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HOT TOPIC Luck shouldn't play such a big role in financial success

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Oxx

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Dec 7, 2020
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Like the title says, i think luck plays a far too strong role in achieving financial success. I argue that the people at the very top are almost always there because of conditions they couldn't influence:

1. being born in a first world country
2. having a healthy body
3. having a healthy mind
4. access to good infrastructure
5. accesss to good education
6. equality of opportunity
7. people who support you with money and experience

I know hard work is necessary, but take one of these factors out of the equation and it's very likely that you won't achieve financial success in your life.
I also believe, that the first 3 reasons are pure chance, 4 + 5 + 6 are the responsibility of governments and 7 is the responsibility of your parents.

Now, i have an idea for a nonprofit organisation which could solve number 7. This organisation uses an online platform, where people share their life situation and their goal in order to find someone who supports them with their experience and maybe their money. So people who are highly motivated and willing to work hard but don't have parents with a gold mine could find some sort of mentor who knows about their life situation and they can work together until the goals is achieved.

I don't know if money should be involved since it would attract a lot of scammers but maybe it is possible with a milestone system, just like Upwork, where you get some money after you achieved the milestone.

So what do you think? Good idea, bad idea? Did i miss something?
 

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xmartel

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Canada, eh!
Your ascribing way to much to luck.

1-6 covers most people in most Western nations. And yet what have most people done with this "luck"? Answer: Nothing.

I could see 7 as being more rare. However this is not the responsibility of your social circle. People don't have a responsibility to support you with experience and money. You have the responsibility.
And not only that, but your social circle is a choice. Who do you CHOOSE to surround yourself with?

Luck doesn't dictate success. There are no doubt luck events in life. Good and Bad. But what matters is what you do with that luck event. Are you prepared to meet bad luck events? Are you prepared to meet good luck events? And when you do, what do you do with it? Do you take action?

Luck events are easy, the hard part is all the work you have to do after the fact in capitalizing on the luck event.

I have no problem with your idea for creating a platform for bringing people together. It could be a great idea. But stop chalking so much up to luck. CHOICES have far greater impact on your success.

By giving luck so much weight, you're stealing credit from the hard work and choices successful people have made. And you're setting up people who aren't yet successful to not be successful. You're just continuing the brainwashing that luck is the overriding factor. And in a system where your success is luck dependant, then why would you ever try hard to be successful? You might as well just sit and wait for the "luck" to hit you. And then complain that you aren't lucky and those successful #$%&* were just lucky and that's the only difference between you and them.
This mentality is becoming a cancer in our society and is robbing people of their potential.
 

Oxx

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Dec 7, 2020
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Your ascribing way to much to luck.

1-6 covers most people in most Western nations. And yet what have most people done with this "luck"? Answer: Nothing.

I could see 7 as being more rare. However this is not the responsibility of your social circle. People don't have a responsibility to support you with experience and money. You have the responsibility.
And not only that, but your social circle is a choice. Who do you CHOOSE to surround yourself with?

Luck doesn't dictate success. There are no doubt luck events in life. Good and Bad. But what matters is what you do with that luck event. Are you prepared to meet bad luck events? Are you prepared to meet good luck events? And when you do, what do you do with it? Do you take action?

Luck events are easy, the hard part is all the work you have to do after the fact in capitalizing on the luck event.

I have no problem with your idea for creating a platform for bringing people together. It could be a great idea. But stop chalking so much up to luck. CHOICES have far greater impact on your success.

By giving luck so much weight, you're stealing credit from the hard work and choices successful people have made. And you're setting up people who aren't yet successful to not be successful. You're just continuing the brainwashing that luck is the overriding factor. And in a system where your success is luck dependant, then why would you ever try hard to be successful? You might as well just sit and wait for the "luck" to hit you. And then complain that you aren't lucky and those successful #$%&* were just lucky and that's the only difference between you and them.
This mentality is becoming a cancer in our society and is robbing people of their potential.

Thank you for your interesting feedback. Maybe writing "responsibility of your social circle" is wrong, i didn't want to write parents since it could be anybody helping you to get on the right track for success.

Luck doesn't dictate success, that's right, but that's not what i think or said. Luck is a key foundation for financial success as well as hard work. Without one of them you can't reach it, that's what i think.

With my post i don't want to discourage someone or taking away credit, but at the same time thinking that you did it all on your own without luck is wrong and ungrateful.

For example, i managed to work from home as a software freelancer mostly because my parents provided me with a office, money, food, etc. when i started. If they weren't there, it would be a far far more difficult.
That's why i think that people who achieve financial success in their life should be more grateful for the lucky circumstances which helped them reaching it in the first place and they should check how they can contribute to society in a way that others have it easier too.

That's how i came up with the platform, i'm glad you like the idea.
 

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Like the title says, i think luck plays a far too strong role in achieving financial success. I argue that the people at the very top are almost always there because of conditions they couldn't influence:

1. being born in a first world country
2. having a healthy body
3. having a healthy mind
4. access to good infrastructure
5. accesss to good education
6. equality of opportunity
7. people who support you with money and experience

I know hard work is necessary, but take one of these factors out of the equation and it's very likely that you won't achieve financial success in your life.
I also believe, that the first 3 reasons are pure chance, 4 + 5 + 6 are the responsibility of governments and 7 is the responsibility of people in your social circle.

Now, i have an idea for a nonprofit organisation which could solve number 7. This organisation uses an online platform, where people share their life situation and their goal in order to find someone who supports them with their experience and maybe their money. So people who are highly motivated and willing to work hard but don't have parents with a gold mine could find some sort of mentor who knows about their life situation and they can work together until the goals is achieved.

I don't know if money should be involved since it would attract a lot of scammers but maybe it is possible with a milestone system, just like Upwork, where you get some money after you achieved the milestone.

