Q&A: Is Attaining Success as an Entrepreneur Due to Skill or Luck?
Why not both?
You could say that some super successful people were just “at the right place at the right time”—that they pursued just the right idea at the precise moment that the market had a need for it.
And that could be true, but it’s not the full picture.
Take Mark Cuban as an example. A lot of people would say that he got lucky when he sold broadcast.com to Yahoo in 1999 at the height of the .com boom right before the bubble burst.
Does that make him nothing more than a glorified lottery winner?
I don’t think so.
Audionet (later broadcast.com) had very little revenue and never turned a net profit. Despite that profitability, Cuban was able to generate enough buzz to get the attention of someone at Yahoo, leading to its eventual sale.
Luck probably played a role in matching Cuban with just the right people to buy into his idea, but we also have to give him credit for being a smooth talker and superstar at making the sale. Arguably, his site wasn’t even that great of a product. He just knew how to sell it.
That’s really what “luck” is. Luck is putting yourself out there, taking chances, and creating the circumstances that allow you to shine.
Sure, sometimes you come across a bit of sheer dumb luck that pushes your life into a new chapter, but, most of the time, you need to have the skills to really take advantage of those opportunities.
Luck is about attitude. If you think of yourself as an unlucky person, then, yeah, things aren’t ever going to go your way. But that’s self-sabotaging B.S. So-called “lucky people” are the ones who see those who see opportunities and jump on them. They work their butts off so that when their time comes, they’re ready.
So, can someone catch a lucky break? Absolutely. But don’t discount all the hard work that went into making the most of that opportunity.