by Carolyn Edlund
Many years ago, when I graduated with a degree in Art, I thought I would just start selling my work and make a living. I had no idea that I didn’t know what I was doing. In fact, I was totally clueless about the possibility that I could fail.
And so I approached my new business with a passion. It was very exciting! But passion for something in and of itself doesn’t make you successful.
Passion can help you be persistent, though. I firmly believe that persistence is the most important trait any businessperson can have. Fortunately, I was not only persistent in pursuing my dream of being an artist; I was relentless. It ended up paying off.
Of course, I ran into problems during those early days that I didn’t expect, and got knocked around a bit, just like anyone else starting out. The School of Hard Knocks taught me a lot – mostly what not to do. They were very important lessons, and I learned more from failing than I did from my successes.
Eventually, I established a full-time production studio, sold my work into hundreds of stores, and employed others to help me in my studio. I realized that I had accomplished even more than I’d envisioned when I started out. Of course, at the beginning I didn’t even have a plan – just a dream. A relentless one.
I’ve been told at times that I was lucky to have become successful with my studio business, but I knew better. I had made my own luck. And I knew other people who had done this, too.
“I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
I’ve got some theories about people who “make themselves lucky.”
- People who make their own luck keep a positive attitude despite the odds.
- People who make their own luck persist even when they get rejected or insulted.
- People who make their own luck understand that they need to meet the right people who can help them, because it’s not just how good your work is – it’s also who you know.
- People who make their own luck show up. That means that eventually they will be in the right place at the right time.
What other traits do you think “lucky” people have? Are you one of them?
Author Carolyn Edlund is the founder of Artsy Shark and a consultant working with artists and creative entrepreneurs on smart strategies for their businesses. Learn more about consulting services here.