Luck Favors the Prepared

Luck is... (explored)I'm the first one to say it: I've been damn lucky in my life.

  • I got a recurring gig on 207 (a local TV program) because I was recommended by their “Style Guru” who had once sat with me on a panel. First and only time we ever met.
  • I got the opportunity to contribute to Business Blog Consulting because I happened to see a random blog post by Paul Chaney one day about blogging opportunities and responded to it. It was like me and a dozen “A-listers” contributing to the same blog. Sure, I felt like Gleek, the monkey on the Superfriends, but hell, I was right there with them! That led me to connect with Dave Taylor who offered me my first national speaking opportunity at the first BlogWorld Expo. The connections and opportunities I made there continue to reverberate to this day.
  • I got to be an “Expert Blogger” for because I decided to chat up the pretty girl behind the FastCompany booth at an expo. Turns out they were looking for “experts” and I signed up right then. (Luckily, there was no test.)

Anyone of these opportunities could have gone in another direction.

  • There was another guy on the panel; she could have recommended him.
  • I could have missed that blog post and everything thing else that came after it.
  • I could have decided to walk down a different aisle at the expo, or gone at a different time when someone else was working the booth.

But here's the other side of the argument.

I prepare for every episode of 207 like it's the most important event of my life, even when it's about Online Coupons or How The Interwebs Can Improve Your Halloween Party. I research the topic, no matter the segment. I write up talking points for the hosts and email them a copy a day in advance to make their lives easier. I practice the segment over and over again so I can be ready to go when they say, “Action!” (They don't actually say, “action,” though. Kind of a let down.)

For Business Blog Consulting and I often put my best blog posts there first, sacrificing some of the search engine visibility of my own blog. I responded to comments as soon as I saw them, and left comments on other contributors' blog posts as well.

This isn't me bragging–at least I hope it's not–but rather it's about taking advantage of any luck that comes your way and working it as hard as you can.

In other words, we all have lucky moments. It's what you do with those moments that counts. If you find yourself with a sudden windfall or opportunity, don't squander it. Work it for all it's worth. It's amazing how one piece of luck leads to another and another….

It's equally true that “luck favors the prepared.” Maybe I was just better prepared for that panel presentation. Maybe I got some of those blogging opportunities after they saw the content on my own blog.

Now, I'm not suggesting that ridiculously over-the-top message from The Secret where you conjure all the good and bad luck in your life; sometimes good luck happens to lazy people and sometimes bad luck rains down on hard working folk…we see examples of that every day. Still, I see how hard some other “lucky” people prepare to get the opportunities they have enjoyed, and there are too many stories of “overnight successes” that toiled for years in obscurity first to ignore.

What do you think? Is luck randomly distributed? Are there ways to get more of it? Are there ways to make more of it?

Rich Brooks

Photo Credit: kaibara