So what do you think? Good idea, bad idea? Did i miss something?
You're 100% right. Now go find yourself a job.
 

thechosen1

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Like the title says, i think luck plays a far too strong role in achieving financial success. I argue that the people at the very top are almost always there because of conditions they couldn't influence:

1. being born in a first world country
2. having a healthy body
3. having a healthy mind
4. access to good infrastructure
5. accesss to good education
6. equality of opportunity
7. people who support you with money and experience

I know hard work is necessary, but take one of these factors out of the equation and it's very likely that you won't achieve financial success in your life.
I also believe, that the first 3 reasons are pure chance, 4 + 5 + 6 are the responsibility of governments and 7 is the responsibility of your parents.

Now, i have an idea for a nonprofit organisation which could solve number 7. This organisation uses an online platform, where people share their life situation and their goal in order to find someone who supports them with their experience and maybe their money. So people who are highly motivated and willing to work hard but don't have parents with a gold mine could find some sort of mentor who knows about their life situation and they can work together until the goals is achieved.

I don't know if money should be involved since it would attract a lot of scammers but maybe it is possible with a milestone system, just like Upwork, where you get some money after you achieved the milestone.

So what do you think? Good idea, bad idea? Did i miss something?

I think luck plays too much of a role in whether you survive as an infant past 1 month or not too.

It plays too much of a role on whether you are born with significant disabilities.

It plays too much of a role in whether you die in a car crash.

But guess what...
We can’t do shit about that!

Focus on what you can control.

While you’re worrying and philosophizing about luck, someone with bad circumstances is busy working and becoming more successful than you.

Stephen Hawking agreed with me about this, and he had ALS and couldn’t move. Look up Jason Becker too (he’s a guitar player) - he is still composing music and selling albums.
 
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xmartel

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Canada, eh!
You may not have said luck dictates success directly, but it's at least implied that it is the overriding cause of success by your title and your intro.
Which is not true.

I would suggest researching the topic of luck and luck events (2 different things) more in depth.
Jim Collins has a great book called "Great By Choice" that everyone should read.
But specific to this conversation, his last chapter in the book dives into the factor that luck plays, which I think you would find interesting to read.

The more successful companies didn't have any more good luck events than the less successful. And the less successful didn't have any more bad luck events than the more successful. The only thing that made a difference was how the companies chose to prepare for possible good/bad luck events, and how they chose to react when they happened.

Luck in a sense doesn't exist. Luck events do. We can't control luck events, they're just something that happens. But what we do control is how we react to those events. Such as having parents that give you a place to start your business.

How many people are in the same boat as you? It's extremely common for a kid to live with their parents and have access to free food. But how many make the choice of using that luck event to launch a business?

It's also interesting to note that one person's luck event, is caused by another person's choice. Your parents didn't have luck or even a luck event. They just chose to let you stay there. And then you chose to use that choice to better your circumstances.

Also, if you're driven to succeed, do you think you would have failed without the luck event of your parents providing a place? No, you would have just found a different route. There's many ways to skin a cat.

You're still putting way to little emphasis on the choices that people must make around luck events.

You often hear stories from founders of successful companies about their luck with just bumping into their future co-founder at a coffee shop or party. And I think they say it off hand. But let's look into those situations.

Bumping into that person was a luck event. But that didn't make them billionaires. The choice to get into business with each other, and the thousands of choices and thousands of hours of just plain old hard work over the ensuing years, and the choices when more good and bad luck events happened over the ensuing years. That's what led to that founder becoming successful.

I agree that it's important that successful people give back to society. But that obligation should not be because they got lucky.
When they make the choice to want to help people, it should be because they enjoy helping people. They want to see the betterment of society and share the wisdom they gleaned so that others may use it. Because they have a sense of community and we're all in this life together.
 

The-J

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I mean, life isn't fair and doesn't promise equitable inputs or outputs.

That's kind of how life is. Luck determines whether or not I survive my morning walks with my dogs. I could get hit by a car, or slip on some ice and break my neck. My breakfast could poison me. I could get struck by lightning. I could get cancer and die a slow, agonizing death due to no fault of my own or anyone else's.

On the other hand, I could get hit by a car, survive, and get a big fat insurance payout or lawsuit settlement.

It goes both ways.

Don't worry about what "should" or "shouldn't" be. Deal with life as it IS. Aim to find out what's true. That's a core skill of being an entrepreneur.

If you're still not convinced, then execute on your idea for your nonprofit, maybe it'll do some good.
 

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1. being born in a first world country
2. having a healthy body
3. having a healthy mind
4. access to good infrastructure
5. accesss to good education
6. equality of opportunity
7. people who support you with money and experience
1. You can always immigrate... Heck, I am looking at immigration TO less developed parts of the world specifically for opportunity. Never before has the economy reached across sovereign borders like it does today.

2. You have a HUGE part in making sure you are a healthy person. Making good, and healthy choices goes a LONG way.

3. Making good choices for your healthy body can also affect your mind. Your mind is YOURS to direct. You can head down a toxic path or a path towards good. A LOT OF THIS IS CHOICE.

4. Once again this is part of the game. There is opportunity in lack of infrastructure… Have you ever asked who is FOUNDATIONALLY responsible for infrastructure? The answer is the industrious entrepreneur, not government.

5. If you have internet, you have access to both toxic and life changing education for the price of the connection and the device itself. Like anything though, this education must be made a priority by the individual worried about not having it. It is choice.

6. Equality of opportunity is an entirely separate topic on its own. Sure some people are born with an advantage over others. That isn't wrong though. I have earned the ability to give that head start to my kids. That said the 2 of the 5 richest people I know, and these people are worth like mega yacht, private jet money, started from nothing. One of my mentors and best friends literally grew up in "the projects."

7. Respect and involvement of others is EARNED not gifted for no reason.

It isn't luck. We can all play the cards we are dealt and end up wealthy. Some get a better head start than others, so what, good for them. Your goal should be doing the same for your kids instead of bitching about how life isn't fair. Life certainly doesn't treat views like this to a great deal of money.
 

Oxx

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Dec 7, 2020
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I don't understand this way of thinking at all.

