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Ambitious Lifestyle Business Podcast #013

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ALB#013 – I should be so LUCKY – the myth of “luck” in business

In today’s episode we expose the myth of “luck”, and show you how “luck happens” – good and bad. We ban Rob from attending any future Plymouth Argyle matches, and demonstrate correlation versus causality using a pasty.

We’ll also show you to win raffles, and buy your house cheaper. We’ll look at how everything is YOUR fault, and cure you of “excuseitis” once and for all.

We hear about people who lost a million dollars, were born without arms and legs, and who were given a terminal cancer diagnosis (not the same person – that WOULD be unlucky!) – and how they each consider themselves to be lucky – mainly by creating their own luck.

Podcast Transcription

Below is the transcription of our podcast for you to read through if you prefer:

John: So hey everybody and welcome to episode 13 of The Big Idea podcast and today’s topic is, I should be so lucky.

Jason: Lucky, lucky, lucky.

John: I should be so lucky in business.

Jason: See it could work out.

John: We might need to edit that, yeah. Lee, can you put some background music on that mate? That’d be really good. Today we are talking about luck and we’re deliberately chosen episode 13 to talk about luck because …

Jason: It’s our 13th one.

John: Because it’s our 13th episode and 13 is an unlucky number, isn’t it?

Jason: For some.

John: Do you know I used to live in number 13.

Jason: Did you?

John: No I didn’t.

Jason: I was going to say.

John: I would have done if there had been a number 13. I lived in number 15. Next door to me was number 11, so I should have lived at number 13. Would I have had a more lucky life if I’d lived at number 13 rather than number 15?

Jason: No, but it’s probably easier to market number 15, than it is to market, here come live at number 13.

John: Yeah, I could have bought my house cheaper if it was number 13, which then would have been lucky!

Jason: Yes.

John: Not for the house. House builder anyway. To me it’s, luck is a myth. It’s something that you create. Other people say, “Oh create your own luck,” and I always paraphrase whenever people say to me, “Oh good luck with the presentation,” or, “Good luck with the sales campaign,” I always sort of paraphrase the “Back to the Future” film and say, “Where we’re going we don’t need luck,” because I do think, what’s luck got to do with it?

Jason: Is that another song?

John: What’s luck got to do …

Jason: That’s love isn’t it? Yeah. Sorry.

John: You know, I’m either ready for this presentation or I’m not.

Jason: Do you think people get mixed up with the word luck and success?

John: Yeah.

Jason: That’s the bit, which is probably key.

John: Yeah it is, because I think if you see someone whose very successful, the easiest option is not to go, “Oh they’ve worked really hard. They’ve put a lot of thought into what they’re doing and actually planned out step-by-step what they need to do,” no they’re lucky aren’t they? They’re just lucky. You know, I put the quote on our Facebook page the other day from Mark Cuban. It was something along those lines of, when you’ve had 10 years of working hard and all the hard knocks and breaks that go with it and you finally had a bit of success then everyone can tell you how lucky you were. Do you consider yourself to be a lucky person or an unlucky person?

Jason: No. No to be honest.

John: See I don’t. I think luck happens. Good things happen to you, bad things happen to you. People who say that they’re unlucky may have had more bad stuff than good, or it may be just that they remember more of the bad stuff and didn’t even notice the good stuff that was happening to them. Do you think that’s … ?

Jason: I’d say, yeah, everybody remembers the bad things don’t they? They’re the ones that you play on your mind all the time. You kind of think about them all … Whether you kind of have a bit of good fortune, or good luck or good things that happen, you don’t tend to remember them.

John: It’s like the old confirmation bias isn’t it? Whereby you tell yourself a story and then you agree with things that confirm hat biassed view you have of life. So I’m an unlucky person, I never win anything. We went to, you ran a charity event last month didn’t you? There was a raffle that was part of this.

Jason: Yep.

