Sunday 15 January 2023

How to be "lucky" in business?

Luck is one of the most misunderstood terms in the context of Business and professional success. Many people think that luck is something that God gives to some people, out of nowhere. That's not true. Let's understand how luck really works.

If you look closely, we call some event luck, when it happens without us taking a direct conscious effort to make it happen. For instance, a struggling startup suddenly gets a large client. We call it luck. An out-of-form cricket player plays amazing innings. We call it luck.

The reality is that luck is an outcome/result where we can't directly "connect" the effort. That doesn't mean that the outcome happened "without" the effort. For instance, we all saw the story of Flatheads founder on Shark Tank where he has become famous overnight. It might seem like he was extremely lucky. What we all forget is that to get to this luck, he spent almost a decade trying out multiple startups that didn't work as expected.

His story and efforts over a decade took him to the Shark Tank stage. He has spent his own money to pay the salaries of his team members. As Aman Gupta said - "he's down, but he's not out". He didn't put a conscious effort to do marketing on Shark Tank and so, the marketing he received and the efforts he put in over a decade, aren't really "connected". At least not directly. But then without that decade worth of effort, he wouldn't have had that "luck" of becoming famous overnight.

Another form of luck is when you don't really do anything special, but just persist, and you achieve success because the circumstances change. Let's take an example.

We all saw the success of ChatGPT and the crazy marketing it received on Social Media. Isn't it the new hot thing? Yes. But do we know that Open AI is not a "new" company? They have been persisting for 7 long years now. What seems like their lucky moment happened because they did what they were supposed to do, but the world shifted from Crypto and NFTs to AI and so, they are now able to surf that wave.

Same for Cogno. Covid was a breakthrough event for us. We didn't do anything extraordinary. Covid came and companies struggled to get their call centers and Customer support in place. So what did they do? They all wanted Chatbots for automating their support. After 3 years of struggle and a cofounder exit, we suddenly started getting exponential traction. And in roughly 18 months since Covid happened, we got acquired in a life-changing multi-million dollar transaction.

Was it luck?

Yes, it was luck for those who don't understand the true definition of luck.

For me, who has actually lived this whole journey, it wasn't luck. It started back in 2011 when I took the decision to do something big and prepare for IIT JEE and crack it with a top 50 rank. That was 2 years of rigorous efforts, followed by 4 rigorous years at IIT Bombay, trying to convert me into the best version, and then another 1.5 years of trying to find a product/market fit and then a sudden Cofounder exit and then another 1.5 years of roaming in the streets of BKC and Lower Parel areas of Mumbai to sell to every enterprise I could.

So, for me, it definitely wasn't luck.

What is luck for you?

I have shared a lot of my learnings about Business and Entrepreneurship on my YouTube Channel. Please check it here:

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