Good luck with your business

You may not have said luck dictates success directly, but it's at least implied that it is the overriding cause of success by your title and your intro.
Which is not true.

I would suggest researching the topic of luck and luck events (2 different things) more in depth.
Jim Collins has a great book called "Great By Choice" that everyone should read.
But specific to this conversation, his last chapter in the book dives into the factor that luck plays, which I think you would find interesting to read.

The more successful companies didn't have any more good luck events than the less successful. And the less successful didn't have any more bad luck events than the more successful. The only thing that made a difference was how the companies chose to prepare for possible good/bad luck events, and how they chose to react when they happened.

Luck in a sense doesn't exist. Luck events do. We can't control luck events, they're just something that happens. But what we do control is how we react to those events. Such as having parents that give you a place to start your business.

How many people are in the same boat as you? It's extremely common for a kid to live with their parents and have access to free food. But how many make the choice of using that luck event to launch a business?

It's also interesting to note that one person's luck event, is caused by another person's choice. Your parents didn't have luck or even a luck event. They just chose to let you stay there. And then you chose to use that choice to better your circumstances.

Also, if you're driven to succeed, do you think you would have failed without the luck event of your parents providing a place? No, you would have just found a different route. There's many ways to skin a cat.

You're still putting way to little emphasis on the choices that people must make around luck events.

You often hear stories from founders of successful companies about their luck with just bumping into their future co-founder at a coffee shop or party. And I think they say it off hand. But let's look into those situations.

Bumping into that person was a luck event. But that didn't make them billionaires. The choice to get into business with each other, and the thousands of choices and thousands of hours of just plain old hard work over the ensuing years, and the choices when more good and bad luck events happened over the ensuing years. That's what led to that founder becoming successful.

I agree that it's important that successful people give back to society. But that obligation should not be because they got lucky.
When they make the choice to want to help people, it should be because they enjoy helping people. They want to see the betterment of society and share the wisdom they gleaned so that others may use it. Because they have a sense of community and we're all in this life together.
You may not have said luck dictates success directly, but it's at least implied that it is the overriding cause of success by your title and your intro.
Which is not true.

I would suggest researching the topic of luck and luck events (2 different things) more in depth.
Jim Collins has a great book called "Great By Choice" that everyone should read.
But specific to this conversation, his last chapter in the book dives into the factor that luck plays, which I think you would find interesting to read.

The more successful companies didn't have any more good luck events than the less successful. And the less successful didn't have any more bad luck events than the more successful. The only thing that made a difference was how the companies chose to prepare for possible good/bad luck events, and how they chose to react when they happened.

Luck in a sense doesn't exist. Luck events do. We can't control luck events, they're just something that happens. But what we do control is how we react to those events. Such as having parents that give you a place to start your business.

How many people are in the same boat as you? It's extremely common for a kid to live with their parents and have access to free food. But how many make the choice of using that luck event to launch a business?

It's also interesting to note that one person's luck event, is caused by another person's choice. Your parents didn't have luck or even a luck event. They just chose to let you stay there. And then you chose to use that choice to better your circumstances.

Also, if you're driven to succeed, do you think you would have failed without the luck event of your parents providing a place? No, you would have just found a different route. There's many ways to skin a cat.

You're still putting way to little emphasis on the choices that people must make around luck events.

You often hear stories from founders of successful companies about their luck with just bumping into their future co-founder at a coffee shop or party. And I think they say it off hand. But let's look into those situations.

Bumping into that person was a luck event. But that didn't make them billionaires. The choice to get into business with each other, and the thousands of choices and thousands of hours of just plain old hard work over the ensuing years, and the choices when more good and bad luck events happened over the ensuing years. That's what led to that founder becoming successful.

I agree that it's important that successful people give back to society. But that obligation should not be because they got lucky.
When they make the choice to want to help people, it should be because they enjoy helping people. They want to see the betterment of society and share the wisdom they gleaned so that others may use it. Because they have a sense of community and we're all in this life together.
Aha, okay i understand your point of view now, luck events aren't the major contributor to someone's success, it's their choices which determine if they're successful or not. My post implies it's contributing like 90% or more and that's not a helpful mindset at all, because why would you work like hell if the major contributing factor for your goal is out of your control?

For the luck event you describe, "bumping into their co-founder at a coffee shop or party", i completely agree, the choices you make in this scenario (getting into a business with each other) are the overriding factor here.

For the luck events i described in my initial post, i don't agree with you, they are are the overriding factor for financial success.

For example, you said i would have found a different route if my parents didn't support me. Let's take it to the extreme and say that i'm born in a poor 3. world country, no access to education, no good infrastructure. Would i really be able to be a software freelancer working from home in his apartment in Germany?

I think it would be nearly impossible, the luck events i describe aren't decisions which will lead you in a certain direction, they are the foundation of the environment you grow up in. And the successful people should feel obligated to contribute to this foundation, not because they bumped into the right person at the right time, but because of the luck to have a great environment which played a major role in their success.

Thanks for your recommendations, that's an interesting topic and i would love to learn more about it.
There is a great video on this topic as well:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LopI4YeC4I
 

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@Oxx you inspired me to do a show on this very topic. I am super encouraged at your entertaining of many of the post that proceeded your claims.

Have you ever taken a locus of control test? Claims like the original post here are pretty textbook external and external locus is a LEARNED belief system that does NO ONE any favors.

If you find that you are external, grit your teeth and force yourself through a book like Jocko's Extreme Ownership... It will probably rock your world, for the better.
 

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Oxx

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I think luck plays too much of a role in whether you survive as an infant past 1 month or not too.

It plays too much of a role on whether you are born with significant disabilities.

It plays too much of a role in whether you die in a car crash.

But guess what...
We can’t do shit about that!

Focus on what you can control.

While you’re worrying and philosophizing about luck, someone with bad circumstances is busy working and becoming more successful than you.

