Are Millionaires Just Lucky?


Tom Corley boats - crop

In my speaker role, I am often asked by someone, “How important is luck with respect to becoming rich?”

It’s a very good question.

There are certain self-made millionaires (Saver/Investors), where luck does not play much of a factor. These millionaires become rich by saving and prudently investing their savings. Time, more than luck, is the overriding factor in accumulating wealth for these types of millionaires.

For the entrepreneurs or those chasing some dream, however, luck becomes a major variable in their success equation.

With respect to these entrepreneurs/dreamers, I learned that, through their daily habits, they tee’d themselves up to become lucky. I even gave the unique type of luck they create a name – Opportunity Luck.

In order to understand Opportunity Luck, you need to understand luck in general. There are four types of luck:

  1. Random Good Luck
  2. Random  Bad Luck
  3. Opportunity Good Luck and
  4. Detrimental Bad Luck

Random Good Luck

This is a type of luck that no one has control over. It’s like winning the lottery, receiving an inheritance from an old relative you didn’t even know you had or simply being born into a rich family.

Random Bad Luck

When people say they have no luck, they usually mean they have no good luck. The fact is, we all experience luck in our lives. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s random bad luck. Getting hit by lightening, your employer going bankrupt, war breaking out in your country, being born with color blindness or being a jew in Germany between 1939 – 1945 are all types of Random Bad Luck.

Opportunity Good Luck

This is the type of good luck that entrepreneurs and dreamers create. How? They do certain things that create the opportunity for good luck to occur in their lives.

  • They pursue a dream. The dream requires fast learning, so they read a lot about anything related to their dream. This new knowledge opens their eyes to opportunities that were previously invisible to them. Seeing opportunities means you can pursue them. Opportunities that pay off, create good luck.
  • They take risks. What makes a risk a risk, is the impossibility of knowing everything you need to know in order to succeed. As a result, mistakes are made. These mistakes teach you what works and what doesn’t work. Mistakes help you stumble onto unique processes that help automate success. These new processes create good luck.
  • They experiment. Like risk, experimentation reveals what works and what doesn’t work. Same outcome as taking risks – you stumble upon unique process that help you automate success. These new processes create good luck.
  • They forge good habits. When you are chasing a dream, almost by default, you must create goals in order to realize your dream. Embedded in every goal is action. Actions that work, you habitualize. These new habits help automate success and create good luck.

Detrimental Bad Luck

This is a type of bad luck that finds residence in the poor and the struggling. Why? They do certain things that manifest this bad luck. I call these certain things, Poor Habits. These include, overeating, never exercising, not reading every day for self-improvement, watching too much T.V. and many others. Each Poor Habit is like a snowflake on a mountainside. In time, these snowflakes build up until you experience an avalanche of bad luck. This might be a heart attack, getting fired from your job, or bankruptcy.

You only need to worry about luck if you are an entrepreneur or chasing some dream. Those who save and invest aren’t really dependent on luck.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. The poor also are targeted. The poor do not write policy or laws, the rich do. The rich create laws that benefit them and further disadvantage the poor. Your statements present a false picture that the poor are 100% to blame for their poverty. For instance, you continually talk about poor habits being the choice to eat unhealthy food. Well in some places, people are born into, through no fault of their own, poor neighborhoods that have no good quality grocery stores with fresh produce and good meat. This is called a food desert.

    It would be nice if you would stop harshly blaming the poor for their situation as if they are one solid block of people and all caused their situation. I know you probably don’t give a thought to any thing I am saying because you are probably just needing comments for the blog.

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