If you’ve ever known someone who seems to consistently experience good luck, know this: luck is something you can attract toward yourself. In fact, research has found a correlation between good luck and the right attitudes and choices in life. Check out these quotes from a pile of executives who share their views on how anyone can be luckier.
1. Fail more.
“Sometimes failure can be a wonderful stroke of luck. You may think you know what your next step should be, but when you take it and fail, the lesson you learn ultimately ends up being what was standing between you and success.”
–Mattias Lepp, founder of indoor gardening solutions company Click & Grow.
2. Examine the choices you make.
“Most people associate luck as a game of chance. And while there is an element of chance, it does not define the game. Being lucky is really a reflection of the choices we make. Taken in aggregate, the smallest choices define who we are and, curiously, the quality of the people who are drawn to us, the environments in which we find ourselves, the media to which we expose ourselves, the way in which we spend our time, the manner in which we see and interpret the world — and these characteristics define how the world perceives us and the possibilities that flow from that perception. This has nothing to do with talent or accomplishment, per se. It has everything to do with the notion that ‘Victory lives on the margins’ outside the core. The core is assumed. The choices we make on the margins–those behaviors and elements that are outside the periphery of the everyday grind–this is where the magic lies that unlocks enormous possibilities, otherwise known as luck.”
–Tom Fowler, president of wearable sports technology company Polar.
3. Prioritize speed over greed.
“Often my luck has come from simply having the courage to make a decision and move on. I rarely find that I have all the information I want to make a truly informed decision. And while it’s never good to make a decision in a vacuum, I have found that luck favors the person willing to make a decision with an incomplete set of data, rather than being greedy and waiting too long for all the information to surface.”
–Mark Gainey, cofounder and CEO of Strava, a social network for athletes.
4. Expect good things to happen.
“Optimism isn’t magical, it keeps us pointed in the direction of our goals in life. A negative, pessimistic attitude generally repels opportunity.”
–Ryan McCarty, cofounder of Culture of Good, Inc., which helps organizations build a cultural movement that inspires employees, ignites positive change in the world and impacts their bottom lines.
5. Do more good and more good will come your way.
“By giving back to organizations that are important to you and your employees, you will naturally build respect and a good reputation in the community. When businesses help others, people take note and want to support the company in return. Making your company a positive force in the community can also have a big impact on employee morale. In the end, the more positivity you put out in the world, the more you’ll get back.”
–Scott Moorehead, CEO of Round Room LLC, the nation’s largest Verizon authorized wireless retailer.
6. Make a plan.
“Vince Lombardi, legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, once said, ‘Plan your work and work your plan,’ and that’s a principle I have always found to bring good fortune my way in both business and my personal life. By writing out your plan, you’re able to determine what needs to be done and how you do it. If you get stuck on the execution of that plan, simply revisit it to get back on track. It should act as a guide for all the decisions you have to make. I also believe that good luck comes from being a good listener and surrounding yourself with other hardworking people.”
–Pete Butler, founder and CEO of MS Companies, which leverages the gig economy and real-time data to provide a mobile, on-demand workforce matching.
7. Be generous.
“It’s simple to say, but acting generously can immensely impact your opportunities, both in business and life. Alter your thinking from, ‘What you can get out of a new relationship?’ into ‘How can I help this new connection?’ Helping three new people is likely to attract better luck than attempting to extract favors from those new individuals. You’ll be amazed at how karma can reward a mindset like this in the long run.”
8. Consider increasing luck as a two-step process.
“The first step is to infuse change into a system or process–this by itself may produce amazing results. But even more important is to notice what happens afterwards. Going in, you may have expected or hoped for A, B, and C to occur. Yet the most impactful outcome to the organization may be an E or F choice. Since they were unplanned or unexpected, one might call them ‘luck.’ In fact, it is just an awareness of positive results rather than being committed to expectations.”
–Justin Tysdal, CEO of Seven Corners, Inc., an international travel insurance and specialty benefit management company.
9. Hire people with stellar character.
“The more time and resources we invest into hiring and keeping the best talent, the luckier our organization gets. At Crew Carwash, we make it our top priority to hire individuals with a strong work ethic and even better character, which results in an outstanding customer service experience. This has become the main focus of our brand, and it has created loyal customers since our founding in 1948. It also makes coming to work each day really enjoyable.”
–Bill Dahm, CEO of Crew Carwash, one of the largest exterior-only carwash companies in the U.S. and honored as a “Top Small Workplace” by The Wall Street Journal.
10. Invest in tomorrow.
“Just as you can’t get lucky in a lottery without buying a ticket, you can’t win at business without risking an investment. If you speak to successful business people, they’ll tell you about how many times they failed or how close they were before things turned around. Business isn’t just delivering on your product or service, it’s investing in your network, investing in tomorrow, and surrounding yourself with the right team. If you want to succeed, you need to ensure you’re pushing, pulling, and dragging that team. It requires focus, discipline, and an unapologetic resolve.”
