News | International
23 Sep 2019 8:44
NZCity News
NZCity CalculatorReturn to NZCity

  • Start Page
  • Personalise
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Finance
  • Shopping
  • Jobs
  • Horoscopes
  • Lotto Results
  • Photo Gallery
  • Site Gallery
  • TVNow
  • Dating
  • SearchNZ
  • NZSearch
  • RugbyLeague
  • Make Home
  • About NZCity
  • Contact NZCity
  • Your Privacy
  • Advertising
  • Login
  • Join for Free

  •   Home > News > International

    Privilege is the hidden ingredient for success that we don't talk about enough

    Work hard, fail often, have passion and persistence and learn from your mistakes: but there's one key ingredient of success missing from this list, writes Marnie Vinall.

    The business world's most celebrated success stories all seem to have an opinion on what it takes to reach your goals and dreams.

    They'll tell you that all you need to do is work hard, fail often, learn from your mistakes, focus on your passion and persist until you reach your goals.

    It's true that all of this is valuable advice. But there is one ingredient that impacts success more than any other and it's rarely mentioned in boardrooms or promoted at conferences.

    And that is privilege.

    From the socio-economic situation we are born to, or the education we receive; to the colour of our skin and gender we identify with: all of these things affect the opportunities we are offered.

    We exist in a world that uses systems which favour some over others. Everyone's road to success looks different.

    Some are climbing a mountain while others must smash a glass ceiling before they reach basecamp.

    The idea that we are in control of our path to success seems more within reach to those with circumstances that give them more control.

    Wisdom can come in all shades

    The two co-founders of the digital marketing agency I work for recently attended a conference hosted by superstar life coach Tony Robbins.

    They were brimming with insights upon their return and ready to share their newfound wisdom.

    The entire office gathered in a meeting room to listen to a presentation on the conference.

    I couldn't help noticing that all the speakers discussed were white men.

    A recent Australian study claimed there are more chief executive officers named "Andrew" heading ASX 200 companies than there are women. It backs similar research into names like John, Peter or David.

    What's in a name?

    Barriers exist not only when entering the business world, but also in progressing once in there.

    Australian entrepreneur and chief executive and CEO of China Australia Millennial Project, Andrea Myles changed her name from Andrea to Andrew on LinkedIn in an experiment to see if she'd receive less misguided messages.

    In a personal essay, she noted, "the response online was instantaneous".

    She noticed that she was taken more seriously and had her content re-explained to her less.

    She also claimed, "I was connected with men of higher levels at more well-recognised companies.

    I'm not saying that Robbins doesn't deserve his success. He's brilliant. Watching him talk about his drive makes me want to take a nap.

    However, his success has come with benefits from a system built for his gender and skin colour.

    Does having an ice bath every morning help you stay motivated? Sure. But so does having a conventional male name when getting people to read your emails and agree to meetings.

    The fact is, the barriers Robbins has encountered in his life are vastly different to those of people from minority groups, even if they come from the same country as him.

    Is moving on really that easy?

    New York Times best-selling author, speaker and internet personality Gary Vaynerchuck is renowned within the marketing world for giving some of the best advice on achieving success.

    In one of his most popular YouTube videos, he says that if you hate your job, you should just quit and find another.

    "Go do your thing, you're gonna die," he exclaims. "It is your mum? Is it society? Is it your partner? Why are you not willing to take one step backwards, for a step for the rest of your life?"

    For many, quitting your job and getting by while looking for your dream one isn't practical. The unemployment rate in Australia remains at 5.2 per cent, despite the creation of 42,300 jobs in May, many of which were part-time.

    And Commonwealth Bank economist Belinda Allen has attributed more people looking for work on "weaker household income growth, housing affordability and low return on investments for older workers".

    For many, quitting jobs and finding others that match their passions and dreams will also prevent them from keeping a roof over their heads.

    The step backwards Gary recommends, for those already scraping by, is homelessness or an inability to put food in their kids' mouths.

    Robbins's current mission is to feed a billion people.

    One of his most popular quotes is, "hunger is the only differentiation in people; it's not talent".

    Although he is talking about drive here, I can't help but notice the irony. Hunger, indeed, might be the only differentiation in reaching success, but not in the way he's describing.

    Different barriers

    Those that achieve what seems impossible and reach great heights of success deserve recognition. But it also should be recognised that privilege is a huge factor in helping them get there.

    We all don't start on the same racing track. We don't even all start on the same playing field, let alone a level one.

    The barriers to success are different for all of us.

    It's time we recognise that when we talk about how to achieve success.

    Marnie Vinall is a freelance writer.

    © 2019 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

     Other International News
     22 Sep: The Emmys is without a traditional opening monologue because they have no host this year. So, we wrote one
     22 Sep: With Hong Kong facing a worsening housing crisis, hotels are offering couples somewhere to be alone
     22 Sep: Primetime Emmy awards facts you might not know
     22 Sep: US man drowns during underwater marriage proposal at Tanzanian resort
     22 Sep: How much do you know about this national icon? Take the kangaroo quiz and find out
     22 Sep: Peaceful explorer or war criminal: Who was Zheng He, China's Muslim symbol of diplomacy?
     21 Sep: How do you take care of your dog and the environment?
     Top Stories

    Ireland has delivered a strong opening performance at the Rugby World Cup, beating Scotland 27-3 in Yokohama More...

    Wellington Chamber of Commerce says decades of under-investment in basic infrastructure has to stop More...

     Today's News

    South Africa has eased to a nine-wicket victory in their Twenty20 cricket match against India at Bengaluru, to draw the series 1-all 8:07

    Wellington Chamber of Commerce says decades of under-investment in basic infrastructure has to stop 7:57

    The Netherlands have claimed gold in the mixed team time trial on the opening day of the road cycling world championships in Yorkshire 7:47

    English golfer Danny Willett has claimed the latest European Tour event in Surrey 7:37

    Law and Order:
    Investigations will continue today into the murder of a South Canterbury dairy farm worker 7:27

    Ireland has delivered a strong opening performance at the Rugby World Cup, beating Scotland 27-3 in Yokohama 7:17

    A complaint needs to be lodged with police, before they'll investigate allegations of inappropriate behaviour of a Christchurch city councillor 6:57

    A strong opening quarter has launched Ireland to a 27-3 opening win over Scotland at the World Cup 6:27

    Sam Cane's calmness has impressed one of his senior All Blacks teammates 5:37

    Almost 90 big companies in sectors from food to cement to telecommunications are pledging to slash their greenhouse gas emissions in a new campaign to steer multi-nationals towards a low-carbon future 21:56

     News Search

    Power Search

    © 2019 New Zealand City Ltd