This post is based on episode 45 of the ProBlogger podcast.
How many times have you heard or read about an entrepreneur’s latest opportunity and thought, How lucky were they?
And yes, in some instances it may well have been luck that gave them that opportunity. A simple case of being in the right place at the right time, and all the planets coming into alignment.
But while some people believe luck is random or based on personality, I believe you can increase the chances of lucky things happening to you by creating conscious habits. And today I want to talk about some habits you can develop to grow your own luck as a blogger and entrepreneur.
My own taste of luck
That’s not to say I’ve never been lucky myself. In fact, I may not have even become a blogger if I hadn’t had a bit of luck come my way.
On a rainy Friday afternoon in November 2002, I received an email from a friend. And that email basically consisted of four words: “Check out this blog”.
Back then I had no idea what a ‘blog’ even was. And so out of curiosity I clicked the link, which took me to a blog called tallskinnykiwi.com.
I thought the blog was quite interesting. But what really grabbed my attention that day was the medium. I started my own blog that day, and it changed the trajectory of my life completely.
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to speak to a lot of entrepreneurs (something I may never have been able to do if I hadn’t opened that email). When I ask them whether they attribute their success to luck or strategy, a lot of them say something like, “You know? There was some luck involved”. And after that, they worked hard and used strategy to achieve their success.
But there’s something else I’ve noticed with the people I’ve talked to: they all seem to share similar traits, qualities and habits. And they tend to all do things that increase the chances of lucky things happening to them.
Here are seven of those traits, qualities and habits.
1. They are avid learners
All of the entrepreneurs I talked to seem to be avid learners. Not all of them have high educational qualifications (some don’t have any), but they all gather information and knowledge by reading, listening to podcasts, going to conferences, asking questions, etc.
A lot of them also have mentors. They’re often part of mastermind groups, and put themselves into situations where are learning new information. And as the Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”.
So how can this improve your chances of being lucky? Well, when you have all that knowledge and information you have a better chance of making educated guesses that are correct. You’re more likely to be able to connect dots that haven’t been connected before.
So set aside some time for learning. Not only will you have more raw material for your posts, you will also improve the chances of luck coming your way.
2. They embrace problems
Most of us are wired almost from birth to avoid problems at all costs. We see them as roadblocks to run away from (or get around by taking a shortcut) and complain about afterwards.
But ‘lucky’ entrepreneurs view problems in a far more positive way. They see problems as springboards to opportunity. One entrepreneur even calls them “signals to solutions”.
How do you respond to your own and other people’s problems? Do you even notice other people’s problems? Perhaps you should start taking notice, because every problem could be an opportunity for you to help them on your blog.
3. They’re curious
Once they encounter a problem, ‘lucky’ entrepreneurs tend to get very curious about it. They look at it from different angles, and come up with different scenarios they could try. What if we try this? What if we try that? What would happen if we did this?
And because they’re just playing, rather than focusing hard on trying to solve the problem, they’re much more likely to have the ‘light bulb’ moment when a solution pops into their heads seemingly out of nowhere.
Next time you come across a problem, whether it’s your own or someone else’s, don’t try to avoid it. Instead, set aside some time to play with it a little and start asking some of those “What if?” questions. Who knows? You may have your own ‘light bulb’ moment.
4. They experiment
Unfortunately, a lot of people stop once they have their ‘light bulb’ moment. To turn your ideas into reality you need to get them out of your head. And this is where ‘lucky’ entrepreneurs tend to excel because as soon as they get their idea they start experimenting with it.
Looking back on all the products, eBooks, courses and events we have created on ProBlogger and Digital Photography school, nearly all of them came about because of a tweet, Facebook update or blog post. Once I came up with the idea, I tested it by telling my readers and followers about it and seeing how they respond to it. It’s my way of experimenting with the idea.
So when you have an idea you think might work, experiment with it. That could mean building a prototype, creating a part of it and getting people’s feedback (such as one chapter of an eBook), or just bouncing the idea off other people.
5. They set aside time to watch for sparks
While experimenting with ideas is worth doing, is a good idea, you need to set aside time to see how they pan out. Otherwise there’s not much point doing it in the first place.
But setting aside that time can be quite challenging. We all tend to lead very busy lives, and it’s hard to make time to observe and watch for those sparks of opportunity.
Quite often when I go to conferences someone will ask, “What’s the next big thing for you, Darren?” It’s a great question, but I now realise that the biggest things I’ve done always started out as small things. They usually start with an idea I get at one in the morning, which I then test with a tweet or blog post to see what happens. And the positive reactions and suggestions I get from my readers become little sparks of energy that help me fan them into flames.
Your ‘next big thing’ might be a little thing waiting to be noticed. Are you making time to notice the sparks?
6. They spend time creating and constructing
A lot of people spend their time reacting to the agendas, demands and expectations of other people. They may be working for someone else, or just spending a lot of time responding to emails. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Even need to learn to do it sometimes.
But the best entrepreneurs I’ve come across spend a significant amount of time creating and constructing. They’re always doing what they feel they need to do, and is what sets them apart from the rest of us.
Do you spend most of your time responding to other people’s agendas? If so, then perhaps you need to set aside for creating and constructing.
7. They can pivot
Success rarely happens in a straight line. Almost every successful entrepreneur I’ve ever met has talk about pivoting. Some were 180-degree turns, while others were just a subtle change in direction. But even a slight change in direction can take you to a very different place in the long term.
Is what you’re doing with your business what you’ve always done? If you’re been doing the same for three or four years it could be a sign that you’re in a bit of a rut and need to pivot a little. Remember: change is a sign of health.
Ready to get lucky?
How many of these seven habits have you already incorporated into your life and your business? Are there any others you’ll be trying out soon? Are there habits I haven’t even covered here? Let us know in the comments.
Photo by Macau Photo Agency on Unsplash