I’ve seen a couple of blog posts and online articles lately from entrepreneurs talking about how they don’t like it when people say that they are so lucky to be successful. Given the hard work and sacrifices that go into being successful, their stories are never ones of just being lucky.
Being at the right place at the right time is another one that downplays the preparation and open-mindedness needed to capitalize on opportunities. You can only be lucky, if you have set yourself up to identify, evaluate and execute a strategy when the timing is right.
Over the past two years as I have built my company from the ground up, I am told at least a few times a week by people that I am so lucky to have the life I do. And my immediate response is always, it has little to do with luck and is due to my hard work and my persistence in chasing my dreams.
Being an American, being white, and being male… they do not guarantee success. I’ll admit they can be advantages at times, but only when I’m able to able to use those advantages. I’m from a middle-class, blue collar family. Forsaking the traditional Meyer man route of serving in the military, I was the first one in my family to go to college. I received scholarships based on merit and worked all through college and grad school. Not much luck involved there.
My time with Wells Fargo honed my analytics skills and prepared me for being a executive, but I was rarely lucky when I got promoted, earned a bonus or was given special projects. Again it was a solid work ethic, good role models and mentors and a can do attitude that made me successful.
Now that I have built a modest success of a company and able to really enjoy my lifestyle of being an international business man and analytics expert, I too find it frustrating when someone says , “You are so lucky”. I use these moments to educate and hopefully empower that person by telling my story and praying it gives them the spark they need to stop waiting to get lucky and start making their own luck!