December 6, 2021

It is natural to think that some people are luckier than others. While there is an element of chance, “lucky” people respond to circumstances by identifying an opportunity and acting on it. In fact, they create their own fortune by placing themselves in the right place with the right frame of mind to seize the moment.

Tim Thwaites, co-owner of American speciality coffee distributor, Coda Coffee Company, is a firm believer in creating your own luck. According to him, if you put yourself out there long enough and “remain fluid enough for opportunities presented to you or can stay in the game long enough, luck will eventually come your way.” So how can we cultivate more luck? Here are six ways that can help to increase your chances.

Look for New Opportunities

While you might feel that you lack the qualifications (or experience) for certain opportunities, learn to be versatile. Taking on new roles allows you to move forward in business. Dedicate time to constant self-education and development. Start by reading at least one book per week, join communities to network, or seek mentorship. As you grow the business, expanding your repertoire will help you create more openings. Wing Lam, co-founder of ​​ US-based restaurant chain Wahoo’s Fish Taco believes that luck is all about leveraging opportunities. He says, “Today, Wahoo’s Fish Taco is successful because we’re flexible and make sure whatever we get involved in is better than how we left it.”

Be Fearless

Sometimes we need to let go of fear and take the first step to make things happen. Condition yourself to do things beyond your comfort zone, like joining a singing competition, asking someone new out, talking to a random stranger or travelling alone. And train yourself to be resilient enough to bounce back from setbacks. Be comfortable with being challenged because this mentality will help you to create your own luck. The more you do, the more likely that good things will happen. When Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos spoke about going down “blind alleys” that became “broad avenues,” he was referring to exploring unproven trajectories that could yield profitable businesses just like Amazon Web Services.

Make People Interested in You

Doing well in business depends on how interested people are in you. So getting into the right partnership or relationship starts by actively meeting people. Use memorable or engaging talking points whenever you encounter new people or find common topics to create a rapport. Connect with others through their passions, hobbies, or career aspirations. Instead of the usual prosaic openers like “What do you do?”, use broader opening statements such as “What are you interested in at the moment?” The more people you meet and attract, the higher the odds of getting lucky increase.

Never Give Up

People who know how to create their own luck view failure as a learning curve instead of throwing in the towel. Not many people are aware that Fashion designer Vera Wang wanted to compete in the Olympics as a figure skater. Depressing as it was, that she did not make the team, Wang decided to pursue fashion. “The idea that I could always do better, learn more, learn faster, is something that came from skating. But I carried that with me for the rest of my life,” she said. At 40, she debuted her own line of gowns and has a current ​​net worth of US$650 million.

Founders of American clothes company LA Collective Karl and Jaynee Singer echo that in entrepreneurship, “the most important component is to put your head down, work hard and most importantly, never give up.” Scholar-psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth underscores that “grit” is the best predictor of success as it pushes you onward in the face of adversity. This demonstrates that as long as we are determined, we can create our own luck.

​​Be Positive

According to Singaporean chef-owner Darwin Wong of JIDAI restaurant, there’s no sure way to create good luck and win at business, especially in such trying times for the food and beverage industry. However, he firmly believes that luck happens when you keep a positive mindset and outlook even in the midst of a pandemic. So far, Wong notes that such a mindset has the cyclic effect of“motivating the team to maintain the high standards we’ve set.” The maneki neko figurines in his restaurant are symbols of luck and prosperity to create a positive vibe for his team and guests.

Maintain Good Relationships

Kindness has a way of coming around. Be nice and helpful to people around you, demonstrate gratitude, trust, and integrity to your staff and treat clients with respect no matter the situation. You never know when they will refer a new client to you or introduce you to potential partners. When you’re abundantly generous, people respond in kind with advice, support and even a lifeline when you least expect it.