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Screw Luck

by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief Social Media Strategist at xynoMedia Technology

One of the things that really burns my shorts (as my wellness coach Cheryl says) is when people say to me:

Your business is doing so well. You're so lucky.

That's the quick way into a serious verbal altercation with me. Ask my sister's boyfriend. He'll tell you.

I was recently out west visiting my sister and we were on our way home from dinner. And, her Luckboyfriend mentioned something about me being lucky. I promptly explained to him that I don't believe in luck. I believe in being prepared.

Even scientists who've studied luck say that it all boils down to your state of mind. That's not luck. That's something we each can control - our thoughts, responses and reactions.

Screw luck. For the life of my business, I have been PREPARED when OPPORTUNITIES presented themselves - and even when they didn't. Oh, and I've been ill-prepared, too - been there, done that. But, by and large, I've shown up when it counted.

Being successful in the technology business - in any business - is being in a state of hyper-preparedness. I've always been an over-achiever so this paradigm works well for me.

I love the dream of my business too much to trust it to luck. I know there are loads of people who start businesses and then coast. But, the business doesn't die a painful death - it goes on to flourish and prosper.  Sometimes it doesn't though and it's that 'sometimes' that's stuck in my craw.

This isn't a money thing for me. I believe that once you know how to make money, someone can take everything you have, drop you off in a new place and you'll find a way to make money because it's in your blood. This is a dream thing.

I know where I'm steering this ship. I don't need the inconsistent concept of luck looming over my vessel. I'm not lucky. I'm on purpose.

There are times when I'm up all night working - even with proper planning...running a business - it just is what it is sometimes. Other times I'm flying across country for days on end to speaking engagements and client meetings. That ain't luck.

Where others see lucky as an amorphous grace that touches people's lives in inexplicable ways, I see it as an unstable intrusion that's ready to implode.

I built this company for the past 10 years on my own. Sure I had help, but this is largely a solo act. Lady Luck never put the finishing touches on a proposal at midnight - I did that.

I have not received one dime of financing from any source not even from family or friends - nor do I want any. I lived hand-to-mouth for many years in New York (expense capital of the world) on a cash basis (read: no credit line).

What I've managed to create is nothing short of prepared planning. Making sure I'm in the right place at the right time. Listening to my intuition when it tells me to reach out to someone - or fall back a bit.

Luck? Jeeeeah, right.


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Lena L..West


Thanks for writing!

Looks like we share some thoughts about the "luck" concept. :)

I wrote this post back in 2007 and I still feel the same way!

Your story is amazing. Keep going!

Congrats on your book!

Matt Kinsella

I loved reading this because I could have written it myself, everything you described has happened to me in a round about sort of way and the reaction it provokes in me is the same.

I started my adult life in a hostel for homeless teenagers and I worked very hard, on my own, with little help or support to turn my life around and become a successful entrepreneur. I made my own luck!

Yvonne DiVita

While I agree with your concept, Lena, I do believe in luck. I believe we make our own luck... luck is a nice feeling ... it's (as you say) being prepared... but, it's also recognizing a good thing when it happens, and then making it work for you. Too many people think "luck" is a physical, tangible thing that will "rescue" you from disaster.

Those people FALL INTO disaster... because they keep grasping for the luck of the draw, when they should be planning their next lucky move.

I feel lucky to have you and Mary... and so many blogger friends who have sent condolences... this kind of luck is like happiness - it's found along the way, not at the end of the road. One needs to keep moving and keep her eyes open, to embrace the beauty of it.

Lucky me - for understanding that luck is a product of my creation. Lucky you for helping others understand that.


Thank you. You've helped me a great deal!

Lena West

Hey Mary:

So, THAT'S how you stay so fit! :)

Thanks for letting us know...

I actually AM a big fan of The Secret. What a lot of people miss about The Secret is the FEELING and ACTION aspect. It's not about letting stuff happen...it's about changing your mind set so that you can even conceive of something good/different happening in your life. Then, it's about taking time every day to FEEL what it would feel like to have that thing actually happen. Then it's about ACTING on opportunities when they arise instead of being paralyzed by fear.

All of this is information is actually in the move The Secret but most people ovverlooked it and heard what they wanted to hear - although admittedly, the majority of the time, they focused on the 'changing you thoughts' aspect.

I don't think the concepts of The Secret are about luck at all. The two are not the same in my mind. Luck is happenstance. The Law of Attraction is very real and scientific.

The Universe rewards ACTION.


Mary Schmidt

Soooo, you're not a fan of "The Secret?" ;-)

Reminds me of when someone says to me, "Well, you don't have to worry" - when bemoaning how the pounds seem to magically appear on their hips. Uh-Huh. I also exercise...and don't eat Doritos all day long.

The rosy "we'll leap in and somehow it'll all work out" is one of the big reasons so many small businesses fail. Luck is hard work.

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