Note: I first published this article in 2004. I love how it has held up over the years.
Jason Zweig wrote a great little article called “R+U Lucky? Some Guys Do Have All The Luck. Here’s How to Join Them”
In it he describes the patterns that “lucky” people follow and how to increase your odds of success by basically placing yourself in the “right place at the right time.”
Can you always be in the right place at the right time? Not really, unless you broaden your definition of that phrase a bit, as I have.
Zweig talks about the fact that some people seem actually “skillful” at being lucky. A British psychologist, Richard Wiseman, even wrote a book on the subject called “The Luck Factor.”
Wiseman did a study on over 400 people who thought of themselves as either very lucky or unlucky.
“He found that some are indeed luckier than others, that lucky people share similar attitudes and that many apparently random outcomes can be controlled” says Zweig.
Think of the first person that comes to mind who owns an online business and who you think of as “lucky.” Actually, think of about 5 people. Should be an easy list to make – they are your competition, or business owners you admire, most likely.
I would venture to say they all share the same trait of being, at one point or another, “in the right place at the right time.”
How did they do it? Was it really blind luck? Are the odds dismal? The same as winning your state lottery jackpot?
Not even close! Although there are some people who really cannot explain their luck, and who truly were just “touched by an angel,” most successful people are successful because they are engaged to the hilt in their business. They are active promoters of their businesses in a radical way. They all have a fanatical involvement in networking themselves and their businesses.
They let the products speak for themselves, which is ok as one component of a marketing campaign, but that’s not enough. They also successfully market *themselves* as well as their business. They see themselves as important factors in the success and identity of their business.
“Lucky” people see no separation of the two in fact.
Products and services are inanimate “things.” They are nothing really, without the people behind the scenes who put themselves in front of the scenes as much as possible and let others get to know THEM.
Why do you think so many people come back from conferences with stories of how they landed a great partner they never thought they’d even get to answer an email?
The least important thing about them is the formal ceremonies. The good stuff happens at the bar in the hotel after the presentations are over. The “good stuff” is being in the right place at the right time. You are definitely creating luck whenever you network with peers and possible partners.
If you let yourself get lost in the day-to-day operations of your business and you don’t allow yourself time to think about the ways in which you can get your “self” in front of the people who can break you into a whole new league of success for your business, you will be less “lucky” in business.
There are lots of real rags-to-riches stories on the net.
People are succeeding and profiting online like never before, but few do it in a vacuum. You will find more often than not that a story of success will begin with a line like “My business REALLY took off when I met…” or “I was talking on the phone one day with…and all the sudden an idea was born.”
Get involved in your business at a level in which you are always in the right place at the right time. Being active in online forums, calling people on the phone rather than using email, meeting people in person who can help you get your products in front of thousands of potential customers, all these practices are used by the ever-lucky, most successful people on the planet.
Run far far away from people who want to sell you on the concept that you can succeed online without having to talk with or meet others. Success has never knocked on the door of people who aren’t open to human contact – that’s a ridiculous and self-defeating practice.
If you are passionate about making money with an online or offline business, good old fashioned networking will always win out over any other method of advertising.
If you can sit down this weekend and figure out all the ways you can put yourself in the right place at the right time to increase your business – including a powerful linking campaign for your website – you are going to start to see that there is a pattern indeed to creating luck and making things happen for your business.
Maybe you should just give up. Give up trying to fit into the system you were taught was the only way to grow up, make a living, retire, and die. At some point you have to realize that you are being played by the game. Inside of which you only have the illusion of choice.
These thoughts are where entrepreneurship is born. We actually live in a world with many thousands of possibilities for pursuing happiness, financial independence, and freedom to live by our own set of rules outside of a system of rules we didn’t create.
No matter where you were born (or when), you were given instructions from the moment you could understand language. Like how to act. (Isn’t that funny? Read it again. How to “ACT”)
If you’re tired of acting and you want to really BE who you are, on your own terms, then maybe you should give up trying to fit in. What’s it gotten you thus far? Jobs you’ve disliked. Around people you had nothing in common with. Doing things you’d never choose to do if you had the power to choose.
I love doing my own little part in shaking the tree and freeing people from the idea that what they were taught was the truth. It seems absurd when you think about it, that someone told you what your religion was before you even had a chance to really know what religion was. You were told your religion was right and just and the only way. The one true belief system above all others.
Funny that every kid from every religious background was told the same thing. Except none of that is real. Never was. Because you were born into the family your were, you inherited all kinds of cultural stuff you never got the chance to assess for yourself. Some of this is unavoidable. A Catholic family only knows how to do Catholic stuff. A blue collar family can only teach you the ways of the factory worker and the union.
After a certain point, though, you gain enough education (hopefully) to begin questioning things about your life and what you believe outside of what you been told. It’s at this point a person either choses to cut their own trail in life or, like most people, they decide to believe everything they’d been told about “who they are,” jumping headlong into the populist version of the Game of Life.
Nothing explains the absurdity of conventional modern life better than a 50+ year-old talk by Alan Watts. Get viscerally in touch with the ridiculousness of modern culture by listening to what Alan had to say about it all those years ago. Then try to forget when he recorded this. It’s easy to imagine that this was something someone said only yesterday.
