Please don’t say I’m lucky

“Oh my God, you are so lucky!”

I’ve heard it my entire life. Maybe you have, too. It drives me crazy.

Luck assumes that things just fall in my lap, like a leprechaun just appeared with his pot of gold and a few wishes. Luck assumes that the process was easy. Luck assumes that I had no part to play in the outcome other than the fact that I somehow had good luck.

When I got my first job in accounting, I was told I was lucky. I’m sure it had nothing to do with my GPA or the fact that I sent out resumes to every accounting firm within driving distance of my house, praying that one of them would give me an internship.

When I had the opportunity to talk to one of the big four accounting firms, I was told I was lucky. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that I joined a networking group and one of the women in the networking group was a partner for that firm.

When I started teaching, I was told I was lucky. The job did not appear in my lap. I sent dozens of resumes to every college within driving distance of my house, many of them a stretch. My resume happened to be in someone’s email box when the college needed someone less than two weeks before the start of the semester.

When we went to Italy a few years ago, I was told I was lucky. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that we worked very hard to pay off $70,000 in credit card debt and saved to pay cash for the trip.

My entire life, I have put myself in places that created opportunity. I networked, sent resumes and made connections. I also worked hard. There has never been a leprechaun at the end of the rainbow.



There have been a lot of long days, working weekends, and sleepless nights. There were tears, frustration and cancer. We’ve had failures and successes. We still have a long way to go.

The next time you are tempted to say that someone is lucky, think of the work that person put in to get where he/she is today. Rather than assuming it is blind luck, inquire about how he/she got there. You might learn something.

If you are one of those “lucky” people, just remember one of my favorite quotes from Jon Acuff’s Start:

shareasimage (3)

Do people ever tell you that you are lucky? How does it make you feel?