Five Ways to Increase Your Luck


Who doesn’t want to be a little more lucky?

I’m not talking about winning a $100 million lottery jackpot either.  I’m talking about those little things.  You know, the teams or individuals who consistently get the ball to bounce in their direction at critical times over and over again. Wins and losses.  That type of lucky.

The best selling author, Jim Collins, explored the topic of luck in his latest NY Times best-selling book, Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck–Why Some Thrive Despite Them All.  It’s a fantastic read and one I definitely recommend.  

Lets face it, we’ve all said it.  “That guy is soooooo lucky,” we say to ourselves under our breath when we’re a jealous bystander to someone else’s success.  What we’re really saying is we wish we understood how to be more lucky in our own lives, and I’m not talking about hitting a few more 5’s on the blackjack table when dealt 15’s and 16’s.

Below are FIVE key elements I use to create my own luck:

  1. Learning: The more I continue to push myself to learn from a wide variety of individuals, the wider viewpoint I have when facing new opportunities.  No one can learn everything, so I have a tremendously long road ahead with no end in sight.  However, if I strive to learn a little more each day, I’m a great deal closer to my goal than I was a year ago.  The more I learn, the better prepared I am to see opportunities others may miss and manage challenges effectively.
  2. Outgoing: Help someone else get what they want and in most circumstances, you get what you want.  This just seems to be the way the world works, right?  I don’t know if I believe in karma, but the bucket containing the saying, “what goes around, comes around” holds water.
  3. Preparation: I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying from ancient philosopher Seneca, “luck is where preparation meets opportunity.”  I believe in it and think it’s why each of us is the creator of our own luck.  Those without luck aren’t creators and likely aren’t prepared.  The lucky not only have a plan, they have many plans in case a challenge or opportunity presents itself.
  4. Thrive in Uncertainty: Think about the word luck in relation to the outcome of an event.  You could say someone was “lucky” because their result or achievement didn’t meet the expected outcome prior to the result.  Could it also be true the “lucky” individual wasn’t afraid to attack uncertainty?  I believe there is a direct relationship.  We consider them lucky because in the beginning the opportunity looked a whole lot like sweat and hard work.  Everyone wants the end result of success, but not the aching gut of uncertainty and giving it all up for a chance.
  5. Double Down: If you want to increase your luck, you have to double down on your best talents.  Spend time doing only the one or two things at the top of your talent ladder and receive 2x the outcome in return.  I happen to play a little blackjack from time to time.  If I’m dealt a 10 or 11 and the house has dealt themselves a 16, I MUST double down the bet.  It is one of the only statistical advantages I have against the house to not only make 21 (and increase my odds of winning), but I’m also allowed to double (risk more on my wager).  If you’re not getting lucky enough, take a look at how you’re spending your time in relation to your talents.  There is a direct correlation.

Bonus Tip: Always double down on 10 or 11 in blackjack when the dealer is showing a 5 or a 6!

ACTION ITEM: Throw on a little Daft Punk, “Get Lucky”, and get down to business.  Use one or more of these tips this month and you will start to see an increase in your luck.

One Podcast a Day Keeps Mediocrity Away

Podcast image

Look around you at this very moment.  There’s about a 50% chance you’re reading this on a smart phone, or if you’re reading it elsewhere, your phone is probably less than five feet from you.  Every where I go, my phone is with me, and so is my library of podcasts.

4 Reasons I LOVE podcasts:

  1. I can access my podcasts at all times either on my phone or laptop.
  2. They’re FREE (zip, zero, zilch).
  3. Freedom from schedule (stop, start, rewind, or listen 5x).
  4. I’m learning from those making it happen.

If I have a free 20-30 minutes, I can dial up some new knowledge via a podcast and feed my brian.  If you’re struggling to find time in that busy schedule to fit in some learning, I’m here to share with you when I listen to podcasts.  It isn’t a stretch to say I listen to at least one podcast per day.

  • Driving to and from work
  • On airplanes while traveling
  • In an airport
  • Shopping for groceries
  • Mowing the lawn or doing any yard work
  • In the shower or getting ready
  • While cooking or grilling
  • Any moment in the car
  • Doing housework (cleaning, vacuuming, folding clothes)

You get the picture?

Listening to a Podcast in my office

I subscribe to the podcasts I listen to via my iPhone and the Podcast App.  It looks like this.  As I mentioned earlier, it is 100% FREE.  If you were thinking cost would be an excuse, cross it off your list.  COST


If you’re interested in what I’m listening to, I have an image below of a few of these podcasts.  If you have a podcast you think I need to get on board with, please leave me a comment in the box below and I’ll gladly look it up.  I don’t listen to just one podcast or one personality.  In fact, I currently have eight because I want a variety of perspectives impacting my education.  My brain won’t grow by learning from only one perspective.  Furthermore, I won’t learn to challenge the thinking or processes of others.  I try to add/delete a new perspective after I start hearing the same thing from the publisher.