John: I was sat at a table with a certain member of my family who uttered the line, “Oh, I never win anything.” We bought raffle tickets, “I never win anything,” and they then won a shopping voucher and a box of chocolates and a tub of biscuits. They’ll probably, next time there’s a raffle they will probably utter the line, “I never win anything.” Well they do, but they’ve just said, “Well, it was only a tub of biscuits and some chocolates and a gift voucher, but I never win anything,” and if you go around telling yourself, “I never win anything,” well you start to believe that because why would you buy a ticket? Why would buy a ticket for the raffle if you know you’re not going to win?

Jason: I was unlucky the other day.

John: Were you?

Jason: Yeah, I went to football and had one of those 50/50 tickets and my number was one number out. That was a bit unlucky I thought.

John: Is it? Or is that lucky?

Jason: It’s just the way it was. Lucky I didn’t win? No, I’d rather liked to have won, but it wasn’t unlucky, I was saying-

John: That’s interesting because what difference does it make being one away versus being 157 away? Did you win?

Jason: No.

John: Right, same outcome.

Jason: Yes. Had I had one more number, if I’d of bought four pounds worth instead of three pounds worth, I’d have won.

John: You would have.

Jason: Next time I’m going to have to buy 100 pounds worth.

John: Or if you walked in one minute later, you would have won. Yeah we’ve all been there and nearly won something, but that doesn’t make you unlucky. Luck is just, you know we run sports betting businesses so I’ve done a lot of reading on odds and probability over the last year and there was this quote in this book I read last year, which said that luck is probability taken personally. That’s exactly what you’ve just done there. You’ve-

Jason: It was?

John: Well the probability of me winning is one in whatever, but I was one away, that’s so unfair. I’m so unlucky, I nearly had it-

Jason: I didn’t say it was unfair, I just felt, duh.

John: Oh when you’ve, obviously with the charity stuff you’ve organised lots of raffles. You’ve seen this happen all the time, “Oh, oh, fix! Fix!”

Jason: Takes me back to actually, I did one at school and it was, I think it might have been Christmas fair or something like that, but we had first prize was an Xbox. All the children had their tickets in assembly because we drew it in assembly, and they had all the tickets and my son Ben was, he was, “I’m having this”, and he said, “This is mine. I’m going to win this. It’s going to come up. I’ve got me ticket so I’m going to win.” He didn’t and he was gutted and he didn’t quite get the idea of how it worked but he thought, “I’ve got my ticket, I’m going to have mine bowed out.” So yeah, sorry, he didn’t feel very lucky that day.

John: It’s a good example, a good opportunity to explain probability to-

Jason: It was and I did it! It was good. He wasn’t so disappointed at the chocolate one at Easter, so that was all right.

John: There you go, see. So the other thing we need to talk about is whether you’re lucky, your luck, good luck or bad luck, is caused by a certain event. Rob, our erstwhile marketing-

Jason: Producer boy.

John: Expert. Has accompanied us to several Plymouth [Argaum 00:06:51] matches this season. Plymouth Argaum by the way are doing very well at the moment, they’re in, flying high in league two, second at the moment.

Jason: We’d have been first if we didn’t take Robert.

John: Well that is the issue I think because, quick shout out, Rob, how many games have you been to this season?

Rob: Five or six.

John: Five or six. I’ll say we’re second in the table, so how many wins have you seen in those five or six games Rob?

Rob: None.

John: None. Zero. Clearly Rob is the common denominator here. Derek Adams if you are listening to this podcast, which I know obviously as the Plymouth Argaum manager, you’re bound to be, I would suggest that you just ban Rob because clearly you know, we took him along last week. We sat there, we were winning, we were two/one up with two minutes to go and then Rob pipes up, I won’t tell you what he said in the first half- No go on, I will.

Jason: Tell us John because now we’re going to want to know.

John: We’re one/nil up in the first half and a certain marketing person says, “Do you know what I reckon? If they get a second goal by halftime, we’ll win this five or six nil.” Yeah, three/two we lost. Cheers Rob. We were talking about this before we came on the air and we’ve identified actually it’s possibly not Rob’s fault. That’s just a sign of correlation. We always talk about correlation versus causality. Did Rob’s attendance at the game cause Plymouth Argaum to implode with two minutes to go?

