A mentor of mine once said "luck is preparation meeting opportunity"; in fact in business there really is no such thing as "luck" because, unlike the lottery, you master your own destiny. If you do things the right way, the chances of success in running a business are exponentially higher than those of that certain little yellow ticket turning to gold.

Did you know that the odds of coming away with this week's jackpot are astronomical? If the average line of Lotto measured 1cm then all the possible combinations would stretch in distance from here to Wellington and back. Therefore, quite why rational human beings like myself front up every week to pay this pseudo tax is puzzling at best.

Of course, the marketing is very professional, effective and appeals to every emotion in life pertaining to bettering yourself and your situation. "What would you do?" screams one advertisement. "If I ever win I'll let you know" I mutter back to the TV (talking to inanimate objects ... not ideal).

Lotto is a quick fix, and life and business requires anything but. To succeed in business you need to be prepared and make good decisions. The better you understand your business processes, your clients/customers and the environment you operate in, the more likely it is you will make better decisions and then the more success you will have. If you take the view that you control your destiny then there really is no place for luck, as it was up to you all along. The realisation of this will better enable you and your business to grow. Because if you dispense with "luck" as a driver, success becomes about effort and application (together with good decision making).


It may sound simplistic, but if you work hard and are committed to it, your business will be stronger and, through improvement, more resilient than when it started.

Last Wednesday night a project I was involved with saw months of planning and preparation turn into an enjoyable first outing into the world of musical performance. The band that I am part of (called Vinyl) debuted at the fantastic Lucky Bar. When it comes to performing, the key is lots of practice and preparation. Leaving things to chance (aka "luck") and sitting back and hoping for the best doesn't work. This is especially the case when the numbers attending your performance significantly exceed expectations (thank you very much to everyone who attended) and the adrenalin kicks in.

On the night, the instrumental band were pretty much flawless, and that was due to the hard work which had been put into rehearsing and behind-the-scenes practice refining the songs we performed. Drums, bass, keyboard, trumpet and lead guitar were all outstanding. Having now reviewed video of the event I think I did OK singing but there is plenty of room for improvement on my part – and that will include more singing lessons with the excellent Lynn Whiteside and more performances. And that is great because I know that if I put the work in I will get better – even if I move like Peter Garrett in permanent slow-mo (his Australian MP years rather than the Midnight Oil years).

Whether it is personal, business or if you are contemplating a foray into the arts you can increase your chances of success by having an appropriate strategy, the right mindset/approaches and the right support. Without them, or if you don't put in the hard yards, the chances of success are more like the "one in 38,383,799" lottery ticket (and it won't sound beautiful).