“You make your own luck” — my dad.
This quote has stuck with me for my entire life. My dad used to say it to me as a six year old chocolate-milk-loving brat with a set of Ninja Turtle nunchucks.
People love to know what you’re working on. They also love if you ask them the same question. It’s the ultimate ice-breaker for a conversation, in one powerful sentence.
Luck is when your goals happen without you having to forcefully hustle your way into an overworking dark corner of damaged fantasies.
Luck is just quiet hard work, after hours, in disguise.
I often tell people what I am working on using my email list. Surprisingly, as soon as I send out the email, people start replying back. Many of them have thoughts, ideas and contacts to help me with whatever the project is.
You can do the same. Telling people what you’re working on isn’t bragging either. It’s simply giving them an update on your latest project. As they ask questions, you answer them. If they have a way to help your work then they’re sure to let you know. You don’t have to jam asks for help down their throat.
“What Do I Want to Be Working On?”
This question is incredibly effective. Maybe you’re not working on the thing you want to be working on yet. This question can help you.
You can tell people you talk to what you’d like to be working on. You can describe to them your thoughts, and most importantly, what actions you’re already taking to get there. A human in action is a person someone wants to help get where they’re going. A human sitting idle waiting for luck, or seeking sympathy, tends to go nowhere for a while.
Earlier this year I wanted to be working on an academy of online courses. I’d tried working on this goal before, and failed.
I told a fellow writer what I’d ‘like’ to be working on. I told them what I had tried and described the last two failed attempts.
They suggested I chat with a hipster shirt wearing guy with a beard named Todd. They said “he’s the missing piece to your puzzle.” The stupid thing was I had spoken to Todd before. We clicked as friends, but not as project buddies. I’d missed his brilliance because I got wrapped up in publishing books on Amazon and forgot about the person I was talking to.
By telling my writer friend about what I was working on, as luck would have it, I met Todd (again). I started working with Todd and never looked back. I discovered the power of combining completely separate skills and gluing them together with mutual respect.
Whisper to another person what you’d like to be working on.
You Can Attract Luck by Finding out People’s Problems
I’ve had the goal of creating a LinkedIn course for years. I’m a lazy bastard and still haven’t done it.
Instead of waiting to “feel like it,” I decided to go another route. I went down the path of looking for people’s problems.
First, I surveyed my email list to find out what problems they had with LinkedIn. Then I started talking to LinkedIn content creators to see what problems they had. Then I looked at people who were already solving people’s LinkedIn problems with an educational product.
Before I knew it, I had a solid list of problems people clearly wanted solved. Now I’m building a LinkedIn course around those problems (see what I did there).
Solving research-backed problems can make you appear lucky.
There Are 5 Responses You’ll Get When You Tell People What You’re Working On
- “I need that.” Potential customer or audience member for the problem you’re solving.
- “How can I help?”Potential team member to help you with your work.
- “I’m working on something similar.” Potential partner, affiliate, or person to share your journey with as you build different things together.
- “That’s nice,” then the subject changes. This person isn’t interested in what you’re working on. Not everybody will be and that’s okay.
- “I know someone like that.” A referral to someone is how you find the people you need to achieve a goal.
Start telling people what you’re working on. Don’t brag about it, just tell them the story of your work.
“I’m doing this.”
“I’m thinking about it this way.”
“I’m looking for…”
Don’t hoard your work. Tell people what you’re working on so they can help you. And perhaps even change your thinking about your work.
Progress on a goal rarely happens in isolation. Use the people around you to attract luck to your work.