Stephen Hawking agreed with me about this, and he had ALS and couldn’t move. Look up Jason Becker too (he’s a guitar player) - he is still composing music and selling albums.

I think luck plays too much of a role in whether you survive as an infant past 1 month or not too.

It plays too much of a role on whether you are born with significant disabilities.

It plays too much of a role in whether you die in a car crash.

But guess what...
We can’t do shit about that!

Focus on what you can control.

While you’re worrying and philosophizing about luck, someone with bad circumstances is busy working and becoming more successful than you.

Stephen Hawking agreed with me about this, and he had ALS and couldn’t move. Look up Jason Becker too (he’s a guitar player) - he is still composing music and selling albums.

I think luck plays too much of a role in whether you survive as an infant past 1 month or not too.

It plays too much of a role on whether you are born with significant disabilities.

It plays too much of a role in whether you die in a car crash.

But guess what...
We can’t do shit about that!

Focus on what you can control.

While you’re worrying and philosophizing about luck, someone with bad circumstances is busy working and becoming more successful than you.

Stephen Hawking agreed with me about this, and he had ALS and couldn’t move. Look up Jason Becker too (he’s a guitar player) - he is still composing music and selling albums.


@Oxx you inspired me to do a show on this very topic. I am super encouraged at your entertaining of many of the post that proceeded your claims.

Have you ever taken a locus of control test? Claims like the original post here are pretty textbook external and external locus is a LEARNED belief system that does NO ONE any favors.

If you find that you are external, grit your teeth and force yourself through a book like Jocko's Extreme Ownership... It will probably rock your world, for the better.
For you as well:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LopI4YeC4I&feature=emb_title

I think maybe there is a misunderstanding, and since i'm not a native speaker a video on this topic might clarify my view a bit.

My view isn't whining about how unfair the system is but to be grateful about the things lucky circumstances provided for us, and that we should try to improve the situation because they play a major role in our chances of financial success.

And i'm not a communist, i think capitalism is the best system we have right now, so there's that :).

Thank you for your recommendations.
 
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Dark Water

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I think mindset is everything and what you choose to believe is what will be true for you. If you think luck is as important as you say it is, you'll reap the benefits of that: missed opportunities, learned helplessness, lack of motivation, and lack of that real drive to make life changing decisions.

On the other hand, we've seen people on this forum come from the worst-case scenario possible, terrible upbringing who were written off dozens of times, their living conditions equivalent to literal hell on earth, only to rise up, push it all aside, and "go to war" so to speak in getting what they want and providing value for the world.

Choose wisely what you want to believe as it will influence a great deal of your life over the coming years. The cop out is to think that luck plays as much of a role as it does; while taking "extreme ownership" of anything and everything in your life may be difficult but will put you in a very different situation 10 years down the road.
 

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It depends on your definition of financial success. And what you mean by luck.

If having a 10-figure net worth is your definition, and you factor in everything involved in getting to that number, I find it very hard to argue that luck plays a huge role.

Take a look at the Forbes list of billionaires, and half of them inherited their wealth. So, it's probably safe to say that attaining a 10-figure net worth is about 50% luck... :)

Of the ones who haven't inherited their wealth, nearly 75% are from the US or China -- are people from the US and China that much smarter than the rest of the world? Or is there some advantage to being in one of those two countries when it comes to earning billions of dollars? If so, and given that most people can't easily just decide to live in the US or China, clearly there's a good bit of luck that goes into even having the opportunity to become a billionaire.

Now, on the other end of the scale, if having a 7-figure net worth is your definition of financial success, and if you assume that someone already has the basic provisions (they are healthy, they have at least a basic education, they live in a country with reasonable economic opportunity, etc), I'd probably contend that earning a 7-figure net worth is mostly about hard work, basic entrepreneurial education and not taking many risks.

I'm pretty sure I could teach anyone how to go from nothing to a couple million in 10 years. Essentially no luck required. But, it would require hard work, and most people don't want to do that.

Now, if you're talking about those in-between 7-figures and 10-figures (e.g., more than $10M, less than $1B), in my experience, education, network, and luck are the biggest contributors to achieving that. With luck playing more of a role the higher the number goes.

Typically, when you make at least $50M, you're doing it in singular liquidity event. Selling a company, going IPO, buying bitcoin at the right time, being employee number 3 (or even employee number 500) at Facebook, etc. There are a lot of factors that go into hitting that singular event, and luck is a big one.

The funny thing is, in my experience, wealthy people tend to recognize and acknowledge the impact of luck on their success than non-wealthy people. I know dozens of people who have sold their companies or gone IPO for upwards of $10M, and most of them would likely say that luck was a big factor.

Here's the thing... If you believe that luck plays no role (or very little role), then by definition, you must believe that someone's net worth is directly indicative of their business skills/talent. If you have more money than I do, you're a better business person than I am. If I have more money than you do, I'm a better business person than you.

Personally, that's not my experience. I have a lot more money than some people who I believe are much smarter and capable than I am. And I've met some idiots who are much, much more wealthy than I am.
 

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the more I work, the luckier I get :)
 

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the more I work, the luckier I get :)

I know this is a common refrain and I'm not discounting hard work (especially if you want to make $100M or more)...

I also don't discount the idea that you have to work hard to make that first million or two starting from scratch...

That said, as a lazy person who has made a decent amount of money in my lifetime, I think hard work is overrated. If you can figure out how to make the first million or two, and you can get your head around the key principles of making money, the next five or ten million really doesn't require that much hard work.

The problem most people have is that they try to apply the same principles to making the next $5M that they did to making the first $1M (which was mostly hard work), without realizing that that first $1M can be used as an amazing tool to generate the next $5M much, much more easily.

Again, if you want ridiculous amounts of money, you'll never stop working hard. But, if you approach it the right way, you can have FU money without sacrificing your entire life.

At least in my opinion...
 

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Canada, eh!
Aha, okay i understand your point of view now, luck events aren't the major contributor to someone's success, it's their choices which determine if they're successful or not. My post implies it's contributing like 90% or more and that's not a helpful mindset at all, because why would you work like hell if the major contributing factor for your goal is out of your control?

