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Do Entrepreneurs Need Good Luck?

To get the results you want, you need to write your own rules of good luck


We once heard a mathematics professor state, "The parameters of luck are unknown to us." In other words, luck can't be explained by any specific factor; it's a matter of chance. We thought the statement made a lot of sense, but we were intrigued by the notion that what we call "luck" could be explained by a set of variables or elements that had not yet been studied. So we carried out our own research.

We spoke with people who thought their lives had been blessed by good fortune to try and figure out what factors they had in common. After four years of research, we could clearly identify a list of five principles for good luck.

What our research revealed can be summarized in a single simple sentence: In business, we make our own good luck.

What do these creators of good luck have in common? How can entrepreneurs make their own good luck as they’re making their businesses successful? The principles are summarized below:

1. Responsibility
Business owners who feel that they have had good luck also feel responsible for their own actions. When things go wrong or the outcome of any given situation is other than intended, they never point the finger of blame at external factors or other individuals. Instead, they look to themselves and ask, "What have I done for this to occur?" Then they act accordingly to solve the problem.

2. Learning from Mistakes
Creators of good luck don't see a mistake as a failure. Instead, a mistake is an opportunity for learning. Thomas Edison is the classic example. More than 1,000 attempts to invent the first long-lasting electric light bulb led to bulbs that only stayed lit for a few minutes. One of Edison's colleagues asked him, "Mr. Edison, don't you feel you are a failure?" Lacking any sense of vanity, he answered, "Not at all. Now, I definitely know more than a thousand ways how NOT to make a light bulb."

Sure enough, just a few days later, he turned his inspiration into a practical concept. By the way, the very first light bulb was invented by Sir Joseph Wilson Swan, who demonstrated the theoretical concept but gave up trying to develop a practical application after only three attempts. By contrast, Edison made his own good luck and designed a working light bulb.

3. Perseverance
Creators of good luck don't give up or postpone. When a problem or situation arises, they act immediately to either solve it without delay, delegate, or forget about it.

These business people don't carry a list of "things to do" in their brain. Instead, they resolve problems and situations as quickly as possible. This enables their energy to be fully focused on their work and avoid conscious or unconscious distractions, which only generate inefficiency.

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