While gathering research for my book, “Lucky By Design,” I conducted an informal survey asking about the role luck plays in business, if any. Almost 200 business founders, owners and experienced entrepreneurs from 12 countries responded. The results were fascinating. Conclusion: Luck is about persevering through good and bad times, and seeking opportunities that will get your business to the next stage. It’s essential to have a clear direction, work hard at doing the right business activities (sweat equity on its own is not enough), make the right connections, believe in what you’re doing, and then seize the opportunities that align with your goals and avoid those that don’t.
The Survey Says
But what did survey respondents say? The No. 1 most important finding was this: People who consider themselves to be lucky and whose businesses are impacted by luck are significantly (2 to 3 times) more heavily involved in business growth activities (market research, sales expansion, etc.) than people who think luck has no impact on their business.
Almost 3/4 of the survey respondents (74%) consider themselves to be lucky. When asked to select which activities they were engaged in either during or before they experienced luck, the respondents talked about having a clear and well-articulated value proposition, expanding their sales effort, developing new products, networking and creating a plan
I also compared the activities that these folks were engaged in either during or before their lucky breaks, based on how much they actually believed that luck impacted their business success. In every one of these categories, these supposedly “lucky” individuals were more heavily involved in business growth activities than the average respondent and significantly more involved than the person who thought luck had no impact on their business. For example, 24% who believed that luck impacted their businesses had been involved in new product development – whereas only 7% who didn’t believe in luck had been involved.
In other words: The “lucky” entrepreneurs were certainly not sitting around waiting for luck to find them They appeared to be working constantly to better secure their success once those lucky opportunities “fell from the sky.”
What do all the entrepreneurs have in common? Perseverance alone. Good old sweat equity is the common denominator. A significant portion of the folks who didn’t believe luck had an impact on their business (46%) believed in persevering compared to 56% of the more positively impacted business believers. However, the entrepreneurs who believed luck had no impact were not doing the same things as the folks who considered themselves blessed by luck. See the chart to understand the difference. Clearly, it’s not enough to persevere. Being the last person standing doesn’t mean you win the game. You’ve got to be performing the right activities while you’re in the game to take advantage of lucky opportunities and be successful.
The Takeaway for You
What does this mean to you? Luck comes to those who are engaged in the right activities – to thrive, not just survive.
Weekly Lesson Two (Try this…)
Do you consider yourself to be a lucky person when it comes to business success? Do you perform activities that enhance your ability to recognize and/or seize lucky opportunities?
Which of the following activities are you consistently performing?
• Working on a clear and articulated value proposition
• Expanding your sales effort
• Developing new products/services
• Creating a plan
• Conducting market research
Recognizing that these activities can increase your chances of business success, think about three actions you can take in the next 30 days that include these lucky actions.