The Lucky Entrepreneur: How to make your own luck

Last week I gave a half day briefing to 30 Entrepreneurship MBA students on identifying entrepreneurial opportunities (see my Slideshare presentation and blog post). Feedback on my presentation was positive and two of the students even put comments on this blog. One of them referred to the need for ‘Lady luck’. Since then I’ve been thinking about the meaning of being lucky and how one becomes lucky.

luckyleprecon1

The Lucky Irish Leprecon & his pot of Gold

Until now I’ve not thought much about luck in life.  I have had a lucky life so far but things can always change. I now need all the luck I can get with a new a startup (50% of startups fail within 5 years) and we are now in a deep recession (depression..!).

What is luck? When asked about the secret of their successes I’ve heard of founder’s or senior managers saying they were lucky. However some people seem to have all the bad luck with many things in life going against them. What’s the difference between these two types of people:

  1. Hard work? A focused and committed effort on achieving a goal reduces the risk of failure and increases the likelihood of success
  2. Random chance? I don’t believe in chance – There is no such thing as chance; and what seem to us merest accident springs from the deepest source of destiny.Johann Friedrich Von Schi
  3. Being in the right time in the right place? Fait, coincidence or destiny you may call it. If you are determined and locate yourself often enough in the right place where thing can happen, they eventually will.
  4. Seeing the positive and making the most of the negative? Those people with the streaks of bad luck in life seem to struggle to find the difficult times, which we all encounter, as ultimately beneficial. It seems unlucky people often wallow in self pity and reflect on the past. Whereas positive (lucky) people see a brighter future.
  5. Being modest about your own achievements and efforts? This is an interesting one.. Lucky people seem often to be modest about their success. They attract other lucky (positive) people around them which results in more luck (success)! But its not luck, it’s a deep understanding of other people . Lucky people don’t seem to have bloated ego’s. Their interested  in others and not in being self obsessed.

At my talk I referred to the need to reduce risk in business. However risk and taking chances can’t be eliminated altogether. You can become paralyzed if  you don’t go for it at some point. ‘Screw it, lets do it’ as Richard Branson likes to say. Luck is about reaching a positive outcome. It’s based upon probability and probability is the assessment of a measured risks. Louis Pasteur said “Chance favours the prepared mind.” and Ernest Hemingway, “You make your own luck”.

I believe there is much truth in these two statements and becoming a lucky person is combination of the five points listed above. Richard Wiseman, head of a University psychology research department, studied lucky people for 8 years and found very similar attitudes in lucky people. I hope luck shines on us all and shines brightly when we really need it, including my little startup :)

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9 Responses to “The Lucky Entrepreneur: How to make your own luck”

  1. 7 steps to the perfect Elevator pitch « Nickpoint Says:

    [...] new people. This week I got roped into giving an elevator pitch to a panel of judges :0. Although, as luck would have it two (Alex Tew of Million Dollar Homepage fame and Micheal Acton-Smith) of the three judges could be [...]

  2. 5 Startup Steps to finding & working with freelancers « Nickpoint Says:

    [...] 5 Startup Steps to finding & working with freelancers By Nick Barker As there are just two of us (Simon Oxley – my co-founder and I) in our startup we need outside help. We’d love to employ full time permanent staff but without external funding or product traction it’s too risky. The challenge is to find high quality external resources and keeping them focused on the project. Find the right fit/match and your onto a winner. This takes time and a bit of luck. [...]

  3. 5 Startup Steps to Finding & Working with Freelancers - Web 2.0 Surgery Says:

    [...] As there are just two of us (Simon Oxley – my co-founder and I) in our startup we need outside help. We’d love to employ full time permanent staff but without external funding or product traction it’s too risky. The challenge is to find high quality external resources and keeping them focused on the project. Find the right fit/match and your onto a winner. This takes time and a bit of luck. [...]

  4. Aware Monitoring: The startup formally known as Viisys « Nickpoint Says:

    [...] Aware Monitoring: The startup formally known as Viisys By Nick Barker When we set out on our startup journey we didn’t know what we were going to make. So we named our company Viisys, which is an abbreviation of Seven Systems (seven being in the roman numerals VII). The seven (vii) means the 7th step of enlightenment and Sys refers to Tech systems. Seven is also a lucky number but who needs luck? [...]

  5. Knowing when to quit flogging a dead Startup « Nickpoint Says:

    [...] believe that a big lucky break is just around the corner with their startup idea. However it may never come if the money and [...]

  6. 7 ways to price SaaS and Web Apps « Nickpoint Says:

    [...] and be flexible. A word of warning: it’s much easier to decrease prices than to increase them. Good luck! Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)The Economics of On-Demand ServicesBuild [...]

  7. Are the best startup founders young or old? « Nickpoint Says:

    [...] ways. It can be a strength or a weakness in either age group. Attitude and an inner driver, with a sprinkling of luck, is a more crucial than age. An entrepreneur is  made by building upon an individuals fundamental [...]

  8. PiterJankovich Says:

    My name is Piter Jankovich. oOnly want to tell, that your blog is really cool
    And want to ask you: is this blog your hobby?
    P.S. Sorry for my bad english

  9. Entrepreneur Blog Says:

    Entrepreneur Blog…

    [...]The Lucky Entrepreneur: How to make your own luck « Nickpoint[...]…

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