For the luck event you describe, "bumping into their co-founder at a coffee shop or party", i completely agree, the choices you make in this scenario (getting into a business with each other) are the overriding factor here.

For the luck events i described in my initial post, i don't agree with you, they are are the overriding factor for financial success.

For example, you said i would have found a different route if my parents didn't support me. Let's take it to the extreme and say that i'm born in a poor 3. world country, no access to education, no good infrastructure. Would i really be able to be a software freelancer working from home in his apartment in Germany?

I think it would be nearly impossible, the luck events i describe aren't decisions which will lead you in a certain direction, they are the foundation of the environment you grow up in. And the successful people should feel obligated to contribute to this foundation, not because they bumped into the right person at the right time, but because of the luck to have a great environment which played a major role in their success.

Thanks for your recommendations, that's an interesting topic and i would love to learn more about it.
There is a great video on this topic as well:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LopI4YeC4I

I appreciate that you're understanding what I'm getting at, but I don't think you're quite there yet.

I understand your point of view that those 7 points are more foundational. And I agree with you that those items are very foundational.
But then you make the leap that whether you have them or not and how they impact your life is overriding luck. This doesn't compute for me.
Just because they're foundational doesn't mean they're luck.

They're luck events, just like any other luck event, they're just on a bigger scale.

If you have those 7 things, or even just a few, what is your choice going to be with what to do with those luck events? Most people don't capitalize on them.

But to get more at the point I think you're making, is what about the people that don't have these foundational luck events in their lives?
I think it still comes down to choices.

If someone doesn't have these items in their life, it is choices that led them there, and choices that can get them out.
It seems you're saying that if you don't have these items, you're just screwed. You were unlucky. And people that have them are lucky.
But you're forgetting the fact that if a person is lacking in these items, they can make choices to change them. They aren't screwed. They can make a successful life still. Their journey is just going to involve different choices than someone that was born with these things.

1. A person's parents made the choice of where to live. If you live in a 3rd world hell hole, then make the choice of leaving to somewhere better. Or else your kids are just going to be in the same boat with the same hard choice whether to stay or go.
People emigrate all the time. It may not be easy, but it's certainly doable where the will exists. There's millions of examples of people making the choice to come to 1st world countries.
Also, being born in a 3rd world country doesn't mean that it's impossible to become successful, there is many examples of people staying in their country, and through hard work and their own choices, becoming very wealthy.

2. Most health issues are caused by people's poor choices in food, fitness, etc. Make better choices.
And when dealing with diseases that you didn't make a choice to cause, such as cancer, you still have freedom within that reality to make choices about how you respond, how you live your remaining days etc. And yes, sometimes people just die. Life is hard and bad things happen. If you want to solve this one, then find a cure for cancer.
But again, MOST health issues in life are caused by poor choices.

3. Same as #2. What you fill your mind with will affect you. Poor mental health is often caused by poor choices. And can often be cured with better choices.
Sometimes there is chemical imbalances that result in real issues that you didn't choose. But this is the same as my cancer statement above, and thankfully there is more medications for stuff like this that can help people.

4. Poor infrastructure is usually a result of being born in a 3rd world country. Solution is the same as #1. Or make a business out of fixing the problem in your home country. Choices. Opportunities.

5. Same as #4 if your country doesn't have it. Move or fix it. More choices. You can solve the problem in your life or sit on your butt and say you were just unlucky.

6. This is a very vague one and many people define it differently.
Some people take the extreme socialist view that we should drag people down or up so that all kids literally have the same opportunity at birth. The view is so evil and destructive that I'm not going to talk more about it.

The view I subscribe to is better said as Political Equality. A book I enjoyed on the topic is Equal is Unfair. The laws of the land should treat people equally and there shouldn't be a bunch of red tape in the way of people living their lives and starting businesses.
We don't fully have this in our Western nations, (think of all the laws that treat people differently based on race, at least here in Canada a good example is between Natives and everyone else. The government treats these groups very different. And in my option it's very racist and I look forward to the day things like the Indian Act are abolished), but while we aren't quite there even in our nations, we are better off than many countries out there. but it comes back to #1. Make the choice to move to a better country.

7. It's your choice who you surround yourself with. Even in a bad country, you can choose your company.


"Let's take it to the extreme and say that i'm born in a poor 3. world country, no access to education, no good infrastructure. Would i really be able to be a software freelancer working from home in his apartment in Germany?"

My answer is yes. I guarantee that somewhere in Germany, probably even in your city, there's a person that came from the slums of Africa that is currently working in software.

Would that journey be difficult? Absolutely, I'm not discounting how hard this is. But it's not luck, it's choices.
Born in a crappy place without any of those 7 things? You can either choose to do nothing and blame your bad luck. Or you can choose to work you a$$ off and pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

The limitations you're placing on people aren't good. Instead you should focus on empowering people who are starting out in tough places that they can make anything they want of their life. It's their choice and luck does not need to define them.

Again, I agree that successful people should work to help create better foundations for other people. But it's not out of some strange obligation to luck.
 

JScott

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My answer is yes. I guarantee that somewhere in Germany, probably even in your city, there's a person that came from the slums of Africa that is currently working in software.

Do you think they immigrated to Germany legally? Through what immigration mechanism?

Looks like you're from Canada... What is the process for immigrating to Canada from a 3rd world country without skilled work experience?

I know what the process is in the United States, and it's near impossible these days if you don't have either money (investors and business owners can buy their way in), skills (highly skilled workers can get Visas) or connections (relatives or sponsors).

Though there is one way that someone without money , skills or connections can immigrate to the US -- it's called the "Diversity Visa Lottery Program." What do think it takes to get in that way?

Hint: Luck. ;-)

Long story short, I agree with you that there is probably a person in his city in Germany who came from the slums of Africa. But, if you heard that person's story, I can promise that there was almost certainly some luck (or breaking the law) involved.

