Ep #173: Luck vs Hard Work

Nothing gets me twitchier than massively successful people saying luck plays no part in their success.

And also, I wanna pound some tables when I hear people complain that some coaches get all the luck. It’s almost like … the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

In this episode, I break down the kinds of luck some people absolutely do enjoy on their way to the top, as well as how you can create some of that luck for yourself. And save this one for every time you start to think some coaches have all the luck while you struggle.

The doors to Free to Paid Coach are officially open! If you’re ready to learn the foundational concepts of confidence that get you from being a free coach to a paid coach who makes six figures and beyond, join us right now! 

What You’ll Learn:
  • Why there’s such a thing as luck ahead of time where you zero work
  • How privilege plays a role in luck
  • Why it’s important to acknowledge that doors may open for someone else that may not open for us
  • “After effect luck,” means doors were opened for you, but you still do the hard work
  • Societal conditioning of pitting ourselves from the haves and have-notes
  • The truth of luck is about nuance – it’s a combination of hard work and luck at the same time 
Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:
Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to episode 173 of The Confident Coaches Podcast, the one where we talk about luck versus hard work in making a coaching business.

Welcome to The Confident Coaches Podcast, a place for creating the self-confidence you need to do your best work as a life coach. If you want to bring more boldness, more resilience, and more joy to your work, this is the place for you. I’m Amy Latta, let’s dive in.

Hello my friends. It’s Amy, and I’m just going to tell you right now, I don’t have a lot of notes on this episode. So, this is going to be kind of a freeform conversation, rather than a step by step because this conversation is coming from so much of what we’ve been talking about lately in the coaching industry, what you need to thrive, how not to replicate some of the shadier shit that we see and something that keeps coming up.

I’ve had a lot of private conversations around the role of luck versus hard work when it comes to building your coaching business and. There are people and it tends to be people who’ve created tons of success. They’re some of the first people who will say, luck has nothing to do with this.

This is all hard work. Luck does not factor into any of this. No, I’m not lucky you can do this too. And on the opposite end of the scale, I think we can tend to see a lot of people who they’re working hard and not creating new results, and they’re like, luck has to factor it. You have to be lucky somehow, because otherwise, what the hell’s wrong?

And I think the too long. Don’t read on all of this is yeah, some coaches absolutely get lucky and also hard work is absolutely a factor. This is not a new conversation. I’ve been having this conversation. I. I’m almost positive since high school. I know for sure, I remember having conversations about kids who, just got better scholarship opportunities when they were applying for colleges and that they were getting into colleges or had shoe-ins to places that I couldn’t figure out, like how do I get some of.

 I remember this in college. I remember, how did get that in internship, and why aren’t I getting that internship? Why aren’t I getting those opportunities all through high school, all through college, all through my employment? Who got promoted in the office versus who didn’t.

Who do they know? I work as hard as they do. Why aren’t I being offered that? Why isn’t that coming my way? Or how did they get that job offer? They’ve been here six months, like I’ve been here six months, and now they’re moving into, a job that’s three times higher at a different company.

How is this even happening? And I think the simplest answer is anyone who says luck has no part of success is flat out lying. Luck absolutely comes into play and also anyone who says they’ll never get that lucky, so they can’t be successful.

We love to do this in society, don’t we? I don’t know if this is still western culture kind of thing, but at least here in the States, we really love to pit ourselves from like the haves and the have-nots, the lucky and the not lucky’s and it’s such a conversation that’s so prevalent and also not helpful at all.

To decide you’re in one camp or the other, because the truth is in the nuance. like most of life only like 99.9% of life is in the nuance. It’s a little bit of hard work and it’s a little bit of luck, but luck does play a role. Okay, and so let’s start with, there’s a couple different types of luck that I think of.

First of all, I think about the luckiness of how you were born. We might also consider these privileges, right? We hear a lot about a white privilege or wealth privilege. And this could also be classified as a luck because I had no say so in the type of family that I was born into or the type of body that I was born into, right?

So, some might say, I’m lucky to be able bodied and white and Christian passing. Are you able bodied? Do you, are you able bodied? Are you mentally healthy? Are you only taking care of yourself? Did you not have to worry other people’s needs? Do you have a family that has any kinds of means, and by means, I don’t even necessarily mean wealth, but you’ve been supported your whole life, you’ve been supported emotionally.