Jason: I suppose it depends if he was part of the dressing room talk at the beginning, “Guys I’m watching today, the pressure’s on.”

John: That was my dad actually.

Jason: That was your dad?

John: He did, he actually collared Derek Adams before the game and had some excellent words of wisdom for him. I think he said, “Make sure you win today.” Whether that message didn’t get through to the players or what, I don’t know whether the inspiration of my dad just didn’t quite make it through, but anyway, the other potential reason is my lack of buying a pastie that day because again, when I have bought a pastie on the way to the football, we’ve won. I think pretty much every game, every home game this season that I’ve been to, where I’ve bought a specific brand of pastie, not just any pastie, a specific brand of pastie at a specific shop we’ve won. I didn’t buy one on Tuesday and Rob was there, it’s no wonder we lost.

Jason: So the moons were not aligning.

John: Yeah. Or, that could just be complete correlation-

Jason: One of those things, yeah.

John: The cause of the implosion was actually the fact that we had a couple of injuries and we were really tired and the other team were just up for it a bit more than we were. It’s all their fault, it’s not Rob’s fault, it’s not my fault for buying a pastie or for not buying pastie. It’s not Rob’s fault for being there or not being there. It’s the teams fault for not preparing properly, for not defending a corner properly, for not being able to- For [Wade 00:10:02] being hurt by a crunching tackle, which still angers me to this day. Which brings me onto one of the members of our Facebook group, who joined relatively recently and was in a spot of bother with his business and he came along and started posting on our group. Very defensively, is that the word?

Jason: Yeah, kind of negative, I’d say negatively really. It was kind of-

John: Yeah. Woe is me.

Jason: I’m having this problem and it’s all somebody else’s fault.

John: He actually did say, “It’s not my fault.”

Jason: Yeah, it’s not my fault, this thing’s happened, this has gone wrong, this has happened and yeah, it’s-

John: I’ve been screwed over.

Jason: I really was looking for this to be my golden nugget, it was all working out really well, but something beyond my control happened and yeah, it’s all gone down the-

John: Yeah, I’ve fallen out with supplier and he now works out with someone else. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know and it’s not my fault, woe is me. You know, it’s completely out of my hands, I’ve just been unlucky. Well actually, no you were very much just within your comfort zone, you were doing what you knew, you fell out with your supplier because you weren’t nurturing that relationship, so that’s within your control. Someone else has come along and made better friends with that supplier, therefore, oh well, then they’re having good luck. Are they lucky or are they actually putting in the hard work in the right place? You read a book on this didn’t you?

Jason: I did actually, yes.

John: Excuses.

Jason: “The Magic of Thinking Big,” it’s a David Schwartz title. I hadn’t realised until today that it was written in 1959, but all of the content of it is quite relevant to even today’s, which is rather good. He talks in his book about excuses and people like to put in excuses. I think one of the things that we say, winners or successful people have, find solutions, whereas losers kind of find excuses. That’s pretty much it. Yeah, I’ve just had back luck is just one of those excuses really.

John: Yeah. We try to help this guy who is in our group and lots of the other members of the group also offered help, they offered website critiques and literally let’s talk through what needs to happen. Let’s look at where your business is. He just ignored all the offers of help. He had a lot of experts offering to basically give him free help to sort his business out, but he would rather say, “No, no, I don’t need any help because I am beyond help. It’s not my fault. It’s all other people’s fault. The world is against me. It’s completely unfair. No, no, toys were well and truly, out the pram.” You say, it’s …

Jason: That excuse, making kind of excuses, so you can conquer the excuse certainly of having bad luck by getting better prepared and creating your own luck. I know we talked about that as some of the members of our group kind of said, “Oh yeah, so I’ve just been better at identifying those lucky opportunities and working with them,” and kind of thing. It’s all about kind of perpetration a little bit, isn’t it? You can have a look at what other people are doing in terms of what they’ve done in order to get to their good luck, or their success if you like, and you’ll find actually they haven’t had something random happen then that’s given them that luck or that success. They’ve actually put in the hard work, they’ve put in the preparation and then the planning and that’s producing the success, or at least giving them the environment that they’re able to produce that success in.

