The Business of Being Lucky: An Exploration of Instant Success vs Chance and Calculation

4 min read

Luck actually depends on our perception of time. One highly positive result or a multiple of positive results within a given amount of time will give you the illusion of “Luck”. Lottery winners usually “invest” thousands of dollars in lottery tickets over time before they eventually hit the jackpot, but our perception of luck only allows us to view them as lucky. Cornell University and other studies from 1993 concluded that an intriguing pattern emerged when they compared “lucky” versus “unlucky” individuals. Through methodical experimentation, the study found that those who identified as lucky were more attuned to noticing opportunities. Conversely, individuals who considered themselves unlucky exhibited higher levels of anxiety, a condition that seemingly obstructed their ability to perceive opportunities.

Luck: The Four-Leaf Clover of Business

Luck is a concept that is often associated with chance and randomness. It’s something that can happen without any apparent cause or reason. In a business context, luck can be seen in unexpected opportunities, market trends, or even meeting the right person at the right time. Young entrepreneurs embrace the hustle culture, which can also create the illusion of luck through continuous motion, while older and more seasoned entrepreneurs embrace probability by planning for contingencies. Both can learn from the other’s perspective.

According to Sahil Bloom, luck comes in four flavors:

  1. Blind Luck: The things you’re just given, such as where you’re born, who you’re born to, and the circumstances of your life that you cannot control.
  2. Luck from Motion: This type of luck comes from hustling, creating connections, and meeting people. By creating many collisions, luck might strike as a result.
  3. Luck from Awareness: This luck comes from being so knowledgeable about a given space that you can spot opportunities from a mile away.
  4. Luck from Uniqueness: When you have deep knowledge and become an expert in a specific area, you become the go-to person for specific types of opportunities.

Probability: The Science of Maybe

Probability, on the other hand, is a mathematical concept that deals with the likelihood of a particular event happening. It’s a measure of how likely something is to occur, based on known information and statistical analysis.

In business, probability can be used to analyze risks, forecast trends, and make informed decisions. Unlike luck, probability is something that can be calculated, measured, and planned for.


“Luck is believing you’re lucky.” And why? That’s how the brain works! 🧠🍀. #lucky #brain #neuroscience

♬ original sound – Ashleigh Di Lello

How to Be Lucky and Probable at the Same Time (Yes, It’s a Thing)

Recognizing Luck

Recognizing luck in business is about being open to opportunities and being prepared to take advantage of them when they arise. As the video explains, luck can come from motion, awareness, or uniqueness. By being proactive, staying informed, and leveraging your unique skills and knowledge, you can position yourself to recognize and capitalize on lucky opportunities.

Becoming a Probability Wizard

Probability, being a more quantifiable concept, can be used to make strategic decisions. By analyzing data, understanding market trends, and assessing risks, you can make informed choices that align with your business goals.

The Big Scheme Of Luck & Probability

Understanding the difference between luck and probability is essential for any business leader. While luck is often unpredictable and can’t be controlled, it can be recognized and leveraged through awareness, motion, and uniqueness. Probability, on the other hand, provides a more analytical approach to decision-making, allowing for calculated risks and strategic planning.

By embracing both luck and probability, you can create a dynamic and adaptable business strategy that takes advantage of unexpected opportunities while also making informed and calculated decisions.

“There are four types of luck… the fourth type is luck from uniqueness, like being the only person in town who can interpret interpretive dance.” – Sahil Bloom

Embrace both luck and probability in your business, and you may find yourself at the intersection of opportunity and success.

Christian Hatteway

Author and Journalist for GameTime and Millennial Entrepreneur Magazine. Co-creator of

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