Parents, Here’s Why Your ‘C’ Average Kid Might Be Headed for Great Success

This post: Parents, Here’s Why Your ‘C’ Average Kid Might Be Headed for Success

Ask just about any high schooler or college student what matters to them and you’ll likely hear them say three letters… GPA. 

Landing that ‘A’ in a class and maintaining a stellar GPA opens a lot of doors for students. For high schoolers, it can give them a leg up on other applicants when applying for competitive internships and we all know that a student’s GPA is a critical component of college acceptances. For college kids, it can help secure them a spot in grad school and help them land a great job post-graduation.

But, here’s what a GPA can’t do… it can’t guarantee a student’s success when they’re in the “real” world.

In fact, there are a lot of things a GPA can’t do for kids. Here’s why your ‘C’ average kid might be headed for great success. 

Parents, Here’s Why Your ‘C’ Average Kid Might Be Headed for Success


According to Inc. Magazine, “Some of the most successful people in the world have gone on to have amazing careers in business and public life after having less than stellar runs in academia.” In fact, when you really get to the crux of the matter, many of our most famous leaders were lousy students.

For a lot of students, college provides a road to success. And, there’s no question that obtaining a quality education can lay the foundation for a successful career and future. But there are plenty of highly successful people who have proven that college isn’t the only road.

CBS News reported that dozens of tech, media, business, and political superstars left school without a degree, but with a heaping dose of ambition to pursue their passion and dream. Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder might be one of the more famous dropouts in history.

But there are also other highly successful people who dropped out of college and/or gave a lackluster performance in school including, Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, Thomas Jefferson, John D. Rockefeller, Walt Disney, Elton John, Frank Lloyd Wright, and we can’t forget Bill Gates, the poster-boy for average students who dropped out of Harvard University to found Microsoft. 

What Grades & GPA Don’t Measure

A research paper co-authored by Nobel Prize-Winning economist, James Heckman, found that while grades capture traits like perseverance, diligence, and self-discipline – three traits that can position students for success – there are things grades or GPA can’t measure: 

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Courage
  • Interpersonal and Networking Skills
  • Leadership Skills
  • Comfortability with Risk
  • Ability to Think Outside the Box
  • Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution Skills

It turns out these traits, all of which cannot be measured by a student’s grades or GPA, are not only characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, but they’re also powerful predictors of success.

6 Powerful Traits Your ‘C’ Average Child Might Possess (That Drive You Crazy Now) That Could Position Them for Success Later in Life

For every parent whose child is struggling in school, whose child doesn’t fit the mold of a traditional classroom, whose child is clearly very bright but can’t find their stride in the educational system, who daydreams and can’t seem to get a grip on their homework, and who couldn’t land an ‘A’ on a test if their life depended on it, your child likely has an amazing inherent skill-set that could launch their success later in life.

Here are key qualities your ‘C’ student might possess (that might drive you a little crazy now) that could position them for great success later in life. 

#1 They Aren’t Submissive Followers

Average ‘C’ students who are headed for greatness aren’t submissive followers. In fact, they like to make their own rules. And, when they can’t make their own rules, they’ll find ways to break the existing rules. They’re notorious for questioning teachers, the “why” of it all, and the system. They’d much rather come up with their own agenda – all powerful traits of a great leader. 

#2 They’re “Out of the Box” Thinkers & Learners

Sitting in a classroom for hours and reading 50 pages online in a structured learning environment isn’t what sparks the interest of a success-bound ‘C’ student. They get bored easily and need a fast-paced, hands-on learning approach to trigger their attention and motivation. They want to explore and express their own ideas without being subjected to rigid rules or instructions. The bottom line is, they enjoy learning… they just want to learn differently and they want to learn things that are of interest to them. 

#3 They’re Dreamers

While the rest of the class is focusing on what the Chemistry teacher is teaching, ‘C’ students are doodling on a piece of paper, looking out the window at how the clouds are moving, or daydreaming about how they’re going to convince their parents to spring for that new video game they have their eye on. Considering the fact that many highly successful entrepreneurs consider themselves “early dreamers,” this is a trait that will serve them well in the future. 

#4 They’re Masters at Finding An Easier Way

According to Linkedin, “Most ‘C’ students tend to tackle challenges in ways that let them get things done without wasting too much time and effort in the process. (Ahem… they learn how to cut a few corners.) So, instead of following the well-founded paths of ‘A’ students, ‘C’ students prefer to forge their own paths which often leads to innovative thinking.”

#5 They Understand What It Feels Like to Struggle

Life isn’t easy for average students. They’re up against high competition with the ‘A’ and ‘B’ students and they’ve felt the pain of failure more times than they can count. But what emerges from that failure is resilience and an attitude that it’s okay to fail. They learn the hard way that failure isn’t permanent and they eventually learn to brush themselves off and try again – a critical skill all successful entrepreneurs possess.

#6 Instead of Honing in On Academics, They’re Mastering Other Skills

They may be considered weak (or totally uninterested) when it comes to writing the perfect, grammatically correct essay, but they’re jotting down the supplies needed for a project they want to tackle or they’re researching a new techy gadget they found on Amazon. They might not be the straight ‘A’ student in class but they’re learning how to negotiate with the teacher to up their grade or they might be rounding up a bunch of kids to test out an experiment they’ve been messing with.  They’re honing in on important skills that will serve them well later in life. 

Most (not all, of course) classrooms are a place with a lot of round holes and not a lot of square ones. The vast majority of kids are round pegs.

The result is that most teachers are trained to cater to the masses leaving little room to nurture the square pegs who hold so much potential. 

Those square pegs – the creative thinkers, the dreamers, the non-conformers, the rule-breakers, the ones who challenge the system, the ones who don’t have the patience or desire to learn in a traditional educational environment – are the ones who are going to harness all those skills and traits and use them to do amazing things in this world. 

So, parents, don’t get discouraged by your ‘C’ average student. Look at them and all their incredible abilities, and see them for who they CAN and WILL be one day.

They are going to change the world…

If you enjoyed reading, “Parents, Here’s Why Your ‘C’ Average Kid Might Be Headed for Success,” here are a few other posts you might like:

Awakening Your Teen’s Full Potential: Blending What They Need to Know With What They’d Love to Know

6 Powerful Lessons We Need to Teach Our Kids to Instill Confidence

12 Confidence Killers Your Teen Needs to Stop Doing Today

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