I got lucky…
Every once in awhile, I meet a person or acquaintance that implicitly or explicitly attributes my (quite honestly limited) success in business and entrepreneurship to luck.
Trapped in their skewed perceived reality, they somehow fail to see the larger picture.
Projecting their own lack of accomplishments to others and me, they rationalize their inadequacy by thinking that success or failure is depending on pure randomness.
But you know what? They are right!
In fact, I have been experiencing the blessings of the “luck goddess” for over a decade now.
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For example, I was lucky to have chosen to do my studies in a lucrative and productive field such as Electrical and Computer Engineering.
I was lucky to complete my studies in 5 years (that is the default time period) instead of procrastinating and losing precious time.
I was lucky to get top grades that allowed me to get an internship in one of the most prestigious telecom companies in my country.
I was lucky to be able to finish my Master’s degree while doing my internship.
I was lucky to have soaked up invaluable technical knowledge from great engineers while being an intern.
I was lucky to have taught myself programming and honing my skills to become one of the most proficient and productive developers in my department.
I was lucky to co-launch a programming website as a side-gig.
I was lucky to help grow the website to one of the most authoritative ones in its niche, generating millions of visits per year.
I was lucky to recognize that this “Internet thing” has massive potential for both impact and profit.
I was lucky when I chose to quit my job to dedicate my time to the fledgling media business.
I was lucky to help the business grow to mid-six figures profit after a few years.
I was lucky when I chose to read more than 70 business books and over 10,000 articles.
I was lucky when I chose to watch entrepreneurial shows instead of trash TV.
I was lucky when I lost money launching projects that went nowhere (or is that unlucky?).
I was lucky when I saw Apple’s stock getting hammered for no rational reason and then purchasing it at its bottom (has almost doubled since then).
I was lucky when I lost money investing in the stock of companies that I did not understand (unlucky again?).
I was lucky when I chose to allocate time and effort to maintain a kick-ass Mastermind group with peers that have the same aspirations with me.
I was lucky when I chose to save huge amounts of my income when I could be “living the life”.
I was lucky when I saw an opportunity in the digital publishing world and launched a promising venture there.
I was lucky when I used my savings to fuel the growth of that venture and reach a mid-six figures run rate after only a few months while keeping all the equity for myself.
I could go on and on. But I think, the pattern here is pretty obvious.
Luck had little to do with my progress. It was a continuous stream of conscious decisions and calculated actions.
Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. But the chances were overwhelming in my side because of the very nature of my decisions.
Before we continue, let me state that this “I was lucky” little rant was inspired by MJ DeMarco’s latest book, Unscripted. Not much to say about the book, just buy it (4.8 out of 5 stars rating).
Now, to flip the tables on you, I have to admit.
I have been lucky. But not in the typical sense.
I have been lucky to be born in a democratic country which, even if it is a wreck at the moment, at least provides the basic opportunities to its citizens.
If I had been born in a dictatorship-run country, my chances of rising up in the world would be close to nil.
I have been lucky to be born during an era where modern technology provides enormous opportunities to those that have their eyes open and act.
If I had been born just 300 years ago, I would literally be under the whip of an evil emperor.
So, if you were born in a democracy, you should consider yourself lucky, in the sense that you are given the opportunity to do something great with your life instead of just consuming, paying your taxes and dying.
And you should consider it a terrible waste, if you somehow let your life pass before your eyes, while accomplishing nothing and failing to grasp the opportunity of a lifetime.
So, let’s have a toast. To luck!
Excellent article, Ilias! Thank you 🙂