10 Main Points From Outliers Book (Analysis & PDF)

Outliers Book Lessons

What makes someone successful? It’s not intelligence or ambition but something completely different that we will dive into in the book “Outliers.” This book is the story of success.

Outliers are one of the most talked-about books in business, self-help, and personal development. Whatever category you want to go in, it’s number one. Whether musicians, athletes, or businessmen, the typical narrative of success is that they worked hard, were successful, and wanted outliers. Does it say to understand what makes people successful? We must go deeper than work ethic, ambition, or IQ scores.

10 Main Points From Outliers Book

Gladwell examines typical success stories to determine why certain people and even entire groups of people thrive and others feel. We look at the relationship between individual talent and opportunity and look when it comes to our lives. These are people great to know and succeed. They’re exceptional.

We have to look at what we can’t always see, such as ours put in or environments people grew up in or mentors. In doing that, we can model some things to make us successful. Let’s analyze the top 10 lessons from the “Outliers” book.

1. 10,000-hour rule

The biggest point from this book that everyone talks about is the 10000-hour rule. This is something Gladwell took from Ericsson. What was fascinating about this study is that they found three groups. Those that were good enough to be teachers had about four thousand hours of practice. Those that were good enough to be considered good or skilled had about eight thousand hours.

But those who were the world-class talked, sold out symphonies, or performed with the greatest people, the greatest musicians out there. They had 10000 hours of deliberate practice, at least a very minimum. Then this is extrapolated outward onto other people as well.

Top fiction writers, professional athletes, motivational speakers, Bill Gates, and The Beatles all have this trend of putting at least ten thousand hours into something to become world-class. So this 10000-hour rule benchmark has become a staple for mastery that if you want to get good at something, you’ve got to put in the time.

What are ten thousand hours look like? If you were to do that in one year, seven days a week, it’s twenty-seven hours a day. So it’s impossible to do it in one year if you want to do it in five years. It’s about 5.4 hours a day to get those 10,000 hours. If you do it over ten years, seven days a week, it’s about two to three hours a day. So success takes time, and mastery takes time. Know that you’re not going to be perfect, but if you keep striving and putting in the hours, you will get better results.


  • If you want world-class at anything, you’ve got to put in 10000 hours starting today (5.4 hours/day for 5 years).
  • Success takes time, so you need to be patient.

2. Deliberate practice

We need 10000 hours to become world-class athletes, speakers, figure skaters, whatever. But it’s not ten thousand hours of showing up and dicking around for an hour. It’s 10000 hours of deliberate practice. This was the second point that those violinists weren’t going around and fiddling around, no pun intended. They were practicing scales. They were inactive instruction with feedback from mentors. That’s not how we get ten thousand hours.

So there are two kinds of practice sessions. There’s the drumming session where you sit down and mess around for an hour, two hours, whatever, and play along with the songs. You do develop some groove and develop that first fast. But the second practice is where you’re actively, deliberately practicing rudiments hundreds and hundreds of times. Or you’re practicing along to a click track to work on your timing.

Those are two different practice sessions. When you walk away from the second one, you feel you’ve improved because you’ve gone back and put in the work relating to your life with deliberate practice. If you want to do a business, it’s not waking up in the morning and doing email and social media. That’s the easy stuff. But the success, the mastery, comes from when we do the stuff that’s not always glamorous. That’s not our default setting.

If you want to take it to the next level, put in that extra effort of deliberate practice or, in that case, deliberate training in the last three reps. Deliberate practice is what we need to do the most and don’t want to do. It’s the hardest thing. That might be where you’re going to get the most results.


  • Do deliberate practice and never give up.
  • Count down the 10000 hours only practice, not learning or listening.

3. Willing power

It’s not how good you are. It’s how good you want to be. The simple fact is that talent is overrated. There’s a theme between working at something and that no one is successful. One of the stories here Gladwell talks about is Bill Gates’s phenomenal story. When he was 13, he got introduced to computers and coding.