People who grok this make the very best entrepreneurs. Seriously. Nothing is a better breeding ground for getting real about this one life that you have than realizing there is a box to think outside of in the first place.
…there was the Ocean, and nothing else. Water was the only thing you could possibly exist in, and there was no such thing as being “under water.” Because there was nothing else in your Universe but water. How can you be under something that is everything?
Then you floated up and broke the plane between water and sky to see where that light was coming from, and your entire Universe changed in an instant. Everything you thought you knew about life and how to live it suddenly became incredibly insignificant. The catharsis this realization creates is enough to jog just about anyone out of the trance we are put in from the day we’re born.
From this day forward, because you can’t put Pandora back in the box, you think differently about everything. Including how you live, how you make money, and how you move about this planet among the vast ocean of people still in a trance.
I say that there is nothing that could possibly breed a person better suited to entrepreneurial thought and action. Because when you break free of the trance, you have to look at everything you think and everything you do in that new light. And you know things in your life must change. In fact, they already have.
Beyond this point, you know that no change is too scary or too big in a Universe where you, for the first time, understand your power comes from the limitless and infinite power of that which you are wholly a part.
So as we move forward, it is from this foundation of understanding that I speak to you. Now you know where I’m coming from, even if I’m just helping you to understand how search engines work so you can get more visitors.
I’m rooting for you because I know that ultimately I’m rooting for me. To “root” is to dig down to the source of life and tap into it for sustenance in order to thrive.
And so, I will do everything in my power to help you thrive because you are me and I am you. And off we go together into that vast frontier of the discoveries that lie before us.
Now, let’s rock this!
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The world is changing so fast that when I meditate on how different it is today from even 5 years ago, certainly 20 years ago, it boggles the mind.
One of the biggest changes that I love is people breaking free of old, outdated ideas of work and “making a living.” And, one of the biggest lies told to this day to keep the old paradigm alive is that we must train for the first chunk of our lives to get jobs and do work so we can have the things we want and go places on weekends before we go back and work another week for someone else. Under this paradigm, we give most of our time to working for others’ goals and wealth, and our lives get the leftovers.
Except, for many, many people, this is no longer true. The internet destroyed this mythical rule that we do school, train, get jobs, make other people wealthy, and eek out our own exiestence happy with an occasional vacation and a decent sized TV.
I’ve been here since the beggining of the digital revolution creating businesses, courses and books, coaching people to start, grow and prosper with their own businesses. I’ve helped rescue thousands of people from “The Matrix” over the last 19 years. I’ve guided them to cut their own trail in life. I’ve shown myself and others the way to freedom from jobs and into a world of serving others and the Planet on their own terms.
Yes, work still exists in this scenario, but the energy that powers this work isn’t a 9-5 paycheck, fear of loss, and uncertainty. The energy behind it is passion for doing something you love. What others might see as work, you experience as something you can’t wait to do every day.
Getting money for what we do in our own businesses is a side effect of doing what we’d be doing even if we didn’t make money at it.
Money and making a great living with our own businesses isn’t the main driving factor – it just comes with the territory of the new world we created for ourselves.
I’ve seen all the rules that were introduced to all of us from birth. I’ve seen the life path they wanted us to take. And early in life I rejected everything about the “normal life” they wanted for us simply because they didn’t know anything else was possible.
If you are bummed out about following the path you’re on now and know you need a change, at least you have plenty of examples of how regular people have made it with their own businesses, and you can too.
It’s not easy, but it will be YOURS and you will be in 100% control of your life and your future. Starting and growing your own business is a real, legitimate option these days and not nearly the “gamble” the naysayers are always quick to remind us about.
If you’ve started your own business, you’ve already made the choice to thrive on your own terms. If you are at a plateau in your business looking for the next big growth spurt, PM me and I’d be happy to show you how to get to the next level of growth (and far beyond that!)
Whichever camp you fall into, keep seeking freedom and live life by your own rules. What they told us we must do to live decent lives were merely suggestions.
Freedom begins with realizing you have choices, not mandates, regarding how you live your life, how you serve, and how you make money doing what you really love.
All my life I’ve marveled at the amazing things people can do. Musicians, athletes, people with all kinds of wondrous, fantastic talents that beguile us and make us wonder what kind of greatness we might have in ourselves by comparison.
I’ve studied this quite a bit in my (almost) 48 years and I’ve arrived at a conclusion from personal and empirical sources.
Talent, the kind that leaves your jaw slack and your brain mushy trying to figure out what you are seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, touching, is something a person reaches into another realm to bring back to show us in ours. Truly inspired and inexplicably talented people are travelers and bridges to distant realms, I’m convinced.
We never understand completely where it all comes from. A masterful performance. An unparalleled story. Ask anyone who feels like being honest and they will tell you the same kind of story about “where it comes from.”
Practice, passion, obsession, yes, they all have something to do with it. But there is something else that isn’t quite possible about what they do. Something “other” that brings magic into it in a big way. A way that makes our jaws and brains not work exactly right. The way a dog tilts his head listening to a sound no one else can hear.
There are millions of examples. Here is just one. I call it proof of concept. There is plainly more afoot here than just a practiced plucking of strings and roaring, passionate musical expression…