Some people seem to have all the luck. Others stumble from obstacle to obstacle and never seem to catch a break. Why is it so? Can you do anything to change your “luck”? I believe that the answer is yes. Keep on reading to learn how to get lucky.
If you are looking for that silver bullet that will change everything, don’t bother reading any further. I do not have the magical recipe. What I have is a strategy that will beat most other people for the simple reason that most people do not have a strategy.
How to get lucky?
To find out how to get lucky we need to find out what luck really is. This is what Google has to say:
The above definition of the word luck is interesting. The first sentence tells us two important lessons:
1. Luck can mean both success or failure.
Most people would say they have been unlucky if they have failed. Based on the above it is maybe time to reconsider our impression of failure.
2. Luck is brought on by chance rather than your own actions.
Based on this you are lucky if you win a lottery, but if you succeed in what you are doing it is not luck, it is the result of hard work.
Personally, I think the Roman philosopher Secena got it all right in the below quote.
[bctt tweet=””Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity””]
As you can see there are two components at play here: Preparation and opportunity.
For luck to happen, you need to be prepared to act when an opportunity presents itself. In order to recognize an opportunity, you have to know what you want. Herein is the key that unlocks it all: You need to know what you want in your life, both professionally and on a personal/private level, to be able to act in an instant on this knowledge.
It can be to get a promotion or a pay raise at work, or it can be to quit your job to become your own boss. It can be to start blogging, to go to Nepal, or to finally afford that cabriolet you have been dreaming of. The bottom line: Define your goals.
At this point, you might be interested in reading Why you should have a personal mission statement.
The next step is to find out what you need to get done in order to be one step closer to your goal. Ask yourself: What is the first physical action I have to do to close the gap between current status and wanted status. That is your next action.
Write down your goals and the related next action(s).
The title of this post is how to get lucky. As you can see, there is no shortcut. You have to really know what you want. For some people, this can be a challenge in itself.
The good news is that it is possible to improve your odds – that is, to improve your chance to find opportunities that align with your goals.
If your goal is to be a good swimmer, join the local swimming club or start to hang out at the place where they are training. Want to get better at public speaking? Join your local Toastmasters International. If you have a business idea, there is a lot of places where entrepreneurs get together to exchange ideas and socialize. The point is that you have to expose yourself in the right places.
Take networking seriously. I’m not talking about simply getting a LinkedIn account and adding all your Facebook friends. Networking takes time. Use your address book, add both former and current colleagues from work. Add your neighbor. What’s the value of adding current colleagues, you might ask. People change jobs fast. All of a sudden one of your colleagues will end up in another company, hence expanding your network.
One of the often underutilized parts of LinkedIn is the professional groups. Here you can find other people with the same interests, career plans or knowledge as yourself.
Networking is not limited to LinkedIn. Try Meetup.com. Here you can find all kinds of groups. The great thing with Meetup is that you get to meet people in person. Meetup.com is full of skillful people and entrepreneurs of all shapes and colors.
Find breakfast meetings
A lot of companies and organizations arrange free breakfast meetings about all kinds of subjects. This is a great arena to meet new people and get inside knowledge from professionals.
Use your network
The first thing you want to do is to add value to the network. Bring people together. Present yourself and your knowledge. When you have started to add value you will find that people are much more willing to help you out.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
– Thomas A. Edison
The short answer to the question “How to get lucky?” can best be summed up as something like this: “Find out what you want and expose yourself in the places where the right opportunities seem most likely to materialize”