Dean Johnson, owner of Arcon Construction Company was my first boss when I moved to Mora. The year I joined Arcon, he treated all the employees and spouses to a week on South Padre Island, to celebrate their best year ever. I listened as Dean described growing his highway-heavy construction business from nothing to sales of over $30 million annually. When I commented, “You sure were lucky.” Dean responded, “You know what luck is? Luck is sweat applied to an opportunity.” I have never forgotten that lesson.
Lucky people stand out; maybe it’s charisma, personality or just an abundance of energy, but it’s there and others recognize it. Some people are luckier than others, but most of us have to make our own luck.
How do you make luck?
Look at what you bring to the table with fresh eyes; what are your strengths? How are you using them and what can you do to make them more powerful? (Check out the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 and take the assessment to learn more.)
Join groups of like-minded people; go to events and interact with them. Pay attention to what intrigues and surprises you.
Timing can be everything. Dean Johnson started Arcon at the beginning of the interstate highway system build. His timing was perfect. Big things might not happen every day, but there’s always one day that matters. It’s the day you knock on a door that wouldn’t budge before and suddenly it swings wide open easily.
If you don’t ask for something, no one knows what you want. Lucky people speak up and ask the questions. They know that every day is a process, another step in the right direction. The more effort you put into your career, relationships and community, the luckier you get.
Preparation leads to better luck; the connection between spending hours at your craft and doing things you love isn’t always apparent. But you’ve built the foundation, laid the groundwork and when that one door opens, you are ready. Now you are not merely lucky, you are good!