Friday, May 24, 2013

So, Do You Feel Lucky?

Or Are You Too Tired to Tell?

win dice
 ~ We entrepreneurs are a notoriously optimistic (if paranoid) bunch.

Ask most why they are optimistic and you'll usually hear about the unique and compelling virtues of their latest startup, the enormous market opportunity, the great team, the many sustainable competitive advantages, how much traction it already has, etc. Heck, I've said these things myself. Recently.

There's another oft-stated reason: hard work. As Thomas Edison memorably observed, many miss opportunity because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work. Not entrepreneurs. We expect to work hard. We may even be proud of it.

Some count on hard work so much they come to believe that they succeed (and others don't) solely because of hard work.

It's not true.
As an entrepreneur, you have to rely on luck. Honestly, being an entrepreneur, in my opinion, is 95 percent luck; four percent knowing when to recognize it; and one percent hard work. I mean, that’s the equation.
I'm not sure that's the equation (and given how hard I work, I hope I needn't have 95 times as much luck) but there's no doubt among any but the most hubristic that good luck matters.

Legendary entrepreneur Richard Branson agrees:
You do need lucky breaks to be successful. I've had enormous amounts of luck... To create a business, you've got initially to work day and night and weekends. It's really hard work. But lots of people do that and do not succeed. And so those of us who have succeeded need to thank our lucky stars for the breakthroughs that got us to the top.
Of course it's not all luck. As Thomas Jefferson noted, and Samuel Goldwyn more pithily restated, "The harder I work, the luckier I get." Both are necessary for success.

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