 Growing up we didn’t have a ton of money, but I have said it once. I’ll say it a million times. My mom’s the biggest cheerleader I’ve ever had. No matter what I’ve decided to do, she’s always been the first person to be like, I believe in you. That’s a little bit of luck. Not everybody has that in their corner, right?

And then, means in terms of my family wasn’t necessarily wealthy, but I was able to go to college. They were, they supported me through high school, and I was able to go to a school, not the one that I wanted to go to, but I was able to go to a school with all of my expenses covered, and they were able to help me with my living expenses. Is that luck?

 I didn’t do anything to create that. I had no say so in any of that, and not everybody does have that. So, this is the kind of things that are like, are you lucky to not have some of these obstacles in your way that someone else may have? I even created, it may or may not be published yet.

I don’t think that it’s going to be published on my website by the time this episode comes out. But I even created a values, privileges, and practice. For my website where I took the time to really think about like what is in my favor, right? My upbringing and my education. I grew up in a two-parent household.

It wasn’t an easy household. There was a lot of shit going on in that household. But I had emotional and financial support. I’m a white middle class suburban gal, right? And all that comes with that I spent 10 years in corporate marketing. My family has always cheered me on and been there for me.

I’m not necessarily religious, but I’m definitely Christian passing. So, I don’t ever have to worry about whether or not somebody’s not going to like my religious bent of any kind. I am in general of healthy body and mind. And I have no say so in any of that. That’s just what I was born into. Just who I am.

So those are some things that might be on your side that aren’t on somebody else’s side. And you might call them privilege, you might call them luck, but it is something that’s in your favor that is not an obstacle. You have to overcome that. Someone else may have to, and this is I guess if you wanted to call like the different kinds of luck, you kind of have luck ahead of time.

And then we also have like luck afterwards. There’s been a lot of conversation in the news about Nepo babies. Late winter, early spring of 2023 and a month or so ago big article came out about Nepo babies. These are all of like the children of big Hollywood stars.

In the debate around, of course, obviously they have it easier, they’re luckier, right? And I think there’s something to be said that having those connections gets doors opened for you, that luck ahead of time, which means you’ve done absolutely nothing. And it’s simply by where you were born into, or it happened upon, like you have put forth zero work so far and you already have doors open ahead of you.

That is real. When I see big celebrity entrepreneurs talking about hard work and bootstraps, and then you find out that they were married to a high-powered executive making a million dollars a year, you might have had some things on your side or that you come from a family of wealth, and you’ve never had food insecurity or housing insecurity.

This doesn’t mean that we beat ourselves up for the luck and the privileges that we have, but I do think it’s important to acknowledge that there are doors that were opened for us that were not automatically open for someone else. And that those are just obstacles we haven’t had to overcome.

I even think about, not even so much Nepo baby kind of things, but I think about you hear these stories about, people got discovered, just walking through a mall. They weren’t even trying to become a supermodel. And they were just born naturally beautiful. I remember hearing a story about Cindy Crawford talking about how she picked corn in a field and a model scout just happened to see her, and now she’s Cindy Craw ford.

So, there is that kind of luck also that literally you’re not even trying for the thing and happenstance happens. You just happen to meet somebody who says, hey , I think you’d be really amazing at this. And then they open those doorways for you. So even if it isn’t something you were born into or is familial privilege.

You can have luck just by being in the right place at the right time. That’s real. I think that’s a rare story, but it does happen that you have put no work. This is, remember we’re talking about luck beforehand, in which we haven’t even worked towards anything, and doors are opening.

And we’re just like falling into something that’s fabulous. It happens. We’ve seen these stories, and here’s the thing, I think these stories are so fantastical. I probably should have looked up the Cindy Crawford thing to really verify that I know what I’m talking about, but I know she’s not the first name I heard of where like she wasn’t trying to become a model.

Literally, somebody saw her and was like, you should be a model. And then she was like, okay. And then she became Cindy Crawford. We love these stories because there’s something fantastical about them, right? There’s something, a little fairytale princess about them. So, the media and we as consumers, we love to consume these stories, but they have a backwards effect on us, where we’re like if I am not just wandering the mall looking beautiful, I can’t become successful and amazing also, and I think this is where the conversation about the after-effect luck.

