One may be awash in ego aggression (ambition), blessed with functional ability (IQ cognition and talent) and posses a burning desire to know the truth about yourself and the world about you (intellect), but until you have been accepted into the club (the clique) your social and economic value will remain minimal.
For instance in the world of show business celebrity, during the 1960s there was no more powerful club than the “rat pack” of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, Peter Lawford, Buddey Greco and that little black song and dance man, Sammy Davis, Jr. At a time when Blacks were denied commendations in first rate hotels, being in the club made Davis the rare exception. If you were part of the “rat pack,” as they say in the Mafia, you were a made man with special privileges.
There are countless varieties of clubs. For a writer to be in the club is to be adopted by a powerful editor in a prestigious publishing house. And despite all the talk of independent writers such as here on Medium that’s still the case.
To be in the club for a singer is to be taken on by a major record company. To be in the club for an academic is to be highly credentialed. In the realm of business and politics to be in the club is to have belonged to a prominent fraternity or sorority at a top rated college.
Of course another part of being in the club is to be accepted by one’s famous peers as one of their own. To be sure it is a form of branding. And once you are club branded fame and fortune just keeps on rolling along. For example every year the Country Music Awards are dominated by the same dozen headliners, with perhaps a new member added to the club every so often.
If being in the club is the road to fame, fortune is even more assured. Take the art world. If you were to bring to the Antiques Road Show a painting you thought might be by Jackson Pollack, say a canvas of just two solid colors, it might be apprised a value of millions. But if it turned out to be someone not in the art club, it would be virtually worthless. Indeed, beyond having natural gifts, the club is everything when it comes to noted success.