It’s St. Patrick’s Day today — it’s a day where we celebrate the luck of the Irish (even though St. Patrick himself didn’t care that much about luck).
I’m not a big believer in luck. I think chance and circumstance deal us a hand of poker and it’s up to us to play the hand, regardless of what we’re dealt. As in poker, real success comes in playing what you’re dealt rather than relying on luck to help you win. Some people call this “making your own luck”. I think luck is simply the timely use of your skills/abilities/strengths to act on an opportunity, and to receive a significant reward for it.
Here’s a 3-step plan to make your own luck.
STEP 1: BUILD A PLATFORM
To be lucky (successful) you need to have an area to be successful in. (Even lottery winners might be considered “lucky” but they are only lucky in one area — money). Do you want to gain fame in something? You need a personal brand and the infrastructure (i.e. maybe a website) to launch with. For businesses, a sales funnel is key here.
STEP 2: CREATE CRITICAL MASS
Once you have your platform in place, you need to have some substance behind it. I call this “critical mass”. Think of it this way: If you want to be a famous blogger, are you going to do it with only a week’s worth of blogs? Probably not. If you want to be a famous actor, are you going to do it with a portfolio that only lists one local production of “Little House on the Prairie”? No. You need to have a volume of experience backing you up. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount but it needs to demonstrate that you have the chops.
STEP 3: LEVERAGE
Now it’s time to take this stuff and run with it. Create a plan to start promoting yourself and leverage the critical mass you’ve developed on your platform. I think this is the biggest area where people fall short. They are willing to do some of the work but they don’t think of doing enough. You need to be relentless. Take your inspiration from the most successful people — they’ll all tell you about their many failures on their way to success. (How many times did Michael Crichton or John Grisham or J.K. Rowlings get rejected before becoming hugely successful authors?)
When developing your plan to leverage, think big: Think sustained campaigns in some areas and massive, focused blitzes in others. To use an internet marketing example, maintain a consistent social media campaign but also aim to become the most prolific guest blogger ever. Or, maintain a solid press release publishing campaign but dominate a couple of forums in your particular niche.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
Luck doesn’t exist. Success comes to those who take the cards that were dealt by chance and plays them to perfection. Now it’s your turn to make your own luck! In the comments below, let us know what area you want to become “lucky” in…