Even though Samuel Goldwyn was the first to say it – my Dad was where I learned it: the harder I work, the luckier I get.
Ernest Hemingway said you can make your own luck.
The true definition of luck involves good fortune happening by chance, independent of your own efforts. Samuel, Ernest, and my Dad would disagree. I would, too. Some people are just lucky. The rest of us make our own luck.
Sometimes seeing the hard work behind the luck is difficult – think social media. The posts and tweets you see are (almost exclusively) beautifully curated portrayals of someone’s life as they want you to see it.
It’s rare that you see the backstory. Like a singer or actor who worked hard for a decade and was suddenly an “overnight” sensation. True talent makes it all look so easy – allows you to think they must just “be lucky.”
My favorite middle son, Harry, is an influencer. He’s also my inspiration. I watched him set his intention (several years ago) and go after it. Hard. Laser-focused. In true social media fashion, when you look at his Instagram posts (@veryharryhill) you’ll see what he wants you to see. The perfect shot. You never see the other 376 shots that were discarded.
It’s also not obvious what it took to create and execute that perfect shot. With Harry’s permission, I’ll let you have a glimpse.
Last summer Harry created content using pool floats. Months before he created it, he knew we’d be on a remote island – the perfect location for realizing his vision. A few weeks in advance, he contacted many pool float manufacturers, requesting specific floats. Many agreed. The remote island location required an extra layer of organization since there was not a lot of wiggle room – if the floats hadn’t arrived by the day he planned to use them, it would be too late.
Next up – see the photo above – these were really big floats. How does one actually blow up large pool floats? Harry arranged to have an air compressor waiting for him on the island.
What if the weather was bad? What if the lighting wasn’t perfect? What if the waves were too big? What happens when, without wind, the biting black flies arrived in droves.
That last scenario describes the day Harry took photos in the big pink coffin. The lake was calm, the sun was shining (perfect lighting) and the black flies joined him when he crawled into that pool float. No amount of insect repellent deterred them. They worked as quickly as possible to get the perfect shot.
While the rest of us relaxed on this remote island. Harry spent the entire seven days scouting locations, setting up the shots, creating the copy to accompany the photos and editing everything into the finished product that he posted on-line.
(If you’d like to see the content he created, check out his Instagram (@veryharryhill) and scroll down a bit. The series of pool float photos will jump out at you.)
He made it look so easy. He makes everything he does look so easy. Again, that’s the definition of a true professional.
Who, in your world, do you look at and think they must be so lucky? Have you ever asked them their back story? I’d love to know below.