Naval Ravikant on Magnetic Luck

In every entrepreneurial story I’ve heard, luck played a role to one degree or another. I’m a big believer in luck, and I think it’s possible to manufacture your own luck.

I’m finishing reading The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson. This book shares Naval’s thinking around several types of luck:

  • Blind luck – Something completely out of your control happened, and it benefited you.
  • Persistence luck – You’re taking actions that set things in motion and result in something happening to you. Think working hard, hustling, or shaking a bunch of trees to see what happens. You’re creating forces that could generate a lucky break.
  • Spotting luck – You’re knowledgeable in a field and able to spot a lucky break in that field. Your specific knowledge allows you to see and understand what’s happening before others do.
  • Magnetic luck (my wording, not his) – You’ve built something that attracts others, who’ve gotten lucky, to you. You might have a unique brand or specific skill. People want to be associated with that brand or need your skill set to help them capitalize on an opportunity.

The first three types of luck are straightforward. The fourth is the “hardest kind of luck” to get.

I’m a fan of persistence luck and magnetic luck. Both are good ways to manufacture luck that anyone can take advantage of. A big difference between the two is the time frame. Persistence luck often optimizes for luck in the short term. You can take action tomorrow, and you might get lucky tomorrow. But magnetic luck is the “hardest kind of luck”—a long-term game. You’re building something, maybe a reputation or skills, over time. This requires commitment. But when this work is done, luck goes from being something that happens by chance to, as Naval says, “your destiny.”

If you’re interested in this book, it’s available for free. You can download the e-book file or PDF here.

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