I have two close friends that are very much alike.
They both grew up playing the same sports. They both look fairly alike. And they both went to the
same college and got nearly the same grades.
But one of them is now wildly successful, while the other is still sort of just getting by.
I had my hunch regarding why they have achieved such different outcomes in their careers. But it wasn’t until the other day, when I picked up “The Luck Factor” by Richard Wiseman, that the difference became crystal clear.
In his book, Wiseman described an interesting experiment.
In the experiment, a researcher filmed two people, Martin and Brenda. Both had volunteered to participate in a study, even though they didn’t really know exactly what the study was about. Prior to the study, Brenda described herself as an unlucky person. On the other hand Martin considered himself an extremely lucky person.
Both Martin and Brenda were sent to a coffee shop and told to wait for a researcher to arrive. The research team put a $5 bill on the ground in front of the shop. Martin saw the bill, picked it up, went in, sat down at the counter, and had a nice conversation with a businessman sitting there (who was actually the researcher).
Brenda, on the other hand, failed to notice the bill, stepped over it, sat down next to the businessman and did not say a word.
After the experiment was over, the researchers interviewed both Martin and Brenda. Specifically, the researchers asked each if they thought anything lucky or unlucky had happened
to them that day.
Martin was thrilled about having found the money and about his nice conversation… while Brenda described her day as uneventful.
What’s so interesting is this: Both Martin and Brenda had the SAME EXACT OPPORTUNITY, but only Martin, who started the day feeling lucky, enjoyed and got value from it.
The point is this: How you feel about yourself, be it lucky or unlucky, WILL shape your success. Particularly your success as an entrepreneur. Because feeling lucky allows you to better see and act upon opportunities.
Importantly, the author’s research found that luck has nothing to do with mere chance. And studies show that lucky people cannot predict good fortune, like winning the lottery, any better than unlucky people.
Also, people who consider themselves lucky do not score higher on IQ tests than unlucky people. And they are less superstitious than “unlucky” people.
But lucky people expect their lives to be full of luck, and are thus always on the look-out for more. They don’t see setbacks as final outcomes. Rather, they look for opportunities and start working optimistically again toward positive outcomes.
And importantly, the author believes that with commitment and steady work, anyone can retrain their thinking and habits to improve the quality and quantity of luck in their lives.
I would venture to guess that virtually all successful entrepreneurs consider themselves to be very lucky. More importantly, I bet that BEFORE they became successful entrepreneurs, that they considered themselves to be very lucky. Because you must be able to see opportunities and act on them in order to be successful.
So, if you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, zap them. Everyone has obstacles to overcome en route to entrepreneurial success. Know that you can overcome your obstacles and achieve
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