Luck is synonymous with success, prosperity and good fortune. This is why we associate being successful in business with being “lucky.” Saying someone is lucky because they are successful in business makes us feel better by comparison. As in, “I work really hard too, she’s just lucky!” The luckiest thing to happen to a small business is to become a larger, more profitable business. That’s my story.
Spoiler alert: it’s hard work, and grit. People say I’m lucky because I have, by far, the “coolest” job on Earth. Companies literally pay me to hang out with the world’s most famous and interesting people. I know, right? I’m “lucky” because I get to meet these people all the time, and I usually boss them around for awhile.
Five Ways to “Get” Lucky in Business
I married for love and I married the right girl. That wasn’t luck; it was a choice. My wife was pregnant when I started my business. One afternoon she came home from work (very pregnant) and I was on the couch watching Oprah. I’m “lucky” she didn’t kill me. In business, I found something I loved that I was also good at. Love is powerful. Find something or someone to love.
When I created my business, my customers told me what to sell and I listened. They knew what they needed; I learned to give it to them. Keep your antenna up and you will find more luck in business.
Small businesses that take time to explore and learn are ready when luck comes their way. Product innovation is not luck. It’s a positive, forward-thinking habit that prepares the organization for opportunities. I recently graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Businesses Program, where I learned to keep learning and prepare my organization for growth.
You may start more than one business, but you’ll only live once. I failed early and started over and it gave me the confidence to try just about anything – not everything – but anything. Living means leaving your comfort zone and trying something new.
Many, many people told me not to start my own business. They said I was crazy. Learn to embrace the crazy voices in your head. The people around me (business associates, customers, employees) have benefitted from my crazy, and they still look at me funny all the time. Luck will come your way when one of your crazy ideas breaks through the clutter and resonates.
Get up. Get there. Be present.
Legendary pro golfer Gary Player once said, “The harder I practice, the luckier I get.” In his Ten Commandments for Success in Life, he offers, “The fox fears not the man who boasts by night but the man who rises early in the morning.”
Get up. Get there. Be present. When you are present in the moment, you have prepared yourself for luck to come your way. Preparation and luck go hand in hand. Many of my “luckiest” moments happened because I was first in line.
I convinced myself my company was bigger than me from the beginning, and it attracted people who make me look good and deliver on our brand promise every day. Tell your people how important they are and make sure they learn to be positive and celebrate small victories. Learning to celebrate small victories trains negative people to be happy. They learn to accomplish small tasks on their way to accomplishing a common goal.
So ask yourself, “Do I feel lucky?” I know I always do because I’ve learned how to prepare myself for luck.
To be lucky in business you must give yourself a chance. You have to play the game to be a winner and plenty of people don’t bother. They take themselves out of the game before it begins.
Recognize that only players win and you will “find” more “luck” in business.
Reposted from Huffington Post: What’s Working Small Businesses in partnership with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.