This last week I had a meeting with 2 investors who recently bought a licensing to build a fashion line for a public figure (name is confidential) and they wanted to learn more about the industry and how can we help them.
After I gave them a quick rundown of the process one of them asked: So how much of it is luck?
Did I hear right? I asked myself.
Did this serial investor with an impressive track record of building successful businesses in different industries just asked me about the amount of luck??
As you can imagine, he wasn’t the first person who asked me that, so I thought it might be a good subject to address.
We usually associate the word luck with something (good or bad) that brought by chance rather than through one's own actions. In other words we assume that we don’t have control over it.
But is that right? Do we not have any control over our luck?
What if luck can be created by effort, and not by accident?
No, this is not meant to be a lesson in spirituality, and although I am a big fan of spiritual thinking, for the sake of this conversation I think a pragmatic approach will be more suitable.
I obviously do not know the answer as to what creates luck, however, over the years I developed my own personal theory about it.
Based on my personal experience I noticed that every time I challenged myself and pushed myself to step outside my comfort zone (as scary and uncomfortable as it is) it yielded something good.
Was it always what I wanted, hoped or needed to happen?….
No, but never the less it was always something good that made me feel lucky.
I’m sure you heard of Beginner’s luck, right?
It’s kind of the same idea.
Think about that for second, when you do something for the first time you are stretching yourself beyond your comfort zone = Beginners luck!
How is this relates to our industry and/or your business?
As an entrepreneur and a business owner you will find yourself challenged on a regular basis, in fact, you must be mentally prepared to live with uncertainty and fear while pushing through obstacles for years on end.
Feeling outside your comfort zone is the norm and something that you should regularly try to push yourself towards. The more you do that the more you will get exposed to new possibilities/opportunities that you didn’t know of = lucky you!
However the challenge is getting yourself into the mind set of feeling comfortable in uncertainty and keep pushing yourself in that direction.
Yes, some of us are naturally more comfortable with it but it doesn’t mean that if you are not than you can’t be. It just means that it takes more practice.
How can you do it?
Being that comfort zone is a behavioral space where you follow a routine/pattern for everything that you do to minimize the level of stress and risk taking, Here are 3 things that you can start doing in order to break this mold:
- Start Slow - start with small things and slowly build your level of comfort. Start by doing only one thing differently a day. For example change your morning routine, or take a different route to work etc. and as you get more comfortable change more things in your day.
- Be curious – being curious about new things will make you want to explore them, this way you will approach new things with curiosity rather than fear. That will encourage you to explore new experiences.
- Listen to your inner voice - When making your next decision, take a second to breath in and listen to your inner voice. They say that 60% of our believes are false believes and when we get stressed this goes up to 80% and even more. So take a second to see if you can identify any possible fears you might have. Ask yourself: Are these fears real? What are the chances that they will become a reality and what is the worst that can happen? You will notice that many times the main reason for these fears is due to it being a new thing that you didn’t do before. If that’s the case than maybe it is a good opportunity to challenge yourself and go for it. You can always start with little things and as you get more comfortable push yourself more.
To sum it up, I don’t think anyone has a scientific answer as to what creates luck. But I believe that in life you have the choice between taking a passive approach and wait for luck and new opportunities to come your way or you can take an assertive approach, push your boundaries and try to create new opportunities for yourself…. and if you are lucky enough, great things will come your way!