is the one who beats targets set by his or her superiors. The said employee may not be happy about the job or achievements, but he/ she will be considered successful regardless. In politics, the successful candidate is the one who wins the election no matter the means they used- fair or dubious. Among the middle class, the successful person is the one with a good house, car, career and a big salary (they usually do not own businesses) to top it off.
Arruda (p.2) further notes, an achievement is not success unless it brings a feeling of fulfillment. If somebody rakes in millions of dollars from a job they do not like, that is not success. The same applies to people that cheat- theirs is not success because they never worked for it. Arruda (p.3) goes on to state what somebody should do for them to be successful in the one thing they are working hard towards. This essay is about the success story of Richard Branson- the founder of the Virgin Group that comprises of over 400 companies around the world. The essay also looks at the social and external factors, as discussed in Gladwell’s book, which played a role towards his success.
Born in 18 July 1958, Richard Branson is a self-made entrepreneur from England. He was raised in Blackhealth London together with his two sisters. ( Because Richard was suffering from dyslexia, he performed poorly in school. He always came last in his class hence the object of ridicule among his peers. At the age of 16, Branson dropped out of Stowe, an independent school. On the last day of school, the head teacher told him, "You will end up in prison or become a millionaire" ( During those days, education was literally the "key to success”. Anybody who did not perform well in their academics was seen as failure with no hope for the future. Branson’s first business was a student magazine named ‘The Student Magazine’ that he ran from a church. In the magazine were various advertisements for events that were popular among students. As fate would have it, Branson lived in a neighborhood with many high schools hence the magazine became an instant success. He made more sales than many mainstream magazines.
Using Gladwell’s principle of opportunity regarding success, I can say Branson’s first success was because of the opportunities his immediate environment presented. According to Gladwell (p.18), a tree will grow to be tallest in a dense forest because of the opportunities it has and not that it is "good enough" than the rest. The tallest tree in an ecosystem reached its height because its seed sow on fertile soil, the leaves of older trees did not block its light and human beings did not cut it down before it could attain maturity. The fact that Branson lived in area with many high schools was an opportunity he did not plan. The church was also kind enough to let him operate from its premises. It is not common to find churches sharing their resources to people who indulge in "ungodly" ventures such as writing secular student magazines. These opportunities gave Branson a competitive advantage over his competitors. Religious people call it luck, motivational speakers call it "strategic positioning" but Gladwell calls it an opportunity that others lacked.
The 10,000- hour Rule
After the magazine, Branson started a recording studio. However, in 1971, he was questioned in connection to selling records that were marked for export ( The matter did not go to trial but his mother had to re-mortgage their home in order to offset the amount in tax evasion. Branson was eventually able to establish his own recording studio at Oxford Street where artists could record at a lease. In 1972, he launched the record label, ‘Virgin Records’ and named his studio ‘The Manor Studio’. The first song from his label to top the charts was from an artist called Mike Oldfield who was a fledging artist recording on lease. What made Branson stand out from the rest of his competitors was the agility he used to market his label. In a time when nobody wanted to associate themselves with controversial bands such as Sex Pistols. What others saw as unethical or capable tainting their brand, Branson saw it as an opportunity to publicize his brand.
Gladwell (p.36) agrees that talent is innate but then goes on to say there is need to develop talent even further. He gives...
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