Get lucky

Sure, we’d all love to win the lotto, possess prodigy-level talent, or be born into royalty. The luck of the draw can seem painfully unfair as some are stricken with disease while others grab an oversized helping of fame and fortune, and then come back for seconds.

Without question, there are many factors that we can’t control. We can’t change our upbringing, genetics, or the boundaries of time and space. However, there are far more factors within our control than many people think. It turns out that you can play an active role in creating your own luck. Here are four steps you can embrace right away to get a lot luckier:

1. Work on yourself. You’ll never get your big break until you are ready to snag it. The more steps you take to improve yourself – from learning to fitness to practicing your craft – the more you’ll see new opportunities emerge. In the words of Louis Pasteur, “Chance favors the prepared mind.”

2. Give more. While it sounds counterintuitive, there is a direct correlation between giving and receiving. Contributing back to the world – with your money, talent, and/or time — has a funny way of beefing up your luck quotient. Simply put, the more you give the more you get.

3. Seize opportunities constantly. Sometimes opportunities emerge in disguise, often showing up as a problem or crisis. Each time you grab one opportunity, three more are likely to emerge as a byproduct. Sitting on the sidelines waiting for your dream to magically show up wrapped in gold-leaf paper is not a formula for success. As ancient war strategist Sun Tzu proclaimed, “Opportunities multiply when they are seized.”

4. Get outside your comfort zone. While you are busy ‘playing it safe’, the world will zip past you faster than the new 450 horsepower Corvette Stingray. Its time to take chances and put yourself out there. The client, relationship, partner, deal, or change that you seek is probably not waiting in your kitchen cupboard. Try new things and explore the possibilities to seduce Lady Luck onto your team.

We all endure setbacks in life, and it’s easy to throw a pity party for yourself and serve extra victim soup. Rather than bemoaning the unlucky circumstances that have been thrust upon you, its time to take control and make it your business to affect the outcome.

As any Vegas high roller will tell you, your luck can change more quickly that you can look from left to right. So why not slide into the drivers seat and take fate for the ride of your choice? Luck can bend to your will once you decide that you are unwilling to accept anything less.

So c’mon. Let’s get lucky.

Josh Linkner is a Detroit-based entrepreneur, author, consultant and investor who was the keynote speaker at the BizExpo in Milwaukee 2010. His blog is republished by BizTimes with permission by the author.

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