If you haven’t read Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, do yourself a favor and read it! Outliers is about success.
Gladwell talks about the fact that it takes 10,000 hours to get good at something, that the month people are born in the year has an impact on all kind of educational outcomes, and that “poorer” kids learn the same as “rich” kids, except they don’t learn anything during the school holidays, so that’s the disadvantage.
It’s a marvelous set of stories, eclectically mixed to come to a very heartening conclusion: No one becomes successful alone, firstly, and secondly we need to make sure more people get the opportunities to be more successful (and our world will be a better place).
I very much recommend it! And for a review of all of the success literature, I also heartily recommend Barking up the Wrong Tree – The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong. It looks at both ends of the spectrum on winners and losers, givers and takers and even confidence (over confidence is just as bad as no confidence).