John: You must have seen this motivational image before, the iceberg and you’ve got this massive, the bulk of the iceberg is under water and that is your preparation, that’s your planning, that’s your hard work, that’s your 16 hour days. That’s your networking with one person, that’s all the hard work that goes into it. Then the little bit sticking out of the top of it, well that’s the success that people see. I think that’s the case there isn’t it?

Jason: That’s it. We’ve looked at what successful people are doing so those, which are having bad luck and why they’re down on their luck, so to speak, you know what’s caused that? In our person’s experience then it is the fact that he didn’t nurture that relationship with his suppliers so he’s without that relationship and people do business with people, obviously, without that relationship it was able to meld away and he went with somebody else to sell his products for him sort of thing. That’s kind of one area, but then also competitively and all of the other things, which, there’s a few areas which went a bit adrift for him. I would argue were easily salvageable in order to continue and to do something with that.

John: If the desire’s there.

Jason: If the desire’s there, absolutely.

John: The head space I think. His mentality was just not conducive to actually running a business. He’d given up.

Jason: That’s pretty much it, yeah. I think if you look at people that are successful and those people that are, that if, when they receive a setback, not bad luck, when they receive a setback then he learns what he has to do to make that right and then goes out and does that too. When somebody who is perhaps not as successful does that, he thinks, “Actually, I’ve lost on that one,” or-

John: Yeah, I’m just unlucky, that’s the way life is.

Jason: I’m not going to learn anything from that and it’s like, well oh that’s a bit of a shame and I’ll go back to doing, back into my comfort zone and I’ll do what I can do otherwise.

John: Yeah, it’s learning lessons that are there aren’t they? The clues are there.

Jason: Yeah, yeah, and the other thing you can do is obviously don’t hang around waiting for something good to happen. Don’t be wishful thinking, don’t be a dreamer. Go and make that happen, and you can kind of do that with knowledge and you can do that with preparation and you can do that with lots and lots of different strategies in order to set yourself up for that success, rather than just waiting for something good to come along. You can put your pound or two pound nowadays, on the UK lottery. It may or may never come up might it? Lots of people do that-

John: So many people.

Jason: For their life.

John: It’s their route to success, isn’t it?

Jason: Whereas others do a lot of hard work, read about things, learn about things and copying others that are doing things successful and being you know, and doing those things and that’s what’s making the luck. I think that’s where a lot of our people in our group kind of said, “We actually make our own luck.”

John: Yeah. Exactly. We’ve made it in, kind of 17 minutes now, without the famous Gary Player quote, Gary Player, famous golfer was once asked, “How come you’re so lucky?” He replied, “Seems the harder I practise, the luckier I get.”

Jason: Absolutely, yeah, and all the Olympians are all the kind of the same aren’t they? I know we talked about rowing and making the boat go faster and things like that, but they train for eight hours every day, getting those things in place and putting everything in the right thing so they can actually succeed in their racing. That’s the same for anything, anybody who’s successful in any field.

John: It’s like you said, winners find solutions, losers find excuses. So that was a book you read, I read a book on financial trading called “What I Learned Losing A Million Dollars,” that’s losing a million dollars. It was co-authored, and as with all co-authored books, I can only remember one of the names. That was a guy called Jack Schwager and Jack was actually the main protagonist in the book. Basically he was almost like a Nick [Leeson 00:17:31] type. He was a commodities trader who had quite a lot of success and you know he made several million dollars at a very young age working for an investment house in the States. He basically believed his own hype, so he thought that he was like Gordon Gekko in “Wall Street” or Jordan Belfort in “The Wolf of Wall Street”. He was Mister Midas Touch, all I have to do is pick a stock, I’m the expert here, I know what I’m doing and it would just turn to gold.

