Let’s talk about luck & entrepreneurship. The guys from Google are quite lucky, isn’t it? The right place (their garage), the right time, and the best of all: they had the right idea when they woke up that morning. Too bad for all the other entrepreneurs with less luck. They should have prayed more for unicorns.
There is no such thing as “luck” in entrepreneurship. You have control over everything you do. Or don’t do. If you give up your job, invest your own money in your startup, decide to blog, to take care of your network, if you maintain a Twitter account, polish your website, you invest your free time in reading business books, if you go to conferences, give up holidays, you call your clients to ask how they are if you learn actively from your mistakes. Then what is the contribution of dumb luck in your succes?
Telling a successful entrepreneur that he or she is “lucky” is like telling Neil Armstrong he was lucky to be the first man on the moon. As if he woke up with a letter next to his pillow like “Dear Neil, we selected you as the lucky one to be the first man on the moon. Congrats!“. Or like telling Seth Godin that he is “lucky” to have 400K subscribers to his blog. It’s an offend. Seth has been writing a blog post every single day since January 2002. No single percentage of luck involved if you ask me.
What about people with the bad-luck syndrome? People who loose their car keys once a week, especially on crucial moments like days on which they would make a big deal? Bad luck, or a lack of organization? What about people who launch their third product in a row but don’t get any customers? Bad luck, or did they fail learning from their previous mistakes? What about people who are always busybusybusy but never book progress? Bad luck, or do they invest their time in the wrong things?
“I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it” ― Thomas Jefferson
Instead of praying for little unicorns that will come and save you, force the luck. How? Just by doing. Acting. Trying. Some random examples:
- I do speak on conferences. I often get new clients as a direct result from my presentation. Some of the deals I made a few years ago still bring in money today.
- I blog. When I ask new clients how they did find me, often the answer goes like: “oh, I think the first time I heard about you was because a friend of mine tweeted an article you wrote“.
- If a client signs up for one of our software products (more on our products soon on this blog, scout promise), I send them a personal mail asking how they do, if I can help, and how our software could help them. Every single client. Even if they don’t reply, often it means a lot. It means that we care about them and how our software and company could bring them value.
Any of the examples related with luck? Nope. Easy to do? Absolutely. Can anyone do it? Yup, even a monkey. Will unicorns do it for you? Nope, you’ll have to do it yourself…
What are your thoughts?
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