Not saying that people should just give up and accept their lot in life, but please don't pretend that "where there's a will, there's a way"... We have thousands of kids in this country locked up along the border simply because their parents were trying to make the choices that would provide those kids some better opportunity.
 

socaldude

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While I agree that certain social or economic environments can serve as a big limitation you can still make an effort to understand the laws and configurations of that “limit” hence giving you a kind of freedom from that prison and even make you wealthy if you can figure out how the economy is configured.
 

thechosen1

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Do you think they immigrated to Germany legally? Through what immigration mechanism?

Looks like you're from Canada... What is the process for immigrating to Canada from a 3rd world country without skilled work experience?

I know what the process is in the United States, and it's near impossible these days if you don't have either money (investors and business owners can buy their way in), skills (highly skilled workers can get Visas) or connections (relatives or sponsors).

Though there is one way that someone without money , skills or connections can immigrate to the US -- it's called the "Diversity Visa Lottery Program." What do think it takes to get in that way?

Hint: Luck. ;-)

Long story short, I agree with you that there is probably a person in his city in Germany who came from the slums of Africa. But, if you heard that person's story, I can promise that there was almost certainly some luck (or breaking the law) involved.

Not saying that people should just give up and accept their lot in life, but please don't pretend that "where there's a will, there's a way"... We have thousands of kids in this country locked up along the border simply because their parents were trying to make the choices that would provide those kids some better opportunity.

Why do you make this political? This is so pointless, I know what you’re saying, hell I kind of agree with you, but there’s no need to add all this extra negativity.
 

xmartel

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Canada, eh!
Take a look at the Forbes list of billionaires, and half of them inherited their wealth. So, it's probably safe to say that attaining a 10-figure net worth is about 50% luck...
I would say 50% had a luck event. What about the choices that surrounded that event happening? Those people put themselves in a position to inherit (in the sense they didn't do something stupid to get disowned or any other number of things). Also, what about all the decisions you have to make once you receive the money? Managing that amount of money is not an easy job and many people blow it. That event can definitely be a bad luck event for many people.
Also, going back to my other point that those people inheriting that money was a choice by the family member to not only make that money in the first place, but to give it to the inheritee.

Let's look at the closest thing to pure luck; winning the lottery. 80%+ of people blow all the money within 5 years. They came into a great luck event, but what mattered in the end was the choices made.
This is such a great exmaple of how literally just being given piles of money still equals failure most of the time. It shows that the choices around luck events are what matters.

We've also been defining success solely by financial standards. When in reality a successful person has other components to their life. Health, relationships, etc. A person that has a billion dollars but is a fat slob that has nothing but failed relationships is not successful.

Typically, when you make at least $50M, you're doing it in singular liquidity event. Selling a company, going IPO, buying bitcoin at the right time, being employee number 3 (or even employee number 500) at Facebook, etc. There are a lot of factors that go into hitting that singular event, and luck is a big one.
Building a company to sell. Going IPO. Buying bitcoin. Taking a job. These are choices those people made.

Many people have the opportunity to build a company. Few choose to do so. Many could go further and IPO. Few choose to do so. We all could have bought bitcoin 10 years ago. We didn't make the choice to do that while others did. When Facebook was looking for employees early on, many probably turned the other way, but a few made a conscious choice to take a chance on them.

Saying a big part of it was luck is stealing due credit from the person that made the decision.

The funny thing is, in my experience, wealthy people tend to recognize and acknowledge the impact of luck on their success than non-wealthy people. I know dozens of people who have sold their companies or gone IPO for upwards of $10M, and most of them would likely say that luck was a big factor.
Just because someone is wealthy doesn't mean they understand the concept of "luck". In my experience, most people make those comments in an off-handed way. They're trying to downplay their success; be humble. Or they're not thinking through the whole process that led them there so they sum it up in an easy to use phrase "it was just luck". A lot of people also use the word luck, when what they actually feel about it is better said that they feel blessed.

Here's the thing... If you believe that luck plays no role (or very little role), then by definition, you must believe that someone's net worth is directly indicative of their business skills/talent. If you have more money than I do, you're a better business person than I am. If I have more money than you do, I'm a better business person than you.
You're ignoring the choices people make. Net worth is not a product of only skill/talent. Take 2 people with identical skills in identical businesses, and they each make different choices. Those choices will lead to different outcomes. They may both end up rich, just one more so than the other. Or one may end up broke.

I believe there are many factors to a person's success. Talent being one. Hard work another. And the decisions you make yet another, and the one I think has the most influence.

Your talent and hard work don't matter if you're making bad choices.

If I have more money than you, it doesn't mean I'm a better business person than you, it just means I made different choices.
 

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xmartel

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Canada, eh!
Do you think they immigrated to Germany legally? Through what immigration mechanism?

Looks like you're from Canada... What is the process for immigrating to Canada from a 3rd world country without skilled work experience?

I know what the process is in the United States, and it's near impossible these days if you don't have either money (investors and business owners can buy their way in), skills (highly skilled workers can get Visas) or connections (relatives or sponsors).

Though there is one way that someone without money , skills or connections can immigrate to the US -- it's called the "Diversity Visa Lottery Program." What do think it takes to get in that way?

Hint: Luck. ;-)

Long story short, I agree with you that there is probably a person in his city in Germany who came from the slums of Africa. But, if you heard that person's story, I can promise that there was almost certainly some luck (or breaking the law) involved.

Not saying that people should just give up and accept their lot in life, but please don't pretend that "where there's a will, there's a way"... We have thousands of kids in this country locked up along the border simply because their parents were trying to make the choices that would provide those kids some better opportunity.

What I see you saying is because something is hard, then luck by default must be a defining factor. I don't see the logic in making that jump.

