Success Is Just a Matter of Luck — Ask Any Failure

I saw an interesting piece of career success advice the other day. It was a quote from Earl Wilson, the now departed syndicated columnist. I used to read his gossip column about New York and Broadway before I had a real understanding of what he was talking about. I loved the way, he ended his columns – “That’s Earl baby.”

On to the quote — “Success is simply a matter of luck. Just ask any failure.”

I like this quote because it shows us that life and career success is much more than a matter of luck. Career success takes hard work, dedication and the willingness to commit to taking personal responsibility for yourself and your career success.

Tweet 33 in my career mentor book, Success Tweets says, “Take personal responsibility for your career success. No one will do it for you. Adopt the motto, ‘if it’s to be, it’s up to me’.”

When you take personal responsibility, you eliminate blame, stop complaining, and stop being a victim. You take charge of your life. You demonstrate your commitment to taking personal responsibility for your career success by responding positively to the people and events and events in your life – especially when they are less than positive. I frequently offer this advice to my career mentoring clients.

I had an opportunity to test myself on this one a while back. I got up very early to post my blog. When I got to my office – two floors down from my bedroom, my computer was frozen. I could move the cursor, but could not actually open a document – or do anything else for that matter.

I was the first guy in line when the Geek Squad opened at 8:30. My buddy Nate was there. I showed him the machine and explained the problem. He found a minor virus, deleted a few files and said I was good to go. I went home, and the machine worked – for about a half hour. I went back to the Geek Squad and Nate worked on the problem for the second time.

When I got back to my office, I was able to post to my blog. Then it happened again. Completely frozen.  I called Nate and told him I would bring the machine in for a full diagnostic – and pay the 24-hour service premium. I got back in my car, drove to the Geek Squad and dropped off the computer.

I had been meaning to read a couple of novels I had picked up the week before. I figured my computer problems presented an excellent opportunity to spend that afternoon and the following day doing just that. However, in the middle of all this, I realized that I was being presented with a challenge to see if I could walk my talk when it comes to reacting positively to the negative events in my life. Reading novels instead of working would not be demonstrating my commitment to taking personal responsibility for my career success – even if no one else knew I’d blown off a day and a half.

I knew that I couldn’t do everything I wanted to do with my backup computer. But there were things I could do. I chose to figure out what I could accomplish without the use of my main machine and set out doing it. I could still write, but not post,  blog posts. I could still continue developing learning modules for my membership site. That’s what I did those days. And that’s my career success coach advice to you – when you run into problems, don’t blame them on bad luck, don’t complain about what you can’t do, figure out what you can do and then do it.

The common sense point here is simple. Successful people don’t rely on luck. They commit to taking personal responsibility for their lives and careers. They choose to respond positively to the people and events in their lives – especially the negative people and the unexpected and uncontrollable problems. They keep moving forward. They don’t get distracted in their quest to create the successful life and career they want and deserve. They follow the career advice in Tweet 33 in Success Tweets. “Take personal responsibility for your success. No one is going to do it for you. Adopt the motto, ‘If it’s to be, it’s up to me’.” Have you committed to taking personal responsibility for your career success? How do you react when life throws those inevitable curve balls your way? Do you choose to move forward, finding ways around life’s little problems? As a career success coach, I hope so, because that’s the choice that will put you on the path to career success.

That’s my career advice on not relying on luck. What do you think? Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment. As always, thanks for taking the time to read my daily musings on life and career success. I value you and I appreciate you.

Your career mentor,


PS — You can download a free copy of Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained at  When you do I’ll begin sending you daily motivational quotes and give you a free basic membership in my career mentoring site.


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