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Luck ... or Something Else?


I commented to another business owner (Amanda O’Reilly) yesterday how lucky I am in my life.  Having recently moved to a home on Lake Simcoe, and splitting my time between there and a beautiful downtown Toronto condo (where I can walk to work).

Amanda’s comment was, “I don’t believe in luck!”

I had to laugh, but replied that I think there had to be a little luck … also a lot of hard work, a willingness to take a risk AND a belief that I could “make it happen”!  Amanda understands all this having started her own very successful Ottawa based concierge business (Balance in Style)and added some interesting offerings, including a great option for people wanting a nice, yet affordable wedding or some other event!  Amongst all that work, managing risk and making things happen we sometimes downplay that we need a little luck too!

The conversation got me to thinking about the subject of entrepreneurship and luck.  I saw a poster called “I am an Entrepreneur” and it formed a blog I posted a few months ago.  I think the word LUCK was missing from the graphic … all those other things are absolutely necessary, but we all need a little luck along the way too.

I also wrote a blog entry some time ago about entrepreneurship’s risk and rewards with a focus on Matt Whitteker, another successful young Ottawa based entrepreneur (and my boxing coach for that charity boxing match I did last year).   At 26 Matt had three businesses on the go, had won 40 under 40 awards and is flying … but even Matt needed a little luck.

Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, they have businesses of all types and sizes … yet they all have some things in common.  Maybe one of them is a belief in that classic Samuel Goldwyn quote, “The harder I work, the luckier I get!”

While thinking about this I am reminded of the many attempts by government to help “entrepreneurship”, to stimulate job creation with “programs and funding” … some of which might help.  BUT in my humble opinion, you can lead a horse to water but unless the horse is willing to work hard, take risks and do whatever it takes to be successful it aint going to drink that entrepreneurship water!! The only way governments are going to succeed in stimulating entrepreneurship is by having entrepreneurs driving those initiatives … and we have seen that in Ottawa since Bruce Lazenby has taken the reins at Invest Ottawa.

So, I still believe we ALL need luck, entrepreneurs most of all … but when you have all that other stuff, you can really improve your chances of getting some “luck” (ask Samuel Goldwyn)!