Make the Luck You Need to Succeed in Business

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“You’re so lucky.”

It’s the worse thing you can say to me. And if you notice, it’s always said with a frown.

“You’re so lucky,” means that you didn’t really work for it; it was handed to you.

“You’re so lucky,” means you were just in the right place at the right time; it could have been anyone.

“You’re so lucky,” means “it should have been me.”

Meanwhile, most of the time it’s just the opposite of any of those things. You did really work for it…you put yourself in the right place at the right time…and it could have been anyone else if they had worked as hard to get it.

It’s not about being lucky; it’s about making yourself lucky.

As my father always says, “it takes a lot of hard work to be lucky.”

I was the kind of kid who always knew I wanted to go into marketing, although admittedly I’m not sure I knew what that meant back in the day. Regardless, I set my sights on what it would take to become a marketer: a good college education, solid work experience, an MBA, a real summer internship, and eventually the killer job in classic brand management…from one of the big guys.

So after graduating from college and getting a sales job at Carnation, I enrolled in the MBA program at Columbia, got a summer internship at Johnson & Johnson, and then started full time as an Assistant Product Director on Johnson’s baby products.

Related: Five Bad Working Habits I Kicked For A Better Work Ethic

And all I heard was “you’re so lucky.”

As if.

Luck had nothing to do with it.

I worked hard to figure out what I needed to succeed and I went out to get it. I placed myself at the right place at the right time, so when job interviews were posted I was selected based on my very specific and purposeful background. And sure, there were others, many others, going after the same thing, but truth be told we all succeeded. Because we all worked for it. Those who didn’t make the cut looked at us as just being “lucky.”

“It takes a lot of hard work to be lucky.”

At that point, were we lucky? In some ways, yes. Because even after all that planning and hard work, it doesn’t always work out. Not by a long shot.

Been there, done that.

Luck does play a part in the grand equation here, but it’s not random luck. It’s the luck that comes from planning, preparation, and a whole lot of sweat.

Related: Small Phrases That Speak Volumes About Your Work Ethic

“It takes a lot of hard work to be lucky.”

While I’ve had more than my fair share of mishaps, I am lucky to say that things have mostly worked out.

I try my best to make myself lucky. Hope you do the same. Good luck to you.

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