What image does the word “luck” create in your mind?

I visualize Harry Potter’s “liquid luck” potion. In the novel, this lucky potion created extraordinary circumstances for Harry that helped him accomplish the almost-impossible task Dumbledore had assigned him.

My concept of luck has always been centered around circumstance. I understood luck as a result of favorable probability- a spontaneous strike of fortune. In Harry’s case, the potion made sure that all the odds were in his favor: the people he ran into, the timing of his actions, etc.

But is luck really just a matter of coincidence?

I recently read about a businessman who wrote fiction during his free time. On a plane ride during a business trip, he happened to sit next to a man from a well-known publisher. On the plane ride, the publisher made small talk with the businessman and came to read one of his stories. Thoroughly impressed, the publisher offered to publish the story. In a matter of time, the businessman became a well-known author.

Sure, it was an extreme coincidence that the businessman happened to sit next to this publisher on the same plane at the same time. But consider this: the businessman must have been friendly enough that he made small talk with the publisher. He must have been outgoing and brave enough to show the publisher his story. He must have been witty enough to seem that he was a good man to work with and make profit.

In other words, it is not enough to sit and hope for a lucky coincidence. Whether you are establishing your startup or waiting for that next funding, it is crucial to develop yourself and your company so that when you strike gold, you can be ready to grab it.

-  Hanna Suh, CMO

James Chang-Davidson