We make thousands of choices every day. Those choices are what determines where we end up in life.
I'm not saying it's a easy straight shot. We constantly encounter bad luck events and good luck events along the road of life that cause us to veer this way and that way. But at every point we make a decision how to handle that event.
Most people make their "decisions" in their subconscious. But it's still a decision made. It's not luck. The more you can be aware of your decisions, and think them through, the more you can control how your decisions will impact your life and steer you back towards the goal you have for your life. And if you don't have a goal. Then that's still a decision. Failing to make a decision is still a decision.

So is it hard to immigrate? Yes. I've already said that. But it's still a doable proposition if you decide that's what you want to do and set your mind to it. Maybe you have to go to a different country first that's easier to get into, develop a skill, and then come to Canada. Life isn't a straight path.

To chalk it up to luck that the people that have successfully, and legally, immigrated, especially those that came from nothing, is just an insult to the choices and hard work they put in.

Those kids locked up are a product of choices. Not luck. Their parents chose to come illegally and knew there were risks. Mexico has opportunities, there is choices to be made there. And if the parents want to still make the choice to come to America, they can choose the legal way or the illegal way.

And the government officials chose to come up with a stupid program that takes kids away from their parents.

And speaking directly about the kids, their parents and the government made decisions. They didn't. So I get that and I'm not heartless about it, I've read the stories and my heart weeps for them.
But it was still decisions that led to the situation, and now those kids are in a bad luck event and they'll have decisions to make on how to handle it. Maybe they can't decide to leave (hopefully some government officials pull their heads out of their asses and make the right decisions), but they can choose how the situation will impact them now, and as they grow up. Will they use the experience to make themselves stronger? Or otherwise.
We can't control everything in life, other actors are making decisions around us that impact our decisions. But that's not luck.

So I don't see bad luck with those kids. I see bad choices. On both sides.
 

Johnny boy

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Er’body got choices
-E40

072C621E-1CA7-42FC-956D-7DF71F34A8DB.jpeg

I didn’t have opportunities other people have. I couldn’t care less. I got a job, saved the money, bought equipment, started my business, off to the races. I don’t have a college degree, I never even got my high school diploma sent to me.

And let me tell you, it feels GOOD knowing that I had nothing handed to me. I have a chip on my shoulder. I’ve got a little ice in my veins because of it. It’s my asset.

I’m glad I was born in America, where there’s still some sliver of freedom left where the free market can give people opportunity (opportunity doesn’t come from the government)

Call me lucky but you’ll be talking to deaf ears. The only other people that believe it comes down to luck are other lazy losers.
 

WJK

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Like the title says, i think luck plays a far too strong role in achieving financial success. I argue that the people at the very top are almost always there because of conditions they couldn't influence:

1. being born in a first world country
2. having a healthy body
3. having a healthy mind
4. access to good infrastructure
5. accesss to good education
6. equality of opportunity
7. people who support you with money and experience

I know hard work is necessary, but take one of these factors out of the equation and it's very likely that you won't achieve financial success in your life.
I also believe, that the first 3 reasons are pure chance, 4 + 5 + 6 are the responsibility of governments and 7 is the responsibility of your parents.

Now, i have an idea for a nonprofit organisation which could solve number 7. This organisation uses an online platform, where people share their life situation and their goal in order to find someone who supports them with their experience and maybe their money. So people who are highly motivated and willing to work hard but don't have parents with a gold mine could find some sort of mentor who knows about their life situation and they can work together until the goals is achieved.

I don't know if money should be involved since it would attract a lot of scammers but maybe it is possible with a milestone system, just like Upwork, where you get some money after you achieved the milestone.

So what do you think? Good idea, bad idea? Did i miss something?
The harder I work, the luckier I get...

I have done -- and I do a lot helping people as part of my business. I provide low to moderate-income housing. It's a difficult thing to balance with a thriving business. Why don't you try being successful for a number of years first?
 

fastlanedoll

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It depends on your definition of financial success. And what you mean by luck.

If having a 10-figure net worth is your definition, and you factor in everything involved in getting to that number, I find it very hard to argue that luck plays a huge role.

Take a look at the Forbes list of billionaires, and half of them inherited their wealth. So, it's probably safe to say that attaining a 10-figure net worth is about 50% luck... :)

Of the ones who haven't inherited their wealth, nearly 75% are from the US or China -- are people from the US and China that much smarter than the rest of the world? Or is there some advantage to being in one of those two countries when it comes to earning billions of dollars? If so, and given that most people can't easily just decide to live in the US or China, clearly there's a good bit of luck that goes into even having the opportunity to become a billionaire.

Now, on the other end of the scale, if having a 7-figure net worth is your definition of financial success, and if you assume that someone already has the basic provisions (they are healthy, they have at least a basic education, they live in a country with reasonable economic opportunity, etc), I'd probably contend that earning a 7-figure net worth is mostly about hard work, basic entrepreneurial education and not taking many risks.

I'm pretty sure I could teach anyone how to go from nothing to a couple million in 10 years. Essentially no luck required. But, it would require hard work, and most people don't want to do that.

Now, if you're talking about those in-between 7-figures and 10-figures (e.g., more than $10M, less than $1B), in my experience, education, network, and luck are the biggest contributors to achieving that. With luck playing more of a role the higher the number goes.

Typically, when you make at least $50M, you're doing it in singular liquidity event. Selling a company, going IPO, buying bitcoin at the right time, being employee number 3 (or even employee number 500) at Facebook, etc. There are a lot of factors that go into hitting that singular event, and luck is a big one.

The funny thing is, in my experience, wealthy people tend to recognize and acknowledge the impact of luck on their success than non-wealthy people. I know dozens of people who have sold their companies or gone IPO for upwards of $10M, and most of them would likely say that luck was a big factor.

Here's the thing... If you believe that luck plays no role (or very little role), then by definition, you must believe that someone's net worth is directly indicative of their business skills/talent. If you have more money than I do, you're a better business person than I am. If I have more money than you do, I'm a better business person than you.

Personally, that's not my experience. I have a lot more money than some people who I believe are much smarter and capable than I am. And I've met some idiots who are much, much more wealthy than I am.

