Create Your Own Luck

You can’t buy it and you can’t sell it – and what’s more, the harder you try to hold on to it, the more likely it is to vanish faster than a gambler’s lucky streak.

Because, whether good luck or misfortune, it is not a thing; it’s the label we put on it, after it has already happened.

So, assuming that we all would prefer good luck to the opposite, what is this thing called luck?

The following might give us some insight.

It is a real-life story about creating your own luck, by seeing opportunity in problems and expanding into the demand.

Here’s the story.

If you were in the market for a watch in 1880, where would you get one?

It sounds funny now, but if you wanted the best watch you went to the train station.

Why?

Because the station agents were also skilled telegraph operators as that was the primary way that they communicated with the railroad. They had to know when trains left the previous station and when they were due at their next station.

And the telegraph operators had to have the best watches.

A man named, “Richard” who was a telegraph operator himself, and he was a man who saw the opportunity in a problem.

He was on duty in the North Redwood, Minnesota train station one day when a load of watches arrived from the East. It was a huge crate of pocket watches but no one ever came to claim them.

So Richard sent a telegram to the manufacturer and asked them what they wanted to do with the watches. The manufacturer didn’t want to pay the freight back, so they wired Richard to see if he could sell them.

So Richard did. He sent a wire to every agent in the system asking them if they wanted a cheap, but good, pocket watch. He sold the entire case in less than two days and at a handsome profit.

This is when things started getting interesting.

He ordered more watches from the watch company and encouraged the telegraph operators to set up a display case in the station offering high quality watches for a cheap price to all the travelers.

It worked!

It didn’t take long for the word to spread and, before long; people other than travelers came to the train station to buy watches.

Richard became so busy that he had to hire a man named Alvah, a professional watchmaker, to help him with the orders. The business took off and soon expanded to many other lines of dry goods. Richard and Alvah left the train station and moved their company to Chicago — and it’s still there.

The name of the company started by Richard Sears and his partner Alvah Roebuck was “Sears, Roebuck and Co.

From its mail order beginnings, the company grew to become the largest retailer in the United States by the mid-20th century, and its catalogs became famous.

The moral is as simple as it is powerful: Keep your eyes open and your powder dry and you too can create your own luck.

Look around, you’ll find that opportunities abound. You just have to look for them.

Finally, I want to pass along one final tip for attracting good luck:

Good luck can’t find you if you’re not being yourself.

I know it sounds a bit strange, but it’s looking for you, and if “nobody’s home” good luck will never find you!

The three steps to creating your own luck are:

  1. Attract good luck by being yourself.
  2. Practice looking for opportunity in problems.
  3. Expand into the demand.

daniel w. jacobs
(c) 2011-2030, all rights reserved

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