Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. – Seneca
Luck is said to be when preparedness meets opportunity; successful people always create their luck through hard work, persistence, perseverance, and consistency. Warren Buffet often attributes his success to winning the gene lottery and Hardwork (Nature Nurture). Others like the sports stars we adore, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lebron James “Laboured Under Correct Knowledge” to achieve their mastery and success.
‘We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.’ – Archilochus
The successful among us, they worked relentlessly, they grinded, had sleepless nights, watched less TV, they had a vision, and they executed. They had doubts, fears, resistance but they followed through with routine, self-discipline, habits, execution and they eventually created their luck.
You can map out a fight plan or a life plan, but when the action starts, it may not go the way you planned, and you’re down to your reflexes – that means your [preparation:]. That’s where your roadwork shows. If you cheated on that in the dark of the morning, well, you’re going to get found out now, under the bright lights.― Joe Frazier
A lot of the people that we adore in life have an unrivaled work ethic; they are always the hardest workers in the room, they are the first to get to the gym or library, but they are the last to leave. As Will Smith and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would often say, “You would not outwork me.” Their work ethic gives them the result in the long run as they profoundly understand that we either have the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The successful ones among us always choose the self-discipline, which leads to them creating their luck and success.
Shallow men believe in luck. . . . Strong men believe in cause and effect. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
A lot of us readily attribute the wealth of highly successful people to luck, we say things like Bill Gates was lucky, but we can not be as maniac and obsessed as he was when he was trying to build the Microsoft brand in the early 80s. When asked by Charlie Rose in a 2009 Interview what he thought was the key to Bill Gates success, his father Williams H. Gates said:
Charlie Rose: When they write the story of his life, what do you think the most important thing they will say is? He’s only 53, and you’re only 83, and he’s only 53, or 84, or whatever.
William H. Gates: I don’t think we’ve missed much about the answer to that question. I mean, people are going to say this was the most curious guy that ever lived. And he was energetic. He was a hard worker.
Geniuses are the luckiest of mortals because what they must do is the same as what they most want to do.– W. H. Auden.
In his very great book, As a Man thinketh, James Allen shares some very great insights on Luck, Hardwork and Success:
“The thoughtless, the ignorant, and the indolent, seeing only the apparent effects of things and not the things themselves, talk of luck, of fortune, and chance. Seeing a man grow rich, they say, “How lucky he is!” Observing another become intellectual, they exclaim, “How highly favoured he is!” And noting the saintly character and wide influence of another, they remark, “How chance aids him at every turn!”
They do not see the trials and failures and struggles which these men have voluntarily encountered in order to gain their experience; have no knowledge of the sacrifices they have made, of the undaunted efforts they have put forth, of the faith they have exercised, that they might overcome the apparently insurmountable, and realize the Vision of their heart.
They do not know the darkness and the heartaches; they only see the light and joy, and call it “luck”. They do not see the long and arduous journey, but only behold the pleasant goal, and call it “good fortune,” do not understand the process, but only perceive the result, and call it chance.
“In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result. Chance is not. Gifts, powers, material, intellectual, and spiritual possessions are the fruits of effort; they are thoughts completed, objects accomplished, visions realized.”
MJ DeMarco writes in The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime!:
Mark Cuban, billionaire entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team told a telling tale of luck in regards to his success. Mark recalls the struggles of his early successes before his big sale to Yahoo for $5.9 billion. In each story, Mark remembers how people attributed his success to luck … lucky to sell his first company, MicroSolutions … lucky to make money trading in the technology boom … and lucky to sell his company to Yahoo for a few billion. Notice how events are quickly reasoned to be luck and process is swept underneath the rug.”
Cuban understands the dichotomy that most don’t: Process creates events that others see as luck. He goes on to comment how nobody mentioned luck when it came time to reading complicated software texts or Cisco router manuals or sitting in his house testing and experimenting with new technologies. Where was luck then?
“Rich people got lucky” is a Sidewalker’s creed and a disempowering belief that strips you of your free will. While luck can create riches by way of lotteries, casinos, and rich parents, it rarely creates long-lasting wealth. To take advantage of The Millionaire Fastlane understand that luck is a product of process, action, work, and being “out there.” And when you are “out there” you stand a chance at being in the right place at the right time.
Like wealth, luck is not an event but an aftereffect of process. Luck is the residue of process.
Business Luck with AWS
In his 2020 Book, “Invent and Wander: The Collected Writings of Jeff Bezos” Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos shares some great insights on how business luck played a large part in their success with Amazon Web Services:
And then a business miracle that never happens happened—the greatest piece of business luck in the history of business, so far as I know. We faced no like-minded competition for seven years.
As soon as we hatched that plan for ourselves, it became immediately obvious that every company in the world was going to want this. What really surprised us was that thousands of developers flocked to these APIs without much promotion or fanfare from Amazon.
And then a business miracle that never happens happened—the greatest piece of business luck in the history of business, so far as I know. We faced no like-minded competition for seven years. It’s unbelievable.
“When I launched Amazon.com in 1995, Barnes & Noble then launched Barnesandnoble.com and entered the market two years later in 1997. Two years later is very typical if you invent something new. We launched Kindle; Barnes & Noble launched Nook two years later. We launched Echo; Google launched Google Home two years later. When you pioneer, if you’re lucky, you get a two-year head start. Nobody gets a seven-year head start, and so that was unbelievable. I think that the big, established enterprise software companies did not see Amazon as a credible enterprise software company, so we had this long runway to build this incredible, feature-rich product and service that is just so far ahead, and the team doesn’t let up.”
When you pioneer, if you’re lucky, you get a two-year head start. Nobody gets a seven-year head start, and so that was unbelievable.
All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.