What he actually learned by losing that million dollars was no I didn’t, no I wasn’t, what happened was I got lucky. I made a decision and then luck happened and I was right, hey! Again, correlation or causality, did I win because I made a good judgement or did I win because I was lucky? The member of our group, did he have a little bit of success in business because he makes really, really good business decisions or did he just get lucky and find a supplier and found a market, oh I’m making some money here. It wasn’t until Jack Schwager started losing money that he actually realised that, “Oh, well that’s the same decision I made here, why is that now not working?” Nothing wrong with my decision-making because my decision-making’s fine because I’m, you know. Clearly the market’s changed. Eventually he realised, no actually, I didn’t know what I was doing. I got lucky and I needed to recognise that that was luck, not judgement . You need to know the difference.

An example he gives now is well, if you study Warren Buffet and George Soros and you know a multitude of different successful investors over a prolonged period of time, well surely you should be able to come up with the strategy for investing because they’ve all made money. He said, “Well actually, the way they’ve all made money, the only thing they’ve got in common is they’re not all in the market at the same time.” One will buy, will go long on a stock, one will short a stock. One will be on property, one’s in tech. Well how are they all making money? Well it’s quite simple really, when one of them is going long on tech, the other one isn’t in the market. The other one doesn’t believe in it. When property’s crashing, the guy who’s pro-property is out of the market, his money’s set on the side because he knows that, “I’ve run by the figures,” we’ve got, again, one of our horse racing brands is run based on purely numbers.

It’s got nothing to do with actually, I’m an expert and I can look at these horses and I know, you know, gray’s are the best distance, always win. A lot of our customers do talk in that way. Whenever we have poor runner results, which happens because it’s stats, it’s numbers, we’ll get comments along the lines of, “I don’t know why you’re doing that. You should back this sort of race, or that sort of horse,” and then we’ll dig through the numbers and say, “Well actually our stats for the last seven years would disagree with you there.” Again, they’ve got this little story they tell themselves along the lines of, “Well my experience, my confirmation bias says that I’ve watched seven races and I was right in all these seven races, so clearly my strategy is right.”

Well, for those seven races, yes it was. For our seven years of data, no it wasn’t. Hey if we went back and analysed 70 years of data you might be right, I might be right, but there’s no way of knowing without going back through all that data. We had a little bit of that. We’ve had periods in our business where we’ve had the Midas touch where I’ve just, you know certainly thinking back to kind of early to mid-2000’s I felt that everything we touched turned to gold. It’s like, “Oh, just have an idea for business.”

Jason: We kind of knew the system, it kind of worked and we were running with it.

John: Yeah.

Jason: Every opportunity that we could kind of use, we were deploying.

John: Yeah, have an idea on Monday, build a website Monday afternoon in about five minutes. Submit it to Google, oh it’s number one on Google. Okay, let’s earn some money off that. Rinse and repeat, easy. It was basically, did I have the tremendous business sense that I was naturally gifted at that, or was I just in the right place at the right time? I think absolutely right place, right time. At the time-

Jason: A little bit of knowledge, which let you get to, actually this is what we’re going to do, this is how it gets to number one, that’s it, and-

John: It wasn’t-

Jason: Then it was a little bit annoyed, she did kind of need an awful lot of-

John: [crosstalk 00:22:45] Yeah, it was absolute little bit of knowledge. It was simple stuff. It was not complex at all. Then, you know, that was at the time I attributed that to, well I’m this brilliant businessman who’s going to be worth a hundred million by the time I’m 30, versus yeah I was just lucky at the time. Right place, right time. A couple years later, then we had the fiasco down at our office whereby we sold one of our businesses, we had a bit of cash in the bank, we thought, “Oh great, things are going well,” as long as we don’t get a nice, big, unexpected bill. Then we got landed with a 90,000 pound repair bill for an office that we’d be in for what, 18 months? Two years?