I’ll also share the genre of the podcasts I’m listening to.  I have two that are financial-based podcasts concerning money, risk, investment, retirement, real estate, etc.  There are about three to four more focused on digital media, marketing and the impact of digital business in the 21st century.  The last couple are focused on leadership.

If something were FREE, and you had unlimited access 24/7; the only thing stopping you, is YOU!


Zac's Podcasts

ACTION ITEM: Create a habit. Get started listening to podcasts this week.  Find one or two within a topic you’re interested in learning more about to begin your journey.  Many podcasts have been around for two or three years (some longer) and have scores of content to devour.

Four Reasons to Obsess About Your Legacy

The question, “How will you be remembered?” is a big and heavy one.

Your Unwritten Legacy

Your Unwritten Legacy

In the speed-it-up world we live in, sometimes it’s hard to see past the next week, month, or even year.  However, I’m going to give you four reasons why you should obsess over your legacy today and every day after.  It will have a big impact on what you do tomorrow.

  1. Perspective – A few weeks ago, my dad said something to me that his dad said to him many years ago.  He said, “There’s an old man waiting for you someday too son.”  It was said in a way only a father and his infinite wisdom could deliver.  I ask myself… What does that old man look like?  Where has he been? What will his friends say about him? What stories does he have to share?
  2. Roadmap – Thinking about your legacy will provide you with a roadmap to decision making and seeing a bigger picture.  Where will you go?  What will you see?  What decisions do you need to make today to impact your legacy?  I challenge you to think about your legacy for the big decisions and you won’t be disappointed years later at where you end up.
  3. Decision Making – Life offers many opportunities to make decisions.  If you’re like me, I’ve made some good ones and really bad ones.  Hopefully, I’ve learned from the bad decisions and I won’t make them again.  Today, the decisions I make are impacted by thinking about my legacy.  I feel it takes less weight off of an impending decision if I think about it in the much larger scope or bigger picture.
  4. Who Will You Be – There is one thing you will leave behind that will outlast any money gifted to family, friends, or charities.  Your story.  Each of us has a chance to write the book backwards starting today.  Work on writing the last and most difficult chapter first.  We can work backwards from there and write a few chapters or hundreds.  The number of chapters isn’t up to us, but a legacy can be established either way.  “It’s not the years in your life, it’s the life in your years.”

To help my readers, here is snapshot of what I hope for my legacy.

Zac was an extremely passionate, energetic and successful individual who loved spending time with people and could light up a room with his presence.  He consistently challenged those around him to get better every single day.  He could be tough, but always fair and respectful.  No matter what the need or when, he was there for his closest friends and family in a moment’s notice.  Together, with this wife Beth, they would travel, see the world, and were always generous toward others.

ACTION ITEM:  Write and think about your legacy.  Some day, many years from now, you will meet your legacy and I hope it won’t be a stranger.


Winning is a Necessity

Winning is extremely important to the human psyche and biology.  The people who get what they want in life know how to win.  This can not be overlooked or overstated.

I believe the people who know how to win are likely happier in pursuit of their life goals.  I think most would agree with this statement.  So then, why is it most people don’t know how to win?  Or better yet, why isn’t the art of winning taught more in schools and post graduate education?  Maybe it is, we’re just not paying attention?


I’m not sure, maybe we should ask Charlie Sheen.  Sadly, I don’t think answers like Tiger Blood, or Adonis DNA are what we’re looking for so we’ll have to dig a little deeper.  Thanks for the inspiration Chuck.

Lets first take a look at what a “WIN” does for us mentally

  • Confidence – think about the last time you won anything and try to get back into those feelings for a moment.  How did you feel?  Awesome is a pretty popular response.  Who doesn’t want to feel more awesome?  Winning is foundational to a higher level of confidence.  More confidence typically yields more victory.
  • Winning Effect – Author John Coats in his book The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: How Risk Taking Transforms Us, Body and Mind tells us animals involved in a fight who were victorious, were more likely to win their next fight.  Which brings me to my next and extremely important point.
  • Momentum – I always say, “Momentum is much easier to steer than to start.”  Life can be hard.  Some know this more than others.  This is exactly why winning, and winning often is so important to each of us.  Winning consistently creates what I call “life momentum.”
  • Limitless – Have you ever won enough? I know I haven’t.  Author Grant Cardone describes this in his book The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by stating, “There is no shortage of success, nor are there limits to the amount of success one can achieve!”  Read this again if you’re looking to get amp’d up.  He’s right.  I frequently listen to the 10X Audiobook when I need to get it going or feel like I’ve achieved “enough” for a while.
  • Attitude – People like to associate with a winner.  It’s more fun, it’s positive, and it’s likely uplifting.  Legendary coach Bear Bryan said, “Winning isn’t everything, but it sure beats anything that comes in second!”  I LOVE THAT ATTITUDE.

