The Art of Getting Lucky

This newsletter is part of the Crashing Up subscription e-newsletter, curated by Randy Ginsburg. Subscribe to the newsletter here.

🍀Getting Better at Getting Lucky

In every success story, there’s often an element of luck. But what many people don’t realize is that many times this luck was created. Of course you have your sons and daughters of multimillionaires and billionaires who get the easy way out. I like to call these people the professional inheritors. They won by chance, not luck.

But for the other 99% percent of success stories, this luck was created. Historically, those who are the most successful are more skilled at creating their own luck by expanding their surface area of opportunities. The more opportunities you have, the better chance you are able to take advantage of them. Once you operate with this mindset, it’s easier to realize that getting lucky is a skill and that like all skills, it can be improved upon.

Here are a few ways to create your own luck:

Cold Emails – I’m a firm believer that you should never be afraid to ask for what you want. You will never get what you want without asking and the absolute worst thing that happens is that someone says no. In my opinion, cold emails are the best way to create your own luck. Over the last few years, I’ve sent hundreds of cold emails and DMs. Many people have said no to my asks and others haven’t answered at all, but the “yeses” I’ve received have completely changed the trajectory of my personal and professional life.

You don’t need to have an ask to send a cold email. Cold emails are a great way to start relationships too. Praise someone’s work, give them a compliment, share an interesting fact about a topic they’re interested in. You never know where this relationship will lead, who they may know, or how they can help you down the road. I discuss this more in a previous edition of the newsletter where I break down my favorite cold email tip, the five minute favor.

Share Your Ideas – The internet is the most powerful tool we have at our disposal. Building an audience around content you post (whether it be video, photo, audio, writing, etc.) is a foolproof way to extend your reach and harness more opportunity. It’s likely you’re already working on either a personal or professional project. No matter what field you work in or hobby you enjoy, there is someone out there who knows less about it than you do and is looking to learn more. No one expects you to be perfect, so don’t wait until you have the perfect idea or edit for your video. Let this be your serendipity vehicle.

Regardless of what you think of him, Gary Vee is one of the best at spotting trends before they happen. Watch this video of him discussing the future of the internet and content creation in 2010.

I wholeheartedly believe that we are still at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ability to design a career on the internet. Notice how I said design. This is in your control.

Be Prepared – Israeli author Eliyahu Goldratt once said:

Good luck is when opportunity meets preparation, while bad luck is when lack of preparation meets reality.

So what does preparation mean exactly? Doing the “unsexy” work when you don’t want to, making time for learning and research, building a stable network of friends, family, and professionals, and prioritizing your health and sleep are all examples of preparation. This can be different for everyone, but it means doing whatever you need to do to make sure that when that golden opportunity does present itself, you’re ready to seize it. This opportunity might come in six months or 60 years, but without proper preparation, you’ll become the unlucky one who couldn’t capitalize.

If you don’t believe me, read this article about how one designer made over $100,000 in six days selling iPhone icon packs for the new iOS 14 upgrade. This quote is perfect:

Sure, it took me 6 days to amass 3,626 sales for a total of $101,528, but like any overnight success, it was years in the making. In my case, about 7 years.

If you found this valuable, I’d love if you passed this off to a buddy who needs to hear it too. It’s never been easier to create our own luck, but you need to be willing to put in the effort.

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💪🏿Flexin’ in Your Complexion

ICYMI: On Friday, I shared my conversation with Gaby Goldberg. She’s an Investment Associate at Chapter One venture fund and an amazing writer. We spoke about the future of consumer technology, investing in cults, and the importance of gender diversity in the VC and tech industries.

With yesterday being the International Day of the Girl and October being National Bullying Prevention month, I want to share another story of a special female entrepreneur.

In 2017, with a simple click of a mouse, Kheris Rogers’s life changed forever. A young African American girl from Los Angeles, Kheris was able to use her “differences” to beat her bullies, boost her self-esteem, and thrive not only academically, but entrepreneurially as well.

Every two years, the US Department of Education and the Office of Civil Rights publishes a Civil Rights Data Collection Report in order to monitor the racial environment of our public school systems.

Of all bullying cases reported in this survey (2015-2016 school year), the leading causes of bullying were:

•Sex (41 percent)

•Race (23 percent)

Of all the students who were enrolled in the schools covered in the study, 15 percent were African American. These 15 percent made up 35 percent of the reported bullying cases.

