Why You Should Never Say You’re ‘Lucky’ in Business
Say this instead
Say this instead
“You lucky F****r!”
I have a friend who’s a Fireman.
When he passed his entry exam and got the job, his trainee-friends who didn’t get in said that to him. “You lucky f****r!”
He’s a rascal, but not an idiot. With the work that he put in, he deserved to get that job.
But it got me thinking…
Why do people belittle our achievements as luck?
Luck suggests you had nothing to do with it. Like it was an unplanned mistake that can’t be repeated.
I don’t ever want to hire someone who’s lucky. A Financial Services Manager who’s lucky isn’t going to guarantee a return for me.
The car of an Uber driver who’s lucky isn’t where I’m going to feel the most safe.
Is there a better way to modestly accept praise, or give it, without attributing it to ‘luck’?
Lucky vs Fortunate
A close friend of mine equally hates the word ‘lucky’ when describing his success. He says ‘fortunate’ as luck implies there was no effort on his part.
He knew what his abilities were and put years of blood, sweat and tears into it — despite ridicule.
He’s famous within his industry, and prefers the term ‘fortunate’ when conveying his accomplishments…but neither him, nor you should have to soften success.
There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, that’s true.
Many stay slightly insecure to make sure they’re not crossing that line. Sometimes selling themselves and what they’re worth, short.
It’s okay to have faith in your ability and sell yourself. Nobody else will… Just don’t buy into your own hype. It can all be taken away from you in an instant.
Sidenote: Never call yourself a ‘guru’ as a suffix to anything.
What ‘luck’ telegraphs to potential clients, customers & staff
If you’re married, think about how you met your wife, or husband. Perhaps you’ve told that story as ‘a lucky encounter’?
Chance, yes. Luck, probably not.
In Business, perhaps you’ve told your local newspaper that your incredible growth was ‘good timing’ — and go on to say “we’ve been so lucky”.
As an employer and a consultant, it’s telegraphing to me that they didn’t really know what they were doing.
That’s okay to know, but not to promote.
Firstly, it belittles the staff that work to create the business or help it grow.
How do they feel, working 40 hours per week and having it being attributed to luck?
Not every business owner will know the exact path, but when selling a product or service to gain someone’s hard-earned money, you want them to feel comfortable with the result.
Is what they’re going to get ‘intentional’ or is it ‘luck’?
For the sake of modesty you can use these terms instead:
We’ve been very fortunate.
We had an advantage.
We capitalised on ‘x’.
A few chance circumstances and a lot of hard work led us to ‘x’.
We’ve built a fantastic team that continues to exceed our own expectations.
Being very selective early-on gave us an incredible perspective on ‘x’.
By using these lines instead, we can outlaw the word ‘lucky’ to only zero-skill instances of chance like a ‘lottery win’.
No good business can survive on luck alone. It takes hard work, knowledge and consistency. So let’s stop giving luck all the credit.