@JScott - I think I've heard you say that in another thread, that you can build quite a significant amount of wealth (a few million, even, is quite significant to me). Do you mean to do this by buying real estate? Because I think I read you wrote that in another thread.

I would really, really love to hear your wisdom. I'm not super greedy. I just want to have a large enough principle so I can live quite comfortably off the passive returns. Would really love to hear more on how you think this could be achieved in 10 years :p
 

mon_fi

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Sure, every entrepreneur out there were born with their ideas, connections, and the VC papers were ready halfway through their gestation period. They didnt have to work hard at all, money and success was just handed to them.

And it is well-known that 1st world countries ALWAYS were 1st world countries, that no one ever took the time or risk to develop stable democracies with healthy capitalism in it. Europeans were just lucky, they didn't struggle for 600 years, went through countless wars and famine, to build what they have now.

And it is also very well-known that former 3rd world countries never developped, and never offer any type of business opportunities, like China, Chile, South-Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, UAE, Uruguay, where people remained poor and hungry, and where nothing of particular significance is happening.

Also omg some people just have health privilege, it is not the fact that they do sport and eat healhy, nope, that is just nothing, they are just lucky to be healthy.

If you don't have any of that then it is just society oppressing you and you have no chance to succeed. Don't even try. Just move to a country that took from the lucky to distribute to the unlucky. Life is great there, the paradise of workers, a beacon of peace and prosperity. Everyone is equal, and luck doesnt play any part because being rich is forbidden.

Try it! These countries are callee Cuba, North-Korea and Venezuela.
 

Oxx

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Sure, every entrepreneur out there were born with their ideas, connections, and the VC papers were ready halfway through their gestation period. They didnt have to work hard at all, money and success was just handed to them.

And it is well-known that 1st world countries ALWAYS were 1st world countries, that no one ever took the time or risk to develop stable democracies with healthy capitalism in it. Europeans were just lucky, they didn't struggle for 600 years, went through countless wars and famine, to build what they have now.

And it is also very well-known that former 3rd world countries never developped, and never offer any type of business opportunities, like China, Chile, South-Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, UAE, Uruguay, where people remained poor and hungry, and where nothing of particular significance is happening.

Also omg some people just have health privilege, it is not the fact that they do sport and eat healhy, nope, that is just nothing, they are just lucky to be healthy.

If you don't have any of that then it is just society oppressing you and you have no chance to succeed. Don't even try. Just move to a country that took from the lucky to distribute to the unlucky. Life is great there, the paradise of workers, a beacon of peace and prosperity. Everyone is equal, and luck doesnt play any part because being rich is forbidden.

Try it! These countries are callee Cuba, North-Korea and Venezuela.
"Sure, every entrepreneur out there were born with their ideas, connections, and the VC papers were ready halfway through their gestation period. They didnt have to work hard at all, money and success was just handed to them."

That's not what i believe at all!

The point i want to make is that the 7 reasons are increasing your chance of financial success by an insane amount, take only one of them away, and your chances sink drastically, that's why it's so important that successful people know what made it easier for them (for example healthy body = not having ALS) and then help to improve the situation, so that luck plays a lesser role in your chance of financial success. And that's how i came up with my idea.

By no means do i think that entrepreneurs get money and success handed by lucky circumstances, so you either misunderstood my post or you didn't understand it.
 

Oxx

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I think luck plays too much of a role in whether you survive as an infant past 1 month or not too.

It plays too much of a role on whether you are born with significant disabilities.

It plays too much of a role in whether you die in a car crash.

But guess what...
We can’t do shit about that!

Focus on what you can control.

While you’re worrying and philosophizing about luck, someone with bad circumstances is busy working and becoming more successful than you.

Stephen Hawking agreed with me about this, and he had ALS and couldn’t move. Look up Jason Becker too (he’s a guitar player) - he is still composing music and selling albums.

That is a good advice, while being in the process of achieving something, i shouldn't focus on the things i can't control, because it will not help me. If i think about all the things that potentially could go wrong and i don't have control over them, i might be too discouraged or distracted to even try.
 

mon_fi

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"Sure, every entrepreneur out there were born with their ideas, connections, and the VC papers were ready halfway through their gestation period. They didnt have to work hard at all, money and success was just handed to them."

That's not what i believe at all!

The point i want to make is that the 7 reasons are increasing your chance of financial success by an insane amount, take only one of them away, and your chances sink drastically, that's why it's so important that successful people know what made it easier for them (for example healthy body = not having ALS) and then help to improve the situation, so that luck plays a lesser role in your chance of financial success. And that's how i came up with my idea.

By no means do i think that entrepreneurs get money and success handed by lucky circumstances, so you either misunderstood my post or you didn't understand it.

Absolutely not.

Poverty in Belgium touches 20% of the population, despite Belgium being one of best countries in the world in terms of living standards, democracy, equality, freedom, and everything else.

The lesson is that your environment, or who you know, or anything else, does not matter as long as you are not taking action.

I would argue in fact the opposite of your argument. I think that living in a 1st world country decreases your chances of achieving financial success because you have to face less adversity.

People that dont face any adversity remain weak. They can't do anything by themselves and live off government support. Usually, they are...the kids of rich parents.

This is probably why most millionaires and billionaires are self-made. It's the fact that they had to fight to do what they did that made them billionaires. Adversity made them tougher, it made them richer.
 

xmartel

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Canada, eh!
The point i want to make is that the 7 reasons are increasing your chance of financial success by an insane amount, take only one of them away, and your chances sink drastically, that's why it's so important that successful people know what made it easier for them (for example healthy body = not having ALS) and then help to improve the situation
Those 7 points do increase your ability to achieve success. There's no doubt about that.

so that luck plays a lesser role in your chance of financial success.
But then you make this jump to saying it's luck, which has nothing to do with the first part of your paragraph.

Just because something is important, doesn't mean it's existence is luck.
You're still not understanding that people have choices around those 7 things. They can bring them into and out of their lives by their choices.
 

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