The Lucky Entrepreneur?

14 01 2010

What’s got luck to do with entrepreneurship?

A lot according to some, much less according to others. If you google the 2 terms together you get less than 600 thousand pages, which compared to the 4 million pages you get with “entrepreneurship funding” or the 1.1 million pages “fishing luck” is quite small indeed.

Apparently there’s not much said about the subject,maybe it’s not interesting or at least it’s less interesting than luck in fishing? To be fair, there are also more pages on fishing than entrepreneurship (123 vs. 78 million) and the relative quota of “luck” pages is about the same, around 1%. OK so much for the engineer’s analysis!

There is authoritative research demonstrating that luck is not important for successful serial entrepreneurs. Despite this, many argue that entrepreneurs make their own luck and an amazing 78% of successful entrepreneurs recognise that luck had an important role in their success, as discovered by the Kauffman Foundation study called Making of a Successful Entrepreneur.

Apparently there is enough to make “luck for entrepreneurship” an interesting subject to explore. What about a scientific study on luck? A contradiction in terms? Not so much if we look at Professor Wiseman study on luck, on which he published a book The Luck Factor. Here’s the interview about the book as featured on FastCompany.

According to research, lucky people show specific behaviours that help them be more lucky. Professor Wiseman distilled four principles and 12 sub-principles that characterise lucky people. The four principles are:

  1. Maximize Your Chances – Lucky people create, notice and act upon the chance opportunities in their life.
  2. Listen to Your Instincts – Lucky people make successful decisions by using their intuition and gut feelings.
  3. Expect to Be Lucky – Lucky people’s expectations about the future help them fulfill their dreams and ambitions.
  4. Look on the Bright Side – Lucky people are able to turn their bad luck into good fortune.

So, what about a plan to improve one’s good luck based on these findings? Maybe the luckiest won’t need it , but it’s certainly needed by all aspiring entrepreneur to improve their chances of success. Actually, Professor Wiseman devised and tested a method for improving luck, and it showed effective!

In summary, luck seems “just” the result of an adequate attitude that people can learn and put in practice. It’s very likely that the entrepreneurs who felt that luck had been an important ingredient in their success were masters of the four principles described above. So mastering these principles represents an important contribution to improving an entrepreneur’s chances of success and is certainly worth pursuing.

Good luck!