Smart Luck: Changing My Trajectory in One Intuitive Move

4-Leafed CloverSix months ago, I had the honor of witnessing a panel of four successful women in hedge funds speak about their success. It was a dynamic discussion: serious at times, humorous at points, and philosophically fascinating in all aspects.  After a time, though, a strange common theme began to emerge….one that I couldn’t get my head around, but which now, all these months later, finally makes sense.

At first, I thought that each speaker was being humble or modest when they openly accredited their successes to, of all things, luck. Really? Luck? It began to disturb me. Were they actually playing old-fashioned female roles and diminishing their own power by downplaying their accomplishments?  It reminded me of how some women tend to instinctually sabotage their status by saying “I’m sorry” far too often.

Opportunity KnocksTom Keene

Then, just last month, I found a little luck of my own, and was finally able to put their joint statement into an enlightening context. While at a Bloomberg event to support a colleague, and gabbing with a friend (major networking faux pas), I saw Tom Keene, editor at large of Bloomberg News, and decided to tear away to introduce myself. In a rare moment of assertive behavior, I marched right up to the tall, bow-tied gentleman to leave my best positive impression on him. I’d formerly commented on a LinkedIn piece Tom had written, which he’d taken note of publically. He is a huge proponent of dining etiquette, and ever since my comment, Goldie’s Table Matters had stuck in his head. Now with a face put to my name, Tom exclaimed to his co-anchor Scarlet Fu that I need to be on their show! On May 30th, I found myself being interviewed by both Tom and Scarlet about WAC and Goldie’s Table Matters on Bloomberg Surveillance!

A Little Perspective

The entire experience made me realize that luck can be something more than “dumb luck” or finding too much meaning in coincidental circumstances. Smart luck is seizing the moment by taking advantage of an opportunity….the kind that we’re all faced with each day. 9 times out of ten we come up empty; It just takes that one intuitive assertion, and the prospect falls neatly into your hands. Will this change my life and result in a thousand companies banging down my door for my unique services? Probably not, but it’s been a necessary and empowering baby step.

Oh, and about that Bloomberg Surveillance interview: Check it out here! It will hopefully be the first of many.