Before I hit record on an interview for Creative Elements, I spend a little time talking with the guest. I share what they can expect in the interview, some of the themes I want to explore, and then we talk about their element.
I say to them:
“I like to orient each episode around an element of your personality, style, or approach that has helped you in your career…some people have said things like consistency, vulnerability, revision…does anything come to mind for you?”
And every so often…a guest says, “Oh yeah. Luck.”
My face lights up every time.
Because here’s the thing – whether a guest explicitly calls out the role of luck in their success or not, it’s almost always embedded somewhere in the stories they tell or the events that transpired.
And there are a couple of ways you can look at that:
- You can be annoyed or spiteful that YOU haven’t caught that break
- You can be excited about the luck that will be coming your way
I’m in the second camp. Because even though I often identify “luck” as a key ingredient for these creators reaching the heights they have, it’s not as if they rolled the creative dice one time and came out on top. No, their luck actually feels earned.
“Luck” lives in the world of odds or probability. We feel “lucky” when the odds are not in our favor, but we come out on top anyway.
Let’s say I give you a 10-sided die and tell you that once you roll a seven, I’ll give you $100. Odds are, you won’t roll that seven on your first roll. But if you did, you’d feel lucky!
But let’s say I didn’t limit your rolls either…I just told you that if you roll a seven, I’ll give you $100.
How many times would you roll that dice? With enough tries, you’ll probably hit that seven. And while that one role may still feel “lucky,” you improved your odds by taking more shots.
THAT is what I see in the stories of these creators.
Sure, they got lucky at one point in time…but it’s always after years of rolling the dice and fighting against the odds.
The odds were not good that I’d be able to earn meaningful revenue from a podcast. The odds are not good that anyone will care what I write about!
And for a long time (again, years) I did not earn meaningful revenue from a podcast, and very few people cared what I wrote about.
But I kept rolling the dice. I kept publishing. Each of those things I publish are their own lottery ticket in a way. You never know which one may hit!
And unlike actual gambling, the downside is so low. Sure, you’re losing some time. But what if you’re creating things you’re proud of – things you WANT to create anyway? Where’s the downside if they don’t hit right away?
I still haven’t experienced what feels like my “lucky” moment of inflection yet. But I know that it’s coming…because I’m continuing to take shots.
I can’t wait to see what MY “luck” looks like, and I’m excited to hear about yours too.