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Successful? Luck has nothing to do with it

rows of Japanese lucky cats

There are few things more annoying than someone suggesting that your achievements are down to “luck” or “being in the right place at the right time.” Anyone who is successful at anything is aware that luck has almost nothing to do with it, at least not in the way that most people perceive and understand luck.

You probably know the famous quote from Gary Player—“The more I practice, the luckier I get,”—and this, I think, perfectly sums up the concept of luck/success, i.e. that it is very rarely related to ‘chance’ and very significantly related to hard work and perseverance. So, the next time someone infers that your success is the result of cosmic alignment, walk them through these three ways you made luck work for you…

1. You took advantage of opportunities

Luck and opportunity are two different things. Luck is the stranger behind you returning the passport that fell out of your bag at airport security, more luck is having two empty seats next to you on the plane. And while, yes, you could be considered lucky for being born in a stable country and given an education, it’s what you do with this ‘luck’ that makes the difference.

The same could be said of business success. You might ‘luck in’ with a chance meeting that leads to a deal, but it’s the recognition of opportunity combined with a lot of hard work that a lot of people don’t consider. A lot of people are presented with the chance to improve themselves or make more money, but they’re simply unwilling to take action and put in the hours. Unless you win the lottery—a 1 in 14-million chance—sheer luck is not going to cut it.

woman working in conservatory with beautiful view of lake and mountains
How lucky is she?
Photo by Kristin Wilson on Unsplash

2. You used failure to progress

A lot of people who depend on luck for success tend to falter at the first hurdle. They’re already of the mindset that some people “just have it easy—why can’t I?” so when things don’t go to plan or the thing they assumed would be simple and straightforward turns out to be challenging, they take failure as a sign that it’s “not meant to be” or, worse, they blame circumstances or other people for whatever went wrong.

Success-minded people understand very early on that failure is part of growth, and they accept that they probably won’t get it right the first time. They also accept that some things are out of their control, but work very hard at maintaining the things that ARE in their control. They are open to change and are therefore adept at adapting to unexpected situations, but this skill at adaptation is more often than not derived from the wisdom of repeated failures.

3. You built the right team around you

Entrepreneurs become entrepreneurs because they like to do everything themselves and don’t want to work for other people. However, successful founders also know that they won’t achieve any growth without a strong team and a willingness to delegate.

Attracting top quality people is only possible when you’ve built a solid company with a good reputation, and this can only be achieved through hours and hours and hours of work and careful planning, not luck. Similarly, surrounding yourself with people you trust and have built good relationships with enables you to relinquish some control and focus on other ventures, as well as take holidays when you want to!

Lucky you….

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