Hard Work Doesn’t Make You Lucky

This is where luck begins

David O.


Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

Have you ever heard this saying, “The harder I work, the luckier I get”?

That sounds good. It sounds true. But it is not. I bet you heard it from some successful people. And just because someone is successful doesn’t mean they know how they got successful.

You don’t get lucky because of how hard you work. You get lucky based on where you are working from. Let me explain.

Where All the Luck Is

Imagine two people starting a hedge fund. One is from a wealthy family in New York. The other is from a humble family background based in Bangkok. Who do you think would be luckier?

The New York guy has to be really, really unfortunate to screw up so badly to become unlucky. Meanwhile, the guy in Bangkok has to have some over-the-top incredible run of (almost impossible) success to get anywhere close to the New Yorker.

Now, let’s flip the script…

The same two people. But now, their ambition is to become a proper Thai chef. The guy in Bangkok, Thailand has a reasonable chance of beating the New Yorker at this.

Can you see the thing with hard work and luck now?

It is not about how hard you work but where you are working from and what you are working towards.

Low-Hanging Fruits

I had a conversation with someone a few days ago. And she was surprised to discover that I would talk about luck as a factor in success.

Most gurus say things like, “Chase your dreams”. And that is good. However, I highly recommend that you pick the low-hanging fruits first.

Play to the side of your luck. When luck starts coming your way, you can spread your wings wide and go for everything you’ve always wanted. But you need that initial luck momentum.

By low-hanging fruits, I don’t mean you should set your goals small. I mean, get distracted and pick out awesome things you can celebrate along the way to your big goal.

If it is just over your head and it is ripe, pick it and celebrate it. Low-hanging fruits get you in the luck momentum.

Don’t be the Thai resident trying to outdo a rich kid in New York at raising funds. You will only cause yourself immense pain and sorrow.

Find something that is low-hanging for you. The New Yorker might be advantaged in raising funds. But the Bangkok guy can be the definitive expert on Asian emerging markets.

Learn to play to your strengths. That is where luck begins



David O.

Over 100,000 people have found my articles enlightening and inspiring. Mostly finance related content, but honestly, I write whatever the heck I want.