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Op-Ed: Is ‘Luck’ a Factor in Business?

Do you believe in business luck? My personal experiences with lady luck and events “out of my control” have contributed massively to my success.

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Being Lucky in Business

Another great example of luck I experienced in business occurred earlier on when I acquired a premium domain in the gold bullion retail industry. It was the first time I’d ever purchased a premium domain for five figures so it was a huge gamble, however, I also saw it as a good investment. And boy was I right. The month after I purchased it gold prices soared to a record high and I ended up referring more than £1 million in bullion sales through affiliate programs; making a 20% ROI in a single month.

Another example of good fortune is when I acquired the domain name Investing.co.uk in 2012. I paid quite a lot of money for it at the time, but justified it as a great long-term investment. Four months later I got an email from a friend showing me that Investing.com had just been sold for $2.5 million, one of the most expensive domain sales in history. Suffice to say, it made my acquisition look very, very cheap.

In fact, a lot of my best business ideas and most profitable websites were a stab at the dark or an idea born from a conversation with a friend. Arguably, however, the reason entrepreneurs make money is because they take these risks and see opportunities where others don’t.

But then ‘luck’ can go both ways, because very recently I was involved in a private auction for another premium domain. I had been the highest bidder all day until I was ousted by a snipe bid with 15s remaining. It  sold for 5-10x less than it was worth.

I’ve had plenty of other situations where luck played an important role in my business, such as landing a casino whale on a penalized site that earned me $10k in a day, or advertisers paying me $20k upfront when the actual value was closer to half.

And so here I am today, running a fairly successful business with a lot of industry experience and contacts, but still feeling like there’s so much in my business that is out of my control.
It’s not just my own personal situations where I’ve seen good fortune play a significant role in business. A friend of mine, who was a content writer, (I even hired him myself) ended up making a business contact through an online forum. By chance, his employer was a multimillion pound businessman and over the years grew and invested into a business with my friend who now has a shareholdings worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Although my friend has a great skill set and deserves all of his success, the way he met his business partner was completely out of the blue.

In conclusion, I’m not saying that luck is the main factor that contributes to the success of your business. Of course you should be in full control of the success of your business and not be dependent on factors outside of your control such as Google updates or Pay-per-click fees rising. However, I also think that small pieces of luck add up in the long run and help smooth over the growth of a business, such as hiring the perfect employee or meeting the ideal business partner at a conference.

From my own experiences, I’d say circumstances out of my control have had a 25%-30% impact on my business — which definitely makes it a viable factor in business.

 

Sam Miranda is a content strategist, marketer and affiliate business owner. He runs a network of gaming websites, offering tips and advice here. He also runs his own digital marketing agency. Follow him on Twitter.

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