I’d hear this all the time when my kids were infants and toddlers and I’d run into someone who found out I was working from home.
The “accusation” of being lucky, somehow didn’t QUITE feel right, but I’m not a complainer. And the truth was, I DID feel “lucky.”
I’d quit my job cold turkey,
with an infant
and a mortgage,
$213 in the bank,
and no back up plan…
I invested $50 in my start up “business”
with no mentors
and only one strategy:
“figure out things to do from home to earn money”
and somehow, it was working out.
And so when I’d see someone I hadn’t seen in a while and I said I was working from home, I’d hear what would become one of the most common phrases:
“Oh, you’re so lucky. I’d love to do that.”
So, I’d dig in…
telling them exactly how I did it,
enthusiastically sharing how THEY could do “it” too…
while also honestly explaining some of the “hidden” realities:
- working while babies and husband slept.
- nursing while typing with one hand to meet a deadline
- having no “down time,” as down time for any other member of my family was ON time for me… as I was full-time caregiver AND full-time earner without even part-time help.
I was still the quintessential housewife.
I grocery shopped.
I paid the bills.
I didn’t clean WELL, but I still made an effort.
Neither of my youngest children EVER took a bottle — not even once, not even a bottle of breast milk — and so I was literally present for each and every meal. (Which, incidentally, I never thought of until later. It was just a normal and natural part of my life and I wouldn’t change a minute of it.)
It wasn’t long into these conversations that I’d hear the second most common phrase… a simple, nondescript, absolute and total rejection of my particular brand of “lucky:”
“Yeah.. I could never do that.”
“oh.” I’d say… “Okay.”
GEEZ, maybe I wasn’t lucky at all…
Maybe I was a hustler.
Maybe I was just one of those that stubborn, uncontrollable women who saw what she wanted and RAN after it…
not glancing from side to side wondering about the wisdom in my sprint or the risks in my decision…
but just running FULL OUT after what was important to me.
Maybe the old adage was true… the harder I worked, the luckier I got.
Fast forward 18 – 19 years and here I sit.
Hearing the same simple, nondescript, absolute and total rejection to any variety of my suggestions:
You should write a book.
Why don’t you show up daily? TEST IT… for 3 months.
Maybe you should just reach out and ask for the business.
Double your pricing.
Fire that (drag of a) client.
“Yeah… I could never do that.”
I’ll confess… I don’t believe in luck.
Honestly, I don’t.
Send me one or 100 of those “send this along to 5 people and you’ll be lucky” things and I delete every single one…. even when the “consequence” of NOT sending that “lucky” email along is 7 years of “bad luck.”
Because I don’t believe in good OR bad luck.
I believe in CAUSE and EFFECT.
If I want something in my life, a specific EFFECT…
I do everything within my power to CAUSE it to happen.
Call me a simpleton, but that’s the way I believe it works.
So, here are 4 things I do DAILY — and have done DAILY for ALL of my 19 years in business — that cause me to be “lucky:”
- I wake up early. Not on most mornings, but on every morning. Over the past nearly 20 years, I’ve woken up AT LEAST before 6 AM 355 out of 365 days a year. Getting a jump on my day allows me to do the most important work before “people” starts to happen. Working for 2 hours uninterrupted is like working for 6 hours while distracted.
- I do the work, even when I feel like NOT doing the work. This is one of the blessings of starting out BROKE. I did the work even when I didn’t want to because I needed to be paid. Even when I got out of that “eat what I kill” financial cycle, my work ethic remained. I show up, every day and do the work I am meant to do. And then, “luckily” the money also shows up.
- I do AT LEAST one thing EVERY SINGLE DAY to move my business forward. This can be a phone call, a sales page, media outreach… something to break out of maintenance mode and take NEW ground. When I was in the early years of my business, I’d take ONE new sales action per day. Now, I take ten. In launch mode, I do 30 things EVERY DAY to make my goals a reality. But, I started with just ONE action every day to move my business forward.
- I take chances and risk failure on the regular. Shying away from this serves only to keep me playing small… so, I have conditioned myself to TAKE RISKS regularly… I have become okay with failure. I’ve made peace with it… because SUCCESS lives in the land of FAILURE. (P.S. There IS no land where success lives all by itself.)
So, you know…