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Big Break

Big Break

January 25, 2019 5:30 pmComments are Disabled

I read somewhere (perhaps from Mark Cuban) that entrepreneurs really only need to be really right, once. Preferably when everyone else is wrong.

I don’t think this is just for entrepreneurs. Artists need a breakout hit. Athletes need to win the big race. Artists need their magnum opus and writers need their Great American Novel.

Malcolm Gladwell, amongst others, credits genius and breakout hits to thousands of hours of hard, diligent work. But it’s not just the work that makes you successful. There is a heavy stroke of luck involved…not the type of luck one who hits a jackpot in Vegas would experience (that kind of luck comes cheap) but the type of luck Samuel Goldwyn referred to when he said “the harder I work, the luckier I get.”

Which is to say that success isn’t about blind luck, it’s about Woody Allen’s quip about showing up: people who are successful put in the hours, show up, and also have to get lucky. Hard work is only a prerequisite to success, as is smart work. Neither is a guarantor of success, but they both set you up for the opportunity to be lucky enough to make it big.

The hardest question to answer is: how do you know if you’re on the path to success? If you’re working hard and putting in the time, what if the lucky break never happens? I think the way you know the big break is coming is whether lots of opportunities for a big break are presenting themselves. The almost-deal with the publisher, the almost-tour booking for the band. I bet if you talk to most successful people, there were many false starts before the big break happened.

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