From when I began my first company at 16, to starting my second company just years later, “You just got lucky” was something I heard as if it was everyone’s duty. Truth is, there is no luck. Luck doesn’t exist. A coincidence, maybe? But, luck is just a bi-product of hard work, dedication, and discipline. Let me explain.
Anything that is done, can be traced back to the effort behind it. In some cases, it may be something minuscule, but when I hear it, I know it’s much more than a small amount.
That half-court shot right before the buzzer of the 4th quarter, or the last hail-mary before Tom Brady closes out the Super Bowl is all something they’ve practiced for years. It didn’t just work that time because of luck. It may have been the only time you’ve seen that, but that’s the muscle memory that the athlete developed over thousands of hours, powered by discipline.
Similarly, there is a side-by-side comparison with my sport – business. When someone’s business takes off, all you hear is “An Overnight Success!” Or, “Wow, what a lucky guy!” Both make me cringe. What they don’t see, is everything. There’s always an immense amount of planning, preparation, coordination, failure, doubt, and will-power all behind the scenes. It’s not luck. It’s organization, and execution.
“Luck” has a sneaky way to show up, after all the hard work has been put in, to fool everyone else. But the athletes, who are spending sleepless nights to perfect their sport, are the ones who know the other side. Whether their sport is basketball, football (maybe training for Super Bowl XLIX), or business; the same rules apply.