Jason: Yeah, yeah. That was, yeah, that’s us not having the knowledge really and-

John: Yeah, but at the time it was bad luck. How unlucky is that? That we get hit with this bad bill? Well actually, how lucky was it that we actually had the money that we’d sold from the business, because if that had happened 12 months earlier, we’d have been probably out of business.

Jason: How lucky was it our landlord was clever to stitch us up with such a …

John: Again, where we unlucky that we got stitched up with this terrible contract, or was it our fault because we didn’t hire a decent solicitor to actually go through that and say, “Hang on lads, whoa, do you see what you’re signing for here.”?

Jason: Yeah. Just for those that don’t know, we kind of took on an office building-

John: Fully repairing.

Jason: Fully repairing, it was from people who were using it as an office beforehand. Most of the building wasn’t used and the top half of the building was pretty much as it was when it was a house and the copper stuff and-

John: Asbestos.

Jason: Asbestos, and whatever else was all in the top half of the building, but we never used it, the guys before us never used it either, so we kind of went in, we exercised our break clause in the contract and come out of the office and yeah, need to be told, “Well actually you’ve got to make the building good and you’ve got to make the garden good,” which nobody’s ever been into or touched, and you’ve got to fix the roof and you’ve got to take all of the bad stuff out and every room has got to be habitable and things like that. It’s actually, well no one’s been habiting it for 50 years, how did we end up having to do it? Yeah, 90,000 pound bill.

John: The old Shakin’ Stevens song, “This Old House”, when every line of that was saying something was wrong with this office. They just thought, “Yeah well actually, you can do 70 years worth of repairs,” when we’d been in there for 18 months. Yeah, that was our fault. We actually did manage to get it, it cost us about 10,000 grand in the end. We did a lot of the work ourselves, we negotiated, we actually did get a decent solicitor in then to actually do some negotiation skills and say, “Look, this ain’t on,” and we got the cost down. It cost us about 10 grand, but hey, that was a lesson learnt. I wanted to briefly talk about a couple of people who I think have been either lucky or unlucky and first of all is my mum. My mum is what, 74 this year.

She lost her brother, so her brother died when he was 17, so she would have been I think 15. Maybe 14 or 15 when he died. So he died late ’50s. He was in the army and he was in Germany and his truck ran over an unexploded land mine and yep, blew him up. That was the end of him, so I never met him. I’m actually named after him, he was called John. She then lost her dad in the ’70s, so again she would have been in her kind of early 30s. Lost her dad. She lost her mum a few years later in the ’90s that was actually so yeah, she was grown up by then.

Then three years after she lost her mum, she then her lost her daughter, so my sister died 2001. By the time she’s kind of 60 she’s lost her only sibling, both her parents and her daughter, so is that lucky? Is she an unlucky person? Or, does this happen to people and it’s just random because she’s now in the position whereby she’s still got two children, she’s now got four, I’m sorry, six grandchildren. She’s got one great-grandchild. That is life carrying on. She’s got the experience of that. I mean I, she’s never really moaned about it or said that she’s unlucky. You just look at that and think, well actually, to have had all that happen to you over your lifetime, it’s almost like, what’s that bloody author called? You know the-

Jason: Give me more.

John: Female author, does East End stuff. Can’t think, anyway, it’s like one of those, but they go through the decades and everyone dies. I liken that to the positivity that her mum, so my Nan, had because she lost a child when she was, well she would have been 50, yeah 40. Yeah, she would have been about 45 I think when she lost her son. Then she lost her husband 10 years later, 15 years later. So yeah, she was widowed and had a child die, but she was the most positive person I ever knew. She always had a smile on her face, and a cigarette in her hand and a brandy in the other hand, that might be why she was so happy. You know, lots of people would have said, “Oh my God my husband’s died, my son’s died, that’s my life over. I’m an unlucky person.” She was so positive.

Jason: Bad things happen, don’t they though?

