It might be luck, but you have to buy the ticket

There was a good, faithful man who had worked hard all his life. As as he was nearing retirement, his wife fell very ill and he lost all his money caring for her until she passed away. So there he was: old, bent, alone and penniless, and he was very sad. So he started praying to God to let him win the lottery, so that his old age might have some comfort. And he prayed and he prayed: "I have been so good, Lord, let me win the lottery." And nothing happened. So he did it again, and again. This went on for years. 

Eventually he was quite mad. He shook his fist at the sky and cursed the heavens and shouted: "I have been so good, I have worked so hard all my life, why can’t you just let me win the lottery." And the heavens opened up and the voice of God boomed from the sky: "go and buy a bloody ticket already!"

So there you have it. We make our own luck. Or at least: we navigate ourselves into the position of possibly being lucky. And that’s what startups really are: the very small chance of making “it” big.

But you gotta buy the ticket. 

P.S. I am at Techsylvania this week and this is the opening of my talk there.