“I just got lucky” is probably one of the most overused phrases in Hollywood success stories.
Just the other day, I was talking to a coworker about his success story, and he said “I just got lucky that my neighbor helped me break in.”
And then he said, “If it weren’t for that neighbor, I would have never made it.”
Hearing stories like this over and over again make it no surprise that most people believe that they have to get lucky to be successful in Hollywood.
Let me ask you: Do you believe it’s all about luck and timing, so you’re waiting for your lucky break? Is that why you haven’t reached the level of success yet that you’re hoping for?
I know I’ve called myself “lucky” in the past, when recalling my own success story. But after 8 years of building my career in television, I now believe luck has nothing to do with it.
Here’s the thing—what I’m about to share with you might sound a little like “luck”. It might sound like luck in disguise, like I’m just using different words. But I’ve learned that the words we choose can shape our entire career. So while it may seem like semantics, these words have a more profound impact than for which you’re giving them credit.
Abraham Hicks has an incredible quote:
“People get to the dock, and they think they missed their boat. But there is always another one coming.”
I know. I need to take a moment with that one, too!
There is always another one coming.
Similarly profound words were spoken by one of my heroes, Phoebe Buffay, when Joey thought he had just blown his one big break:
“I mean, I don’t think you just get one shot..”
Your Hollywood dreams will not rest on just one big break or one moment of luck.
If you REALLY WANT your dream, I’m talking, with ALL YOUR HEART, the universe will deliver many moments of “luck” when you’re ready.
Over the course of my career, I have had many opportunities, and many mess-ups. No matter how long I was unemployed, or what jobs I didn’t get, I was still able to build a wildly successful career spanning over 20 television shows.
I've learned that having the mindset that “it’s all about luck,” can be dangerous to your career because it forces you to take a passive role in your Hollywood pursuit.
One contact that I made in the very beginning, through cold emailing, ended up helping me book work for 7 years.
And yes, it’s easy to say, “Wow! You got so lucky with that contact!”
While I am deeply grateful for that opportunity, I know that I would have still been successful if I never made that contact. I would have found another way in because I wanted it that badly.
Let me take a hot second to break down what “luck” really is.
If you think about it, luck is simply an opportunity that grants your wish.
Sometimes it feels like the opportunity fell out of the sky.
Sometimes it feels like all the stars aligned to make this opportunity work out for you.
But not matter where it comes from, or how it feels, at the end of the day, it’s just an opportunity that grants your wish.
And what I’ve come to learn is that these opportunities can be created—as many times as you want (and you can create yours right now by plugging in your own dream career to my Lucky Formula free download).
You don’t have to wait for luck to fall into your lap. You can create your own opportunity that grants your wish.
So (in my best Genie voice), what is your wish?
If I could make luck happen for you, what wish would you like granted?
I’m going to throw one out there as an example: let’s say your wish is to book a role on a TV show.
If the only way that could happen is to get a lucky break, how would you pursue that dream?
What actions would you take to make that dream happen?
If you truly believed it’s all about luck and timing, you would meet that goal halfway, expecting luck to kick in the other half.
You’d always be waiting and wondering when your lucky break was going to come.
Even though you’d be taking some action, like auditioning, your mindset would be taking a passive role in your pursuit.
In order to create success much sooner, you have to take a more active role in your pursuit.
And if you're truly meant to do what you want to do, waters will part to make it possible.
If luck really is simply an opportunity that grants your wish, how can you create those opportunities?
“Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”
If the opportunity is what you want, then you have to prepare for that opportunity.
See, things like getting discovered in a shopping mall (does that happen in real life?!), or cold contacting someone who ends up helping you for 7 years, or having a neighbor who can break you into the industry, feel like they are completely random and lucky.
But those opportunities come around more often than you realize, if you’re open to them and are prepared.
What does being “prepared” even mean?
It means doing your homework.
It means doing everything in your power to physically and mentally be ready to seize the opportunity when it comes your way.
In order for Simon to press the golden buzzer and grant your wish as you’re showered with gold confetti, you have to show up and put yourself out there.
How do you want to show up?
One of my big dreams is to buy a house in the Hollywood Hills. It’s something that I deeply want, so I can have space for my family to come for extended visits. There is also something about the night view of Los Angeles that lights me up with inspiration, and I want to feel that every day.
I could wait for luck and play my chances at the lottery, in order to grant my wish of earning half a million dollars a year.
But I’ve chosen to show up differently.
I’ve chosen to prepare, so that I’m ready when the opportunity comes my way.
My “preparation” looks a lot like research. I’ve researched real estate, jumbo mortgages, calculated monthly payments, and gone to open houses.
Whenever my opportunity comes to buy a house, I’m going to be ridiculously ready.
How can you prepare? What does preparation look like for your dream? What can you do to be ridiculously ready when your lucky opportunity comes your way?
Once you nail that down, the second step is to create your own opportunities.
The universe will take notice of your preparation. It will see that you’re ready, and it will deliver “lucky” opportunities. But they won’t occur if you’re sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring.
How can you put yourself in places that opportunities could happen?
Jack Canfield, co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series and multi-millionaire, says there are two types of actions you can take: obvious actions and inspired actions.
Obvious actions are like going to auditions, or casting workshops.
Inspired actions are like intuitively being led into a random coffee shop where you meet someone who becomes your agent.
“Luck” will find it’s way to you through either type of action.
What obvious actions can you start taking to up your chances of getting lucky?
What inspired actions can you take? If you’re not sure, spend some time and get more in tune with your dream (and download this freebie Lucky Formula to figure out the specifics). Visualize it happening. Write down your goals and read them out loud every day. That’s when inspiration will begin coming to you.
Luck is simply an opportunity that grants your wish.
Oh, and I forgot to tell you:
You’re the Genie.
You can grant your own wish.
What are you waiting for?