John: Yeah.

Jason: That’s the thing. I think [crosstalk 00:29:07] some people contribute that to luck and not luck you know?

John: Yeah.

Jason: Obviously I do lots of things with Cancer Research and one in two people are going to have cancer at some point, so are you lucky that you’re not one that has, or are you unlucky that you’re one that does have it? It’s kind of-

John: Cancer isn’t discriminatory.

Jason: No.

John: It doesn’t go,”I’m going to get you because you deserve it.” It’s literally, there are-

Jason: Is that lucky or is that- You know you hear so many people survived cancer or call themselves lucky, survivors kind of thing. There’s thousands of millions of pounds, which have gone into research to keep you alive kind of thing, but does that mean you’re lucky because some people don’t? That’s really deep.

John: I think, I’m going to do an in-between episode on almost that exact subject in a couple weeks time, but there’s a story of a lady who was given, yeah, nine months to live and point blank refused, “No. Cancer is not going to tell me when I die. I’m going to beat this.” Every doctor was saying, “No, I’m sorry this is terminal. You’ve got at most nine months.” Two years later she is completely benign, she’s in remission you know. She’s completely lost the cancer, but that was her absolute determination that, “No, I’m not- Bugger luck, I’m not leaving a will I see my children ever again down to luck. I’m going to take matters into my own hands.” Another book we’ve read recently, Nick [Vujicic 00:30:33], for those who don’t know, he’s an Australian guy who was born without limbs so he’s got no arms and no legs. Very, very emotional, very intense book, wasn’t it?

Jason: Uh-hmm (affirmative).

John: This chapter in particular there that’s very, very intense. I listened to it on Audio and it’s the first time I’ve ever listened to an audio book where the author is like breaking down in tears. Almost unable to actually read the script that’s in front of him. He’s describing how as a child he tried to commit suicide because he felt that he was, why has that happened to me? Why does God hate me so much? Why have I been so unlucky that this has happened? Surviving, yeah surviving, that suicide attempt was almost a turning point in his life to think, “Well actually, I’ve got to have a purpose.” I mean, he’s a very religious person so he kind of attributes a lot of this to God. God’s given me this infliction for a reason, for a purpose and he decided that his purpose was to save others who are in a similar situation, those who feel helpless. He’s out there now inspiring others, he’s a public speaker. He goes skiing, he goes swimming, he goes surfing. He has some record for surfing doesn’t he? Most 360 flips on a surfboard, or something like that.

Jason: Something like that.

John: He now, in his own life he thought he was very, very unlucky. He used that word a lot, he said, “I was so unlucky,” well he felt that he was unlucky, but then at one point in the book he said, “I now consider myself to be incredibly lucky,” he said, “Yes it was bad luck, if you like, that I was born without arms or legs, but I had all that bad luck in one hit at the start of my life,” he said,” Since then I’ve had nothing but good luck.” He said, “I’ve not been subjected to torture, I’ve not been raped. I’ve not had the murder of a loved one in my family. I don’t live in a war zone. I had all that bad luck up in one hit, and ever since then, I have been so lucky and I’m lucky now to be able to do what I do,” and he’s like 40 years old now.

He’s married with kids. Living a life that he absolutely loves. I think a lot of that is being able to look at when good luck does arrive, because, I say luck, bad luck, good luck will happen. When it arrives you’ve got to double down on it. You’ve got to spot that opportunity and run with it. You don’t know when that luck’s going to come again. When the bad luck comes, you’ve got to, first of all evaluate is that bad luck or is that bad judgement ? If it is just bad luck say, “Oh well, luck happens, what’s next? What can I do next to actually spot those lucky opportunities?” Which are to say, we did a survey in the Facebook group didn’t we?

Jason: Uh-hmm (affirmative).

John: 95% of them said, “Yep, I’m lucky.” Do we have a disproportionate amount of lucky people in our Facebook group?

Jason: No.

John: Or, do we have a good proportion of people who make their own luck?