–Douglas Karr, CEO of DK New Media, which helps marketing and tech companies build awareness, authority, trust and ROI online with measured marketing strategies.
11. Work hard with good people.
“Positive experiences garnered in business and life are not based on luck, but through hard work and determination. However, there are ways to increase your luck factor. Always remember to surround yourself with unimpeachable people who are experts in uncharted subject matter, and be confident that they will steer you in the right direction. Being patient is also vital, as a certain level of success or happiness will not generate overnight. Good things will happen to those who are diligent and motivated to never stop pushing toward greatness.”
–Rico Elmore, founder of Fatheadz, a company that makes oversized sunglasses and optical eyewear for individuals with larger heads, as well as eyewear in standard and intermediate sizes.
12. Invest in your team.
“As far as luck goes, one cannot win at business without some level of risk and investment. Companies succeed due to more than a product. It takes an investment in the future by surrounding oneself with the right team to meet the business’ goals.
–JT Metzger, executive vice president at email marketing software company Delivra.
13. Network like crazy.
“When you’re building your company it’s also important to meet people where ever you go and keep them in your network. As your network grows, so will your business. When your network is full of people who have your best interest in mind, there’s no stopping the success you’ll garner. You never know who may end up becoming your client one day. I also believe that if you give out good vibes, you’ll receive it in return. Also, employee relations is key to a successful business. Happy employees produce excellent work, which results in better business. Call it luck, I call it strategy.”
–Ross Sapir, president of Roadway Moving, a New York-based moving and storage company with 130 employees who serve about 6,000 customers a year.
14. Be prepared.
“Preparation is a necessary prerequisite to good luck. Good luck occurs when an opportunity presents itself and you are prepared with knowledge, experience, and risk-taking ability. You need knowledge to recognize opportunities among the noise, you need experience to identify the patterns these opportunities often form, and you need the courage to take a chance. What people often say is good luck is simply a good choice based on evidence and risk.”
–Ray Rothrock, chairman and CEO of cybersecurity resiliency company RedSeal.
15. Keep away from energy vampires.
“I’ve found great luck with three simple things: a can-do mindset, tenacity, and intentionally surrounding myself with talented, high-character people who bring energy versus draining it.”
–Andy Grolnick, chairman, president and CEO of security intelligence company LogRhythm.
16. Build relationships with people who can provide opportunities: Your customers.
“Luck hasn’t been random for us–we’ve earned it. For us, the lucky opportunities have come naturally from literally being in the game with our customers. SteelSeries has innovated products around our understanding of the real needs of real gamers. This relationship has helped us continually introduce products to gamers that solve problems in an evolving landscape…There’s no such thing as luck in business unless you are in the trenches with your customers day in and day out.”
–Ehtisham Rabbani, CEO of SteelSeries, gaming company producing peripherals such as gamer headsets, keyboards, mice and mousepads.
17. Stop complaining.
“In my opinion luck is made. Lucky circumstances follow people who emanate certain qualities. If you are wanting to increase your luck factor you can do that by making some changes to your behaviors. Changes such as: stop being critical, eliminate complaining, be a contribution to others, look to see how you can help people around you, be disciplined with yourself, set goals and get moving on them, always be in action and never let fear stop you. Positive, productive, hardworking people create an aura of energy around them that attracts lucky circumstances. It is no accident–it is a product of everything that you do. When you operate as part of the solution in life, luck will naturally follow you.”
–Noelle Federico, CMO of stock photography website Dreamstime.com.
18. Become a servant of a revolution.
“The only constant in life is change, so embrace it and ride the wave of transformation to personal and professional success. Right now, technology is utterly transforming the way people live and work. The people who help make that happen–by enabling real-time collaboration and communication, freeing office workers from cubicle life, delivering as-needed professional services that don’t require an onsite presence–are building thriving businesses by helping their clients and their team to prosper and grow. It’s not just about making money. To truly succeed, you need to foster a culture of service to others, which is the key to happiness at work and in life.”
–Bryan Miles, CEO of Belay, a company that matches businesses with virtual workers.
19. Know that luck is a numbers game.
“Always be open to new ideas, say ‘yes’ to new projects and don’t be afraid to fail. Eventually, you will get lucky.”
–Kegan Schouwenburg, CEO of SOLS, a company which enables custom footwear manufacturing.
20. Be pragmatically optimistic.
“Critical to creating one’s own luck is pragmatic optimism. One must be generally optimistic about life and business, but pragmatic about realistically and practically accomplishing personal and professional objectives.”
–Chris Petersen, cofounder, senior vice president of customer care and CTO of security intelligence company LogRhythm.