Now twelve years old, Kheris’s first experiences with bullying dated back to the first grade. The subject of horrid verbal and physical abuse, Kheris was punched and threatened by classmates, who referred to her as “a dead roach” or someone who “was left in the oven too long.” These harsh words were her first introduction to racism and tore her down to a point where she didn’t want to be in her own skin.

“She once asked if she could stay in the bathtub longer in hopes of making her skin lighter. That’s when I realized the bullying that was going on at her school in the first grade was really taking a toll on her,” her mother said. 

Upset, hurt, and confused, she sought out advice from family members.

“Flex in your complexion.”

This phrase was coined by her grandmother, Bettie Pollard, who constantly used it to reiterate to Kheris and her sister that they were beautiful, no matter the color of their skin.

“So flexin’ in my complexion means to me that it doesn’t matter what other people think about you. It’s what you think about yourself, and you don’t let anybody tell you different,” Kheris said.

In the spring of 2017, Kheris’s twenty-three-year-old sister Taylor, posted a picture of Kheris on Twitter with the #FlexinInHerComplexion and…it broke the internet. The post brought in almost over a million likes and retweets.

After going viral overnight, the two sisters identified a promising business opportunity. Taylor suggested they put the phrase on a few t-shirts and try to sell them.

With an $100 loan from their mother, Kheris and Taylor scraped together a website, learned the basics of screen printing and set up shop out of their garage. A month after the original post, their business Flexin’ in My Complexion was born. Within a few days of launch, Kheris’s endeavors spread contagiously across social media, garnering the attention of many high-profile celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and Alicia Keys. Other celebrities such as Lena Waithe and Lupita Nyong’o quickly became loyal customers, Instagramming photos of themselves sporting their own Flexin’ in My Complexion tees.

Since its launch, the Flexin’ in My Complexion line has expanded from t-shirts into bomber jackets, jumpsuits and satin pants sets with new taglines such as “Coolest Queen in the Universe” and “The Miseducation of Melanin.” Propelled by the catchy motto, celebrity endorsements, and the genuine authenticity of her story, Kheris has successfully sold over $200,000 worth of gear (as of 2019.)

With the help of her sister-turned-manager, she has built a tremendous brand around simply being herself, amassing nearly 300,000 followers between Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. She’s also been the recipient of numerous social impact awards.

In the last year alone, Kheris has become the youngest designer to feature her work during New York Fashion Week, been featured on America’s Next Top Model, and was hand selected by LeBron James as one of sixteen powerful African American women to feature in the Nike campaign for the launch of his LeBron 16 sneaker. She recently signed a deal with Columbia records for a new girl group called “Run the World.” In addition to all of this, Kheris travels across the globe sharing her story and empowering other like-minded African American women to take the leap, find their passions, and follow their dreams.

Regardless of your age, race, or gender, I think we can all learn something from Kheris’s story. If you want to read more stories like this one, I’d suggest checking out my book Adversity to Advantage: How to Overcome Bullying & Find Entrepreneurial Success.

You can also read more about it in ForbesInc., and Entrepreneur.


🧰 Tool of the Week

Picture this: You’re working on a big project and have a nauseating amount of tabs open on your computer. Your patience is waning as it seems like each click and page load are taking an eternity to process. Your computer’s RAM is quickly depleting and the fan is whirring so loudly that you’re worried it might explode.

If this sounds like a typical Tuesday afternoon for you, welcome to the party. This was me too, until I found OneTab.

OneTab is a Chrome extension that reduces clutter and frees up RAM by converting all of your open tabs into a list that lives in your toolbar. If you need to access a page, you can click the OneTab icon and select which pages to restore.

It’s one of those tools that once you use it, you can’t imagine life without it.

That’s it for this week. Big thank you to those of you who have been using the Feedletter form to provide feedback on the last few editions. I’ve already tried to incorporate your recommendations and will continue to do so. With that being said, please let me know what you thought of today’s newsletter.

If you’re new here and want to catch up on some old editions, here are a couple of my favorites: Fast and Curious and Live from the Bubble. You can also follow me on Twitter or check out randymginsburg.com for more writing.

Thanks for reading and see you on Friday,

Randy