So, you have luck ahead of time and this is just like you’ve done nothing. You have not worked towards anything and you’re in the right place at the right time, or you have familial advantages.

And again, when I hear about mega celebrity entrepreneurs who are like, if I did it, you can too. And then you find out that they come from money, or I always think about I’m a self-made millionaire, yeah, and your dad loaned you $500,000 to get this business off the ground. You might have had a little luck ahead of time in your advantage.

Kendall Jenner, she’s an amazing example, I think of this entire conversation. She clearly had luck on her side, having been born into the family she was born into, doorways were opened for her. She’s a naturally beautiful human being. She has other celebrities already in the family. So, a lot of obstacles not in her way.

And yet you don’t become a self-made billionaire without the hard work, and this is where, let’s talk about after effect luck. And this is you’re working your butt off and you’re creating new results, and someone does recognize that and puts you on a stage, you get an endorsement from somebody who already has a platform, or you happen to be in the right room at the right time. Now you worked your way into that room. You’re not like Cindy Crawford just wandering cornfield who happens to be discovered or wandering the mall. You’re actively working, but you do happen to work yourself into a room where a doorway can be opened for.

and this I think I’ve seen the most, and I think this is really important when it comes down to oh, they just got lucky. There was a lot of work that came beforehand in order to be put on somebody’s radar. in order for them to say, hey, you should go stand on that stage and you should go offer your coaching program to everybody in this room.

Or, hey, I’ve noticing you. Why don’t you come on my podcast and talk more about what you do. But it took work before that luck opportunity could present itself. Is that still a piece of luck? Yes, because not everybody who’s worked that hard, who’s created the same results is going to get an invite. Guys, I’m going to be really honest with you .

I am so far over this. It’s not even funny, but it is a perfect story. Again, not something that’s even in my notes. It’s a perfect story for this. So, I went through a mentorship program with the founder of my coaching school years ago, and. It came down to, 10 people started, only four of us finished.

And of the four of us, I was the only one that was never put. And to this day, I have never been on that on that podcast. This is The Life Coach School Podcast, I’m talking about. I’ve done all that work, and I’ve just never been given the opportunity to be put on a platform like that.

And other people who were working with me by my side in those programs, three out of the four of us, I would be the one out of the four of us. , the other three got invited onto the platform. I did not. Are they lucky? I don’t know. . What I do know is fixating on that certainly wasn’t helpful, and that whether I’m invited on onto that platform or not doesn’t negate the hard work that I’ve done to even be in the space with those three other people who were, and yes.

Are there people who have built major platforms because. They got put onto somebody else’s platform and were given a giant boost, like she wouldn’t have become so-and-so if so-and-so wouldn’t have boosted ahead of time. I’m thinking about, I follow somebody on Instagram. His name is Brock Johnson, and he is phenomenal on Instagram.

his mom is Chalene Johnson , and long before he had his own platform, she talked about him and had him on her platform all of the time. So absolutely is there luck there, but there’s also hard work there, without the hard work. She’s not inviting her son on that platform to speak to her people.

And also, without that platform for him to come speak on, does he himself become a giant platform? We don’t know. And I think this becomes the crux of the conversation is do you believe you need that in order to be successful? And what I want to posit to you is no, what I want to propose to you is,

Luck is nice. Luck can happen when we’re least expecting it. And also, if you want to be one of these lucky coaches, you still have to work really hard, and no one can take that away from you and to really believe that it’s not required in order for you to have the level of success that you want. You can help create this by working your butt off, being in those rooms, pitching yourself to other people, deciding that you are worthy of being noticed.

I think this is really key. If I go back and think about it, I don’t know that I exuded the energy and the confidence that my coach might have been really looking for at the. . Do I believe I’m worthy of being noticed? Work on that belief that you not only deserve to be in the room, but that you can fill up all of the space of that room unapologetically.

When I look at the people who have benefited from the after effect of luck in their business, they have worked hard and then they owned the space that they were in, thereby getting that spot that, yes, it was lucky for them to be able to step on that stage and sell tons of spots into their program, and nobody else got that opportunity to do that.

But there was something about them that said, I deserve that, and I posit that success is coming to those people. , maybe it doesn’t come as fast. Maybe it’s not the stratospheric, maybe it’s not tens of millions of dollars, but it’s still beautiful, successful coaching and I think that’s ultimately the message here is that it is very disingenuous to say that luck doesn’t ever play a part into successful people.