Bill Gates spent four, seven months, fifteen hundred hours coding and learning on that machine for the next seven years, nearly a decade. He didn’t take a single day off, he says. So twelve hours a day for four years, seven days a week. Then he gets to the point where he’s successful.

If he had quit at any time, he wouldn’t have gotten the results no matter how much work he put in. It’s called the dark years of Bill Gates. That decade, he was grinding it out in the cubicle, coding away, learning, and mastering his craft. No one talks about those ten years where he didn’t see sunlight and didn’t have a life, essentially because it’s not the sexy part.


  • Hard work is a thousand times more efficient than talent. So focus on working hard rather than talent.
  • Find out your passion and work hard until success.

4. Start early

Success comes from a lot of factors we can’t see. It is a cool point in the book because Gladwell looks at hockey players and birthdays. Those two things have in common that most elite hockey players out there were born in March. Why? Because when you look at the cutoff dates for their schools, it’s in December.

So if you’re born earlier in the year, January, February, or March, you have an extra six, seven, eight, or nine months in your grade that you have physical maturity. Suppose you’re seven to nine months older than people. Also, when you’re developing, it makes all the difference.

So if you’re developing faster, you’re playing better. You get more coaching, gear, sponsorships, or whatever. Sometimes it is about circumstance, luck, birth, and things we can’t change.


  • The sooner you start, the better you get the results.
  • Take time to develop your skills, motivation, and experience.

5. Model people

It’s not enough to ask what successful people look like. Only by asking where they are from can we unravel the logic behind those who succeed and those who don’t. It is getting at the core of what makes successful people tick. If you’re going to model someone, don’t copy their results if you admire professional athletes speak. Don’t try and copy what they’ve done.

Try and go deeper into what makes them tick. Focus on the deeper layer of the onion. Don’t focus on the outside if you want to go that route. Because sometimes the outside isn’t a representation of what’s inside. You take off a few layers, and it’s perfectly good. But on the outside, it looks beat-up and rusted.

So if you go into that deeper layer, you have a much better chance of being successful like them. It is called modeling, one of the fastest ways to speed up those 10000 hours.

If you can think as they think, you will become successful faster. So always, ask yourself when you’re trying to mimic or learn from someone. It’s worth asking ourselves, what is this person thinking? How are they acting?


  • Follow the successful person differently. Don’t copy and paste; instead, follow their strategy.
  • Believe in yourself because this inner motivation boosts up your energy and helps you to hard work.

6. Strong morale

The Beatles performed live in Hamburg, Germany, over twelve hundred times from nineteen sixty to nineteen sixty-four. So that’s way more than ten thousand hours right there. They go down as one of the mainstream acts of all time. You look at them hustling and grinding it out. I mean twelve hundred shows in a matter of four years. That’s three hundred shows a year.

That’s 82 percent chance on a night they’re going to be playing a show 8 out of 10 nights they played shows. That’s phenomenal. They’re grinding it out. The biographer who wrote their book said they sounded like no one else when they returned to Hamburg, Germany. It was the making of them.

Those four years of that constant practice that three hundred shows a year made them the Beatles. What would they be like if they played one hundred and 50 shows a year? It’s still two a month, three-five five a month. But it’s not the level of mastery isn’t the level of obsession they had.


  • Having a strong firm and morality helps to achieve success.
  • Work daily or regular basis that keeps work on a line.

7. One thing

Ten thousand hours of practice mastery outliers are those who master something and have put in enough time. But they’ve chosen one thing to master. That success comes to those who obsess, not diversify. So if Bill Gates went out, let’s go with him. If he went out and said, I will master coding, engineering, and public speaking simultaneously! It’s not that he couldn’t do it. It would have taken him two, three, five times longer, probably because he’s trying to do all those things.

So instead of all that time going towards coding, learning, and mastering that language, you would have been practicing other things. It is the toughest one for us to realize that we must focus on something. Ultimately, success comes to those who obsess master one thing before moving on to the others.

