What part does luck play in what happens to us at work and in our lives generally?  In the way we are viewed and the way we view ourselves and our business?

That's the question I was asked by a client recently, and it sent me back to a book I read shortly after starting in business in 2002.  


Lucky people seem to meet their perfect partners, achieve lifelong ambitions, find fulfilling careers, build successful businesses, and live happy and meaningful lives.  

Their success doesn't appear to be due to exceptional intelligence, hard work or amazing talent, but rather seems to have a lot to do with luck!  

Lucky people always seem to be in the right place at the right time, and enjoy more than their fair share of lucky breaks.

I think of myself as lucky.  I’ve also heard other people call me lucky throughout my life from childhood, through my relationships to marriage, children and family life, and also in my career and business.  I’ve been told on more than one occasion that I have the “luck of the Irish!”  

This feeling that I’m lucky has stayed with me even through the inevitable bad times and challenges (yes we all have them!) because it’s something I really believe.  That and the fact that you ‘make your own luck!’

This was confirmed to me whilst reading “The Luck Factor” by psychology Professor Richard Wiseman all those years ago.  

In it he showed the results of a unique research experiment carried out over a 10 year period, which confirmed my belief that you ‘make your own luck!’  

According to his research, people are not born lucky, but lucky people, without realising it, use four basic principles to create good fortune in their lives.  

So if we can truly understand these principles then we can understand what luck is.  And more importantly, we can use this understanding to enhance the amount of good luck we experience in our lives.

Wiseman’s four principles

  1. Maximise your chance opportunities
  2. Listen to your lucky hunches
  3. Expect good fortune
  4. Turn your bad luck into good

Principle #1 Maximise your chance opportunities

This is about the way lucky people create, notice and act upon the chance opportunities in their life.

Although we often believe that opportunities are the result of pure chance e.g. going to a party and meeting the right person or opening a magazine at just the right page, they are actually the result of the way we think and behave.  

So, being in the right place at the right time is actually more about being in the right state of mind!  

Personality also plays its part in this principle as lucky people tend to be more extrovert which means they are more likely to build and maintain a strong 'network of luck.'  

They are also more open to new experiences in their life; and have a more relaxed attitude to life generally.  

Whilst I can sometimes appear to be extrovert, I'm not.  And although my attitude to life has become much more relaxed in recent years, it certainly wasn't when I set up in buisness.  Yet I have always been open to new experiences and interested in people and relationships.

What about you?  How do you fit within principle #1?  How well do you maximise your life opportunities?

To read more about Wiseman’s second, third and fourth principles, and what you can do to be a more successful “lucky” entrepreneur and business owner, read my next article….The Lucky Entrepreneur.

Image by aischmidt from Pixabay