I was asked recently if I believed in luck. It was pointed out to me that there are people who seem to always have things go their way. Even when things go wrong they still seem to go right. So it stands to reason then that when a person wonders why he is not successful it is because he is not lucky. Obviously one is either lucky or not and there isn’t anything he can do about it. It makes it easier to accept his life as it is and go about his daily routine because deep down he knows that he is stuck right where he is.
It was Samuel Goldwyn, the “G” of the movie company MGM, who said “The harder I work, the luckier I get”. The famous golfer Gary Player also said something similar in his quote, “The more I practice, the luckier I get”. When it comes to making money the reality is that there is no luck. There are only opportunities and those with the intelligence will capitalize on them.
As an example let’s say that a property goes into foreclosure just a few doors down from where you live. The property sits there for 8 months vacant and eventually you find out that some “lucky” guy bought it for $20,000 and that it is worth in its current condition $110,000. For just $10,000 more and a little hard work it would be worth $140,000.
Who in the example was the lucky one? You were the one that knew about the property before anyone else. You knew the previous owners and knew that they were very behind on their bills with no way to pay. You even had reason to believe that they had a ton of equity in the place. You had all of this knowledge before the property went to the bank. You were the lucky one but you didn’t know it. You did not see the opportunity and you did not have the knowledge to act on it even if you did. You felt sorry for the people who lost their property and even said the day after they moved out that some lucky guy was going to get that property for a steal.
Our daily lives are filled with opportunities but most of us rarely see them. We play lotteries as we wait for luck to find us when in actuality our playing the lottery is making other people very rich. Those people are cashing in on the opportunity.
It turns out that bad luck doesn’t exist either. It is really just another way of saying that we did something we shouldn’t have or did not manage our risk properly. When a person buys a stock on a whim, for example, and the stock turns south the very next day is that bad luck? Don’t we all know that the markets are a volatile place and things can happen very quickly. Did this person have the opportunity to get out of his position with a minimal loss when things did go south and then sell short all the way down? Why didn’t he? Was it bad luck that he lost all of his money on a losing stock?
We make mistakes in life. Nobody is perfect but if we learn from our mistakes and move on and advance further the next time then we will eventually succeed and it will not be because we finally got lucky. It just turns out that we have finally learned how to turn those opportunities into success. But when we call our mistakes bad luck then we leave ourselves open to repeat the same mistakes hoping that our luck turns positive the next time.
My advice to everyone is to first learn to see the opportunities. No one can act on all of them and not all of them will appeal to you. But when you learn to see with regularity the opportunities that do appeal to you then your next step is to figure out how to see more of them. You may not have many opportunities if you’re living in a box so you need to get out of your box and go to where your opportunities lie. Once you see them regularly you then need to learn how to capitalize on them. If you keep trying I promise you will eventually get it. Luck will find you.