 I do believe that we could look at their story and say, here’s where you caught a break that somebody else wouldn’t. Here’s another time where you caught a break where somebody else wouldn’t, but you’re also going to find a whole hell of a lot of hard work. All of those Nepo babies, they then continued to raise their hand.

They’re like, yeah. Doors opened. But if I wanted to continue have doors opened, I still had to perform. I still had to show up. Thinking about Kendall Jenner, did she have all kinds of obstacles, out of the way for her? Absolutely. Lots of luck on her side. Did she get meetings that, Jane Doe off the street isn’t going to get undoubtedly, but there’s no way you build a billion-dollar empire and not also work your ass off.

It’s a disingenuous to say that luck never plays a part and also hard work at the end of the day is what matters most and it’s the only thing that’s ever in your control. I had to get some coaching around being the one person of the group of four that didn’t get on my mentor’s podcast and really realize that I made it mean that was what was going to make or break my business .

If she put me on there, would I be a million-dollar coach by now? Maybe not. Also, that’s reinforcing my belief that I can’t do it without somebody else’s platform. Without that luck, my hard work isn’t enough. What I want to offer to you is your hard work is always enough to create a really beautiful business.

That creates an income that elevates your life right now and that changes the world with your ideas. And that to me is the most important thing, and that is available to every single one of you who is listening right now. Luck or no luck. So, I wanted to make this podcast a, because I do think it like really gets my hackles up when I see massively successful people go, luck had no part of this.

And I’m like, oh no, it did somewhere. Quit lying to the people, and also people, let’s acknowledge that while also saying your hard work is enough to create what you really want. It really is. It might take you longer. You might have to overcome more obstacles. You might have to solve more problems. And if you fixate well, so, and so didn’t have to do that.

And I do. And that’s not fair. That is energy you were putting into the wrong channel. That’s energy. You are not solving the problems of your best clients and telling them all about it over and over and over. , it’s not a good use of your brain energy. And right now, let this be the podcast episode where we all agree that there’s lots of luck out there and there’s lots of people who’ve made massive amounts of money and luck is a big reason why they’ve created that.

And also, that’s not brain energy you’re going to waste ever again because it doesn’t serve you. Go make your own damn luck by working hard for. And in full disclosure, I’ve talked about this so much in that it’s really funny because I used to be a person who really wanted to get lucky. I want that opportunity, and you want to know when I had those opportunities.

And here’s the interesting thing, I found out that being on somebody else’s platform and having them help me elevate my voice. , it happened, and it wasn’t congruent with me. It meant verifying some things that I don’t actually agree with, and I didn’t want to replicate myself, and I consciously chose to step off of anybody’s platform.

This time last year, last April, I consciously chose, I’m off of everybody else’s platform. I’m a person who’s going to create her own. I’m a person who’s going to work her butt off, and I’m not going to rely on those connections for my success. Because here’s the thing, when you rely on them, you forget the badass mofo brilliant human being made of all the cosmic stardust in the universe.

You forget about bad version of you. That is, you who has all of that knowledge and who deserves the right to fill up the space in every room that you are in unapologetically. And that’s what I wish for you. All right, my friend. That’s our conversation on luck versus hard work. Go create your own damn luck.

Go show the world what you’re made of. Oh gosh, it’s so damn beautiful. Okay, so when you hear this episode, if this is connecting with you, I would love to hear about it. Connect with me on social media at @iamamylatta on Instagram. Look for this in the stories. Tag me, share it. Let the people know I can’t wait to hear what you needed to hear today.

What did you need to hear today that really landed? Tell me. Let me know what that is, and I can’t wait to see what you create, and I’ll talk to you next week.

Coach, it’s time to sign your first free client, your first paid client, your next client, and to learn how to do it consistently and having a hell of a lot of fun along the way. This is exactly what you’re going to do in Free to Paid Coach. It’s the only program giving you step-by-step what to do to become a paid coach and step-by-step how to handle the roller coaster emotions that come with doing what you need to do to become a paid coach.

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Visit www.amylatta.com/ftpc to join us right now. See you inside. Let’s get paid, coach.

Thanks so much for listening to The Confident Coaches Podcast. I invite you to learn more. Come visit me at amylatta.com and until next week, let’s go do epic stuff.

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