Luck: It’s No Superstition

Luck (noun): success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than one’s own actions.

This may be the general understanding of the word “luck”, but what about for those people who go about making their own luck? How, if they are making their own, can it possibly come about by chance? The answer is that it doesn’t; those who make their own luck know that it isn’t actually luck at all. Before we can be makers of our own luck, we must have that revelation too.

1. Break the superstition mentality

The first step to being one of the ones who makes your own luck, rather than wondering how others “got so lucky”, is to break through the mind barrier that would tell you luck is a superstitious concept. This may sound simple enough, but you will need to be very deliberate. We are conditioned to believe in luck and in circumstance, so getting past that means mentally breaking out of what is “normal”.

Luck is not about good fortune, it is about asking the right questions and doing the hard work. This needs to be the philosophy we remind ourselves of when tempted to start hoping we will get lucky, rather than forging our own luck. The superstitious-luck mentality will have you waiting and hoping for a win in the lottery, rather than searching for a way to create your luck.

Remind yourself each day: I don’t hope to get lucky, I ask the questions and I work hard to make luck come to me.

2. Be on the lookout for opportunities

“Opportunities are like buses: there’s always another one around the corner.” — Richard Branson

There are opportunities everywhere for people like you. Yes, even with your very specific set of skills. However, if you are not looking for these opportunities, you are not going to find them. They sure aren’t going to come looking for you.

You only find the answers to the questions that you are asking, and so it is crucial to be asking the right questions. In the case of making our own luck, it begins with asking where the opportunities lie that you can capitalise on. I wrote about this following the US election: the “lucky” ones won’t be the people who are asking “what’s wrong with America” or whining about how their divine right to have their candidate govern was stolen from them, it will be the ones who ask where a Trump presidency presents opportunities, and position themselves to cash in.

Start looking at the news, searching for gaps in the market, informing yourself of policy changes, listening to people, and focus on finding where you might be able to see opportunities. When you purposely search for the opportunities in the material and communication you consume, you will be amazed by what you discover.

3. Study what lucky people do

There are multitudes of people before you who have blazed a trail and made their own luck. Thanks to the internet, stories and resources about how they do it are only a mouse click or two away.

One of my biggest challenges is a lack of focus. I get very easily distracted and can often find excuses to procrastinate. To help me beat this, I regularly read articles I find about what successful people do to stay focused and productive, and then I try to apply it to supercharge my own world. Without doing this, I wouldn’t have come across the pomodoro technique, which revolutionised my productivity and time management.

I’m also far from the strongest sales and marketing person, and that is such a critical element of success. Building my business won’t happen without it. So, I chose to study an online course by Gary Vaynerchuk, a social media and personal branding prodigy, and was able to learn some great strategies for making it happen.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just be deliberate about learning from those who have gone before.

Anybody can become somebody who makes their own luck, but very few do. It won’t happen over night, but you can start the journey right now by making the decision to stop viewing luck as superstition and choose for it to be something you forge.