Why Some People Have All the Luck
Some people just seem to have more luck than others. In fact, many business leaders and professionals I know say that their success is simply a matter of luck.
But in business is it entirely luck? Consider these popular sayings: “luck is preparation meeting opportunity” or “you make your own luck.” And according to Ray Kroc, “Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.”
While luck may feel random, selective, chaotic and arbitrary. Luck may be good or bad. Certainly there is an element of luck which we can not affect such as where you were born or one’s genetic composition. We can, however, in business become more receptive to luck and even influence it.
In my own life, I know this to be true. In the past fifteen months, I have consistently offered a business mindset to the board of my professional association. As board president and leader, I have faced numerous challenges ranging from implementing a strategic plan to build membership, leading volunteers, managing board dynamics and generating results. All while membership engagement continues a steadily decline and opposition can feel tense. Clearly I need luck to be on my side.
Luck is attitude
Increasing your business luck is fundamentally about having the right attitude. Luck is as much about attitude as it is about probability. In the book, Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck: What It Takes to Be an Entrepreneur & Build a Great Business; people who self-describe themselves as lucky in business tend to possess these three traits. So if you want to increase your luck adopt these traits.
Three traits to boost your luck
1. Humility is the foundation of a lucky attitude. Having a lucky attitude begins with humility and open vulnerability towards your own limitations. You need a balance of self confidence and a knowing that there is much you simply do not know. Humility is the path towards earning respect while self-confidence is the path towards commanding it. But it is humility that humanizes leaders and allows them to be luckier. It is at the root of self-awareness and creates the opening for the next lucky attitude trait.
2. Intellectual curiosity is an active response to humility. Humility gives people the capacity to be intellectually curious. Almost all of the business leaders I know are intellectually curious. They are vivacious readers, active listeners to suggestions, explorers for new ideas and are more frequently asking questions than trying to answer them. They become luckier because they are willing to meet new people, ask new questions and go to new places.
3. Optimism is the energy source for positive change. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy that luck tends to come to those who believe in seeing the good in something versus the bad. Optimists are givers of energy rather than takers of it. People who maintain a positive attitude are more likely to experience a greater number of seemingly “surprise” encounters of good fortune. An optimistic disposition gives you the belief and courage that something better is always possible.
Create your own luck
During my term on the board, I have learned the secret to capitalizing on luck. It begins with having the right attitude and stems from humility, intellectual curiosity and optimism. Being vulnerable to try new ideas, initiate new programs, and believing in the vision for the greater good of our association. And just by chance, when opportunity knocks as it did at last week’s event, your preparation will create the luck most needed.
Be sure you choose to act on it. Because I sure did.