When people are able to reach financial independence early in their lives, are they lucky? Some people would say absolutely not. Others would say absolutely. I think the truth lies somewhere in between.
It’s an interesting and controversial question. For most people, it’s easy to get offended when someone calls you lucky. However, there’s value in staying humble and realizing where you came from.
Here’s an example.
Early investors in Apple saw something in their products. Maybe these investors loved the iPod and saw greatness before nobody else did. It’s hard to say.
Regardless of their reasons, I would have to say there was some luck involved. Nobody could have predicted the massive returns on their investments. Like predicting the stock market, it’s never easy to predict the next big thing. Consumers are extremely tough to judge.
For every major success, there have been countless cataclysmic failures. Even Apple has developed a bunch of products which flopped after release.
With that said, I don’t think early financial independence can be achieved solely by an act of luck. It’s near impossible to simply walk into wealth of that nature. I’m sure there are a few instances of blind luck, but they must be few and far between.
Most of the time, luck is simply one factor in the long list of variables responsible for your current situation.
Truly successful people recognize the importance of luck in their lives
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) June 3, 2015
In a tweet from 2015, Bill Gates makes a reference to dropping out of college and how he got a little lucky in the end. I greatly respect people who can humbly say luck played a factor in their lives.
Being one of the richest men in the world, Gates could selfishly say his net worth was built by himself and himself only. However, it seems as though Gates has taken the high road. He’s able to look at his situation and say he was lucky to come out of it successful.
When you look at successful people like Gates, it’s important to realize there was a solid team around him. His family and friends, his wife, and more than likely his children, contributed to his success. In that way, he was lucky to be blessed with those people.
When you are lucky enough to have a solid family and group of friends around you, appreciate it. Make it a habit to spend time with them. Take advantage of what they provide.
All around you, other people influence your life.
The people in your life influence you in ways you can’t imagine.
You don’t really have control of the family in your life. When you’re born, you get one family. As a child, you don’t get to control whether or not you’re born into abuse. You may be born into an unlucky situation of drug addicts and poverty.
If you’re born into a home of abuse and neglect, luck has unfortunately had a negative impact on your life. In the above 2013 article on CNN Money, 70% of those born poor stay poor.
On the other hand, being born into a strong family and healthy environment can give you a huge advantage. I’m not trying to say your birth place determines where you end up. Instead, try to realize the advantages or disadvantages you’ve had.
Even your birthday might have an effect on your financial independence.
In Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, the way in which your birthday effects future success is discussed. Your birth date can have a great effect on your success in school.
For example, in this article by The Atlantic, young students are disproportionately diagnosed with learning disabilities. This may be because younger children’s brains aren’t as developed as older children yet.
Imagine if this is actually true. Imagine if your birthday truly effects whether or not you’re placed in advanced classes at an early age. The result can snowball.
At later ages, you may be at a huge disadvantage to others. You may have a harder time grasping financial concepts and personal finance basics. As a result, your ability to generate wealth and retire early can be altered.
Showing up everyday gives you more chances to be lucky.
Knowing how luck effects our lives is important, but it’s not everything. Luck isn’t the only factor involved in our success.
By putting in hard work and “showing up” every day, you give yourself more chances to be lucky. For example, you gain a lot of investing knowledge simply by trading some stocks and researching mutual funds. The experiences might be painful at first with larger losses, but you’ll be learning nonetheless.By putting in hard work and 'showing up' every day, you give yourself more chances to be lucky Click To Tweet
The same is true when striving for financial independence and early retirement. You won’t get there by doing nothing, so you might as well be trying new things all the time.
You won’t become an expert at budgeting without putting in the practice and budgeting every day. However, if you try to get 1% better every day, you’ll grow and take advantage of any lucky opportunities that might pop up.
Luck is part of life. More importantly, you’ll likely need a little bit of luck to reach early financial independence. That’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Luck comes in all different shapes and sizes. You can’t control where you’re born, but it’s important to remember it’s a factor for all of us. Never forget where you came from.
Luck is not a bad thing to admit. To get where you’re going, you still need to work hard every day and take advantage of the opportunities in front of you. Try to avoid suffering from impostor syndrome. You are successful in your own unique way.
Whenever you have a success in your life, look back and think about how luck was part of it. Maybe your success was all your own doing. On the other hand, maybe someone took a chance on you and you simply took advantage.
When you achieve financial independence, stay humble. Your family and friends likely made sacrifices to help you get to early retirement. And best of all, enjoy the hell out of it!
[Featured Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/@frankiefoto]