Good or Lucky
I grew up in San Diego, California, specifically in University City. (No, there were no universities near that part of town.) So naturally, I attended the fifth grade at one of the three local grade schools. That year, we got a new principal who transferred from one of the other two. We did not get along… But that’s another story.
The principal introduced a school-yard sport that was popular at his last school. It was called Ball Wall. Yes, an incredibly creative name. It involves two players, a volleyball, and a wall. The rules are precisely the same as playing one round of handball. Fantastically creative rules. It became a hit (pun intended), and we played it before, during recess, and after school. I was not physically talented, but I tried my best.
During all sports, it is expected to “trash talk.” The other players would psych a player out or annoy them to improve their score. Ball Wall was my first exposure to trash talk, and I quickly picked up the lingo. One popular insult occurred after a player scored a point, and the other player would claim “a lucky shot.” The retort was always, “Nah, it was pure skill.”
After the game, things would calm down, and we would talk. Often, the subject was whether it was better to be lucky or skilled. There are many schools of thought about this topic, and for sports, the census is that only winning counts, which means that the discussion was irreverent.
What about writing a book? A typical book has 120,000 words, and it is impossible to get lucky 120,000 times. A person can get lucky with a poorly written book with a great story or catchy title. (50 Shades of Grey is a fantastic title, but the writing…) However, talent and perseverance are required to structure the plot, develop characters, write, and edit. That is no accident, and the only luck involved is having wonderful people in your life to support your tedious efforts.
Luck plays a vital role in marketing, including knowing a publisher or attracting the attention of a big name. For example, Ronald Reagan made author Tom Clancy a household name with his endorsement.
Is luck more important than skill in marketing? Marketing is a combination of extreme perseverance and luck. This means working hard until you get your big break, which means making your own luck. “Chance favors the prepared mind.” - Louis Pasteur Alright, truth. I desperately need a lucky marketing break!
How about a blog? I come up with my topics during my daily activities. So, luck plays an important role, but I must appreciate and write about the subject. However, I am lucky that you read this blog.
You’re the best -Bill
April 12, 2023
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