Are you feeling Lucky?

   Have you ever met someone who is financially well off, and thought "Oh, they're just lucky"?

   The truth is, they probably are lucky. Luck plays an important role in everyone's quest for financial freedom. And for such an important factor, we had best uncover what makes some people lucky, and some people not so lucky.

So what makes people unlucky with money? 

   These are the people who search for financial well-being without putting in enough effort in first. We can see this all the time with lottery players and gamblers. Many people play such games of chance, and when relying on chance, the effort requirement for good luck to show up isn't fulfilled. As such, statistically speaking, nobody ever "wins" in these games. That's not to say they don't have merit, but if your reasons for playing are purely financial motivation, you will leave disappointed. But the horse races and gaming tables aren't the only places we look to luck to provide us a financial windfall. We also make investment decisions based on limited information, and hence rely a degree on luck to help us out. This could be as risky as investing in an unproven startup without first performing sufficient due-diligence on the business and owners. An investment like this is fraught with risk, but quite alluring especially for the ambitious young professionals looking to make a start in this world. 

   I know about this relying on luck from first hand experience. Many years ago I had the opportunity to invest in a startup company, and the silver-tongued promises of untold riches had me dreaming of how my life would be much improved. These dreams swayed me into making a risky investment, relying on a combination of hope and luck to turn those dimes into dollars. And therein I learned one of the hard lessons that Lady Luck teaches. Luck never comes to those who aren't deserving of it.

   We look for luck in other places too; there are whole companies built on selling you the latest, hottest stock tips. Making those rushed investment decisions based on a 3 A.M. hot-pick email, or the whispering you overheard from a couple tipsy bankers in a bar. This again doesn't fulfill the requirement of deserving luck, and as such your winnings will be lacking.

   If luck doesn't lie in those places, how are some people lucky?

   Luck is only a reward given to those who are prepared. Hard work will carry you to places where you might find good luck. I cannot tell you exactly where to look for luck, that is a function of the right time, the right place, the right people. But there are some places that you will have a higher chance of finding that good luck. These are the work opportunities that come about through hard work, impressing others with your knowledge, dedication, and character. I have met numerous people who embody those characteristics and ultimately find that good luck. 

   One such gentleman worked hard for years in a relatively unrewarding job. But through his perseverance, his dedication to his craft, he was ready when an opportunity came his way. This provided a substantial increase in his financial compensation. Already a financial win in his hand, his work performance continued to excel, and the reward was an ownership investment opportunity into company stock. This story isn't uncommon, but is only repeatable through consistent hard work. And that work is rewarded with opportunities that on the outside look like good luck. As Thomas Edison said, "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas A. Edison

   These opportunities are found in other places too. A chance encounter at a conference could open doors that you never thought possible, opening you up to financial abundance. Or a good idea from a course or book could completely change the way you see life. These experiences that we put ourselves in to grow and become more are the preparation you need to be ready to find good luck.

How do we get lucky?

   Looking for luck at the gaming tables or a chance email is as likely to pay out as those Nigerian prince's who ask you to hold their $ 50 million for them. Instead we should be taking advice from Thomas Edison, when we look for luck, we need only look at the opportunities disguised by hard work. Actively developing and growing ourselves will put us in the position to receive the boons of good luck, so when those opportunities come our way we are ready to step up to the plate.

   Perhaps we need to rephrase the question, instead of Are you feeling lucky? What we really need to ask ourselves is: Am I willing to do what it takes to be lucky?

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