Kaleidoscope 6/40: Sometimes you have to roll a hard six

Kaleidoscope 6/40: Sometimes you have to roll a hard six
Despite efforts, this looks nothing like Commander Adama. DALL-E

To me, 'Sometimes you have to roll a hard six' comes from the one and only Commander Adama in Battlestar Galactica.

In the real world, a hard six is rolling a pair of threes and comes from craps. According to the internets:

“Rolling a hard six has a probability of about 3% whereas rolling six by any other combination has about a 14% chance. A hard six pays 7 to 1 whereas a regular six pays only 7 to 6”

The gist is that sometimes, you've got your back against the wall and you just have to get lucky. So...

How Can I 100x My Luck?

Rolling a hard six isn't the only kind of luck out there. In fact, its the worst kind of luck, as dice are truly out of your control.

Many people seem to think that luck, in general, is like that — fundamentally outside of your control.

What lucky people know that others overlook is that luck is only one part of the equation.

I am a great believer in luck. I find the more I work the more I have of it.
- Thomas Jefferson

Luck is when an opportunity comes along and you're prepared for it.
- Denzel Washington

I could fill 10 pages with quotes that basically say this. But more work is a very hard way to more luck.

Just working more is not a good strategy.

Rather, we need to focus on optimizing every other variable in the equation for good luck.

Good Luck = Quality x Strategy x Repetitions

But what does that even mean? (ha)

A million years ago, back in my very first business, when I was coaching job seekers and writing their resumes, I used to talk about this a lot.

The average job seeker has an okay resume that they use to apply for a handful of job postings.

Average quality, bad strategy, moderate repetitions.
This is most people.

The hyper motivated who came to me were applying to upwards of 30 places a week! (This was before 'click to apply') – and they had better luck because they had really put their finger on the repetitions side of the equation.

Others had much better luck after working with me because we really increased their perceived quality — their resume, story and self confidence was markedly improved because of our work together.

But what I found moved the needle the most was to focus on was their strategy — a novel strategy could often 100x their chance of 'getting lucky'.

We used strategies that would help you stand out — like designing your resume to match the branding of the company you were applying for (this used to work ridiculously well) — and strategies that would get you to the front of the line (like informational interviewing, which also used to work stupidly well). As always, the best strategies change with time.

I can attest that when it comes to luck, there is a lot we can do... but 'repetitions' is in the formula for a reason — its also a numbers game.

Honest content creators will tell you that you rarely have any idea what is going to go viral (and its almost never your 'best stuff').

Dealing with the uncertainty and failure on the path to luck can be really difficult. Especially when you start to question yourself in the middle of a dry spell.

But when I'm not feeling lucky is when I lean on my luck formula even harder — re-examining what I might be missing, or what I can optimize.

And then I take another swing.

Heres to 100x luck,