So the question to you is, what’s your one thing? What are you going to master? How are you going to master it, pick and choose? What are you going to put ten thousand hours into?


  • Focus on one thing rather than many because individual success needs your priority.
  • Sort out the one thing you need urgently and work dedicatedly to achieve it.

8. The life span of mastery

When we start anything that we think we’re going to master, it’s like it’s the best idea in the world. Then what happens? We start seeing results fast. In the end, we start plateauing. Now it feels like it’s dragging, and we hit that dip, that resistance, that danger point where we’re going to quit. So if we quit there, that’s fine. We experimented.

But if we want to master something, we push past it if we’re committed to it. That’s where we become the best in the world and get all the results. So there’s resistance, the dip, whatever you want to call it.


  • Success comes through danger or resistance.
  • Be mentally prepared all-time and fight against danger or resistance.

9. Motivate yourself

If we’re on the path to mastery, we need a way to track it on the path of being an outlier on the path to our ten thousand hours. The quote, what gets measured gets managed. We need tools to track our progress and keep us motivated. Bill Gates looks back on his first coding, laughs at it, and sees the progress because that’s motivating.

If you’re committed to putting in the ten thousand hours to get yourself in the best shape possible, wouldn’t you want to look back on progress photos weekly, monthly, or yearly? That’s a great way to do it. If you’re trying to master public speaking, film your first speech, film, or first podcast, and do something so you can look back on it in a couple of years.

Once you’re getting better, you constantly see improvements and results. Suppose you’re trying to do YouTube videos because it’s already been filmed for you. You see the improvements over time, and that is very motivating. So you need a way to track things. One of the best ways to track things is sometimes intangible but still worth pursuing, like self-growth or goals in life.


  • Keep notes or photos of whatever you achieve and attach them in front of your door or wall. It keeps you strong and boosts motivation.
  • Celebrate every portion of success to energize yourself.

10. Track your progress

When you put in the effort, you get rewards, focus on factors you can change, and put massive effort behind it. Remember that those who obsess about one thing get the rewards of realizing factors you can’t change. But don’t spend too much time worrying about them. The last point, get clarity and track your progress.

Long-term work presents many experiences and feelings. Sometimes it doesn’t feel good, and sometimes it feels awesome. No matter what happens, you need to carry on with great experience. At the end of the day, experience is most expensive; that is priceless.


  • Track the progress daily or weekly and try to improve it.
  • Note down your experiences, and next time work in the same category that you already have experience. Your first-time experience builds better the second time, and the second time builds the next.


Those are the ten best ideas from Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers. It’s a talented writer and has a ton of writing experience. This is the time you need to practice a certain skill before becoming an expert. It takes deliberate practice, not talent, that makes people world in any field. We are told practice makes perfect, but on the path to our ten thousand hours are fascinated with speed, and youth experience is sometimes overlooked in the modern world.

A 40 hours a week is 10000 hours translates to roughly five years. The book tells us we can’t expect to be good at something immediately. It applies to almost everything as a baby when you need to learn how to walk it to deliver practice. Also, nobody was born with this skill. The same applies to learning how to swim, ride a bike, or become an outlier.

Think about the first time you play tennis. You hit a ball, and it probably hit it. So you keep trying over and over again. After some practice, you’ll be able to play again. It takes a long time before you’ll be good at something. Outliers argue that cultural background and heritage are crucial in determining success at the end of three cultural backgrounds. This heritage can be an advantage or disadvantage, and sometimes both simultaneously.

When there’s a purpose to our work, we’re more likely to work hard and put in the hours necessary to become outstanding. According to the book, success is a mix of multiple crucial factors.

Learn more:

Outliers Book Review With Summary

5 Books Like Outliers

Author: Malcolm Gladwell
Average Rating: (4.7/5)
Category: Self-Improvement, Communication, Motivation, Success

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Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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