When we think of business, we think that there are a number of factors that play into success. Perhaps luck is one of them but rather than looking at luck as a random event, how about we look at what the combination is and how we can not only create our own luck but have more control over it.
Luck is not the same thing as chance. If you want to have a “chance” meeting with a particular person there are two ways to make it happen. You could do nothing and hope that, by chance, you would meet this specific person one day as you are walking down the street. Nobody believes that, by chance alone, it is likely to happen. Chance however does play a part in luck. So, if you combine chance with other two other elements of luck you will dramatically increase your chance of meeting the person you have your eye set on. Luck can be created, or at least improved, through focusing on that which you can have control over. Here are some combinations:
Luck = chance + talent + hard work
Luck = placement + curiosity + hard work
Curiosity and hard work may help, but to be truly effective you need to combine this with placement. If you have your eye set on meeting the head of the company you want to pitch your idea to, then you need to put yourself in a place where you may have the luck to meet this person. If you know that they are going to be attending a specific industry conference then by attending that same conference you are putting yourself in the place in which you have a “chance” to meet the person and then when you do your talent and hard work can be used to make a great impression when pitching your idea. However, if the conference is a one day event with 2,500 people then the chance you meet them or have time to pitch them is small. Placement is more than geographical location.
Placement is also something that comes from establishing a wide network of acquaintances. Being around new people you hardly know. When you know what lucky break you are after, having the opportunity to communicate this to many new faces will eventually lead you to someone who can help you by opening the door to the the person you want to meet. Cultivating this network, even though it might be considered only remotely connected to your ultimate goal, is important. You are building your reputation, and through this a list of potential references.
If creating luck is something you can improve, what about bad luck? If bad luck comes your way, can you control it? I would say that you cannot control whether bad luck comes your way or not but what you absolutely can control is how you react when faced with the seemingly bad luck. You can turn bad luck into good with a positive outlook. Every change in a situation is an opportunity to re-evaluate your assumptions and to adapt to the new reality. A lack of flexibility and ability to change is what leads to the demise of many businesses. Don’t let your plan, your roadmap, be so inflexible as to prevent adapting to change.
Keep focus on the direction you want to go in. Adapt to change. Cultivate acquaintances. Use factors in your control to increase your chances of finding your own luck.