I won’t go there in this post, but if you do a little more research you’ll easily see that winning doesn’t only affect our mental game but our biological makeup as well.  Dr. Coats offers a unique perspective into the testosterone levels of successful, young, male stock traders during times of financial boom.

The million dollar question remains, “How do I win more often?”

  1. Stay Hungry – Winners come from all walks of life.  What they all have in common is an unquenchable thirst for victory and nothing will stop them in their pursuit.
  2. Stay Focused – Elite athletes have a state of mind referred to as “the zone” and when they’re in it nothing can stop them.  The zone is a state of complete focus and freedom.  Mastery is at work with the athlete because they’re not spending time thinking, they’re only reacting to what’s in front of them.
  3. Attention to Detail – The US Navy SEALs are famous for their mindset and training regimen.  Their world class team members preach attention to detail every day, in every drill, and every exercise they compete.
  4. Drill – In order to learn how to win an individual must be willing to practice at a high level for a great deal of time.  Mediocre practice will yield mediocre results.  Winners sweat the small stuff and sweat if often.  Earlier I used the word “mastery” when referring to focus in point two.  In Malcolm Gladwells book Outliers he states it takes 10,000 hours to be an “expert” in a topic or field.  10,000 hours.  Most people work around 40 hours per week.  That equates to nearly 5 years of drills.  Are you spending 8 hours a day getting better?  I know I’m not, so for most it’s going to take 10+ years to mastery.
  5. Speed Bumps – Failure will happen and it should if you’re taking chances.  Accept failure as a speed bump and not a impassable chasm.  Life will go on.  Learn from it and learn quickly so you can get back to winning again.  Just don’t fail making the same mistake over and over.


 ACTION ITEM: Get out and get winning.  You need to be winning often.  Life is a contact sport and no records were set from the sidelines.




One Million Isn’t Your Goal

When I was 23, I wrote on a dollar bill “#1 of $1,000,000” and was naive enough to think this is what it would take to make it in the world.  If I could get here, I would be doing the right thing.  If you don’t believe me, here it is still framed in my office.  I still use it as motivation, but in a very different light.

$1 Million Goal

$1 Million Goal

Nine years later, I reflect back and laugh at the ignorance of my younger self.  If I had one million dollars right now, would I have the world by the balls?


Money will not be the sole driver to anyone’s success and truth be told, why only one million?  The efforts required to reach ten million aren’t really that different from one million.  Yes, it is ten times the amount but most people that make ten times their peers don’t work 10x harder.  There isn’t enough time in the day.  If you’re ONLY interested in the money, set a bigger goal!

However, the more important viewpoint isn’t to focus on the number because inevitably when you hit it, then what?  Please don’t tell me you’ll buy stuff.  You’ll end up just as unfulfilled, but with stuff.  People spend their whole lives working for the man only to end up retired at 65 with nothing to do and no ideas of where to start.  Want to know what boredom looks like?  This is it.  It is followed by unhappiness.  Even the guys in Grumpy Old Men had fishing as a hobby!

Screen Shot 2014-06-28 at 7.17.42 PM

The secret then, as Tim Ferris teaches in “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)“, isn’t to delay life’s treasures forever, but to embrace them along the way.  Enjoy mastering your craft at the same time you’re enjoying and living life to the fullest.

Daniel Pink expounds on this topic as well in this terrific video, “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motives Us”.  I promise you it’s worth the ten minutes.

People aren’t only looking for one million dollars.  They’re looking for autonomy and mastery.  They’re looking to be themselves and to enjoy their craft.  People want to be challenged and contribute.  It won’t take too many companies like Google to see that success and achievement run a parallel path to people enjoying what they do.

Can you still have the goal of making money?  I really believe the answer is a resounding yes.  There is nothing wrong with making money.  There is nothing wrong with making a ton or a little money.  It is a resource.  Some value it more than others.  I do wish people understood it better, but that is a completely different conversation.

Where do you go from here?

ACTION ITEM:  Follow the List Below

  1. Do set a goal for your income.  It’s important to you and your family.  Take actions to fulfill the goal then 10X it.
  2. Also set a goal for autonomy.  Where would you like to have more freedom?  Or, what do you need to do to earn more freedom?
  3. Seek out a new challenge.  Learn a new language, plan a vacation, start a blog, etc. Successful people love a new challenge.  Seek and destroy!