Skip to main content

Are successful businessmen just lucky?

I believe most entrepreneurs have this conversation before, "Are successful people just lucky?".  I have talked to many businessmen who have made it and they attributed a big portion of their success to luck.  I have also talked to some who haven't made it and they were also attributing it to the lack of luck.

Photo credit: mentatdgt


Some of my friends argued that it is plain luck since everything is uncertain in the business world and some of these people are just "lucky".  My counter-argument to them would be, are you saying that if Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, or Richard Branson were to start a new business (assuming that they have no access to their established network and wealth), it is as good a chance to succeed as any random person from the street?

After a few conversions on this topic, I decided to write about some of the conclusions that I have come to.  First of all, I believe even for a seasoned entrepreneur like Richard Branson, there will still be a few failures if he was to start 100 new businesses.  On the other hand, someone like the main character in Forrest Gump, may also have a few successes if he was to start 100 new businesses.

Of course, we may never know what the actual number is.  However, let's use 80/20 for discussion purpose.  I believe a very knowledgable, experienced, wise businessman will still have 20% of failure possibility in new ventures that he is starting.  Likewise, a very inexperienced, lack of knowledge person, with all the other flaws that you can think of, will still have a 20% success rate.

Now, the interesting part is that I don't think this number is fixed for any given entrepreneur.  I believe as an entrepreneur gains experiences, skills and knowledges, his success rate will improve from 80% to maybe 90% and eventually, maybe 95%.  However, this success rate will never hit 100%.  And as he looses touch with the business world, technology and has not been practising his skills, the success rate will drop, but again, it will never actually hit 0%.

Having this thought encourages and motivates me to continue to improve myself, may it be my sales closing skill, public speaking skill, new technology, as opposed to "relying" on luck!  What's your take on this?


Comments

Popular posts

Is AsiaWorks a scam?

First of all, let me disclose that I have attended the training, I did my AsiaWorks Basic training back in 2012, then Advanced and Leadership Program (LP) in 2014.  All these three trainings were conducted under Asiaworks Training Sdn Bhd in Malaysia.  The reason I'm writing about this is because when I did a Google search on "AsiaWorks review", almost all results point to negative reviews.  Best yet, some of these reviews are from hearsay of the writer's friends, family members, colleagues, etc.  I will bring you through my journey based on my first-person experience.


Cult and Secrecy
Imagine someone told you Bruce Willis is dead before you even watched the movie "Sixth Sense" (sorry to those who have not watched "Sixth Sense").  This is the main reason why they want to keep the content of the course so secretive.  The course is designed to let you have a closer look at how you operate in your life via exercises.  If you know the exercise in adva…

Malaysian woman searching for her son separated at birth

If you are a Malaysian male (of Chinese/Malay ethnicity) and were born on October 28, 1977 (plus minus a week), please read on.

You may have been told by your parents that you were adopted at birth, or you may doubt that you were adopted, or you may even have started looking for your birth parents with no avail.

I have just got to know that a friend's mom has a son who she has given away at birth.  She was then a 19-year-old young lady and she wasn't sure what to do with the unexpected pregnancy.  She insisted on not aborting the baby and followed her mom's advice to give the baby away when the baby was delivered in a clinic in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.  She didn't get to see the baby at all and the only information she had was that the couple who adopted the baby are Malaysians (of Chinese ethnicity) in their 40's back then.  Her mom has passed on now and she has limited information on where to look for her son.

She is a grandma in her 50's now and she has nev…

5 words to avoid in your life

This is one of my favourite quotes:

"Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny." -- Lao-Tze

Words are good reflections of your thoughts.  In order to watch your thoughts, observe the words that came out of your mouth.  Here are some words to avoid or at least to be aware of when you are using them, especially when you use it regularly.

1.  "I will try."

As Yoda said, "Try not.  Do, or do not."  Make up your mind on whether you want to do it or not.  If you want to, then do it.  If you don't want to, then don't do it, don't try to do it.  Telling others that you will try leaves such a big backdoor for you not to do it.  It is also a way for you to lurk in the grey zone.  For example, if you were asked whether you will be going to an event, "I will try to be there" basically mean,…