I’ve got an intuition about performance and prestige. I believe all things being equal, if you are talented it is easier to get ahead in a prestige industry than a performance driven one.
My theory is that when it’s all performance your competition is stiff. When the workforce isn’t compelled to perform, it’s easier for you to win if you are good at what is valuable.
My intuition comes from having worked in several prestige logic areas including media, fashion and cosmetics. Some of the workforce in those industries do it only for prestige so compete merely on metric. If you can the level that makes the business make money or achieves the goal of the organization you out level those driven by only prestige as you perform.
Many industries compete on social capital and prestige which are different simply from doing the job well.
So I’ll say this probably applies to approaching anything considered valuable. Attractive women, the very famous, and similar dynamics. People assume they can’t compete.
But if you have the native skills for what is actually valued you can probably hack it by taking a shot. It might be easier than you think.