Jason: We do and I think making your own luck and you know, take the- The chapters you’ve been talking about really, it’s about having some belief and his belief came out of God to be fair, but then became, once he discovered that it became about himself and actually his own self-belief. He then became confident and realised what he’s about. Your self-belief and your confidence is much bigger influence I think on your luck and creating good luck for yourself really than not really. Once you kind of got both of those, and some persistence and that’s also really important, I’m guessing he found that out without his arms and his legs.

John: Oh he had to be persistent.

Jason: Very persistent.

John: How do you stand up when you’ve got no arms and no legs?

Jason: Exactly.

John: How do you feed yourself?

Jason: Climbing into a chair, feeding yourself, changing your, getting changed, going to the loo, everything becomes obviously a challenge [inaudible 00:35:00], so persistence and that back again, brings itself success. Self-belief, a bit of confidence and I think our group on Facebook have people who are naturally confident and have their own self-belief because they’re in business and they have been doing, are doing fairly well and looking to grow and things. That’s where they kind of get in that positive vibe, if you like, or positive mindset in order to think actually, “Yeah, I’m a lucky person because I’ve had all these things that kind of happened.”

John: Yeah, well I think it’s, they know as well that good things or bad things, if they want the good things to happen in life, well they can go and take action to make those good things happen. They’re not set, they’re going, “Well, the only way I’m going to get out of this dead-end job is if I win the lottery,” they know, “Well actually, if I want to get out of this dead-end job, then I’ve got to train in a skill. I’ve got to set up a business. I’ve got to learn the processes,” and then they have to get out there and market it. They actually know, “Well actually, there’s the goal I want. Here’s the step’s I’m going to take. I will get there. I’m not relying on luck.” Where I’m going, where we’re going, we don’t need luck.

Jason: No.

John: Where we are going is to have a tool of the week and this week I have got a tool of the week of you.

Jason: Have you John?

John: Yes.

Jason: I was [rubbish 00:36:08] last week.

John: It was because you completely forgot to come up with one last week.

Jason: [crosstalk 00:36:11] Last week I thought, “Yeah, okay.” What have you found John?

John: So I have always been a strong proponent of listening to audio books and watching You Tube videos, all of that. I’ve quite often mentioned to a few people about listening on [Moto Speed 00:36:30], so with Audible and with podcasts for example, you can listen on 1.25, 1.5, two times, at some cases, if you can get away with it, three times speed. You can’t always do that with videos, so you get a lot of videos, I’m not sure, it may be the case with these videos on Facebook, that you can only watch it at 1.0 speed, you can’t speed them up. Well, what a waste of time that is. Until I discovered this little tool called Video Speed Controller.

Jason: Right.

John: Now, this is a Chrome extension, so you just plug it into your Chrome browser and you can then speed up any video.

Jason: Oh, okay.

John: So if you’re watching, say you want to watch some webinar that’s someone’s put together and it’s a 45 minute webinar and you’re thinking, “I could get this done in like half an hour if I could just listen on 1.5 speed,” now you can! You can literally just speed them up.

Jason: Can you slow them down for when we’re talking too quick?

John: OH, no, we don’t talk too quick.

Jason: That’s good then.

John: That’s good. That’s the other thing, if you are listening on three times speed, then we’re going to talk really, really quickly just you can’t understand what we’re saying. Then we’re going to talk really slowly. I hate it when people do that.

Jason: Yeah.

John: Anyway, that’s cool. That’s my little tool of the week, it’s called Video Speed Controller. As always we’ll drop links to that and everything else we’ve talked about into the show notes on the website, which is Big Idea dot CO dot UK forward slash podcast.

Jason: We’ve been talking all this day about our Facebook group.

John: We have.

Jason: There are lots of people that are in it and lots of advice that we’re kind of giving out in it, so guys, if you’re listening and want to join in on that action, that’s Big Idea dot CO dot UK forward slash Facebook. It’s a group so we’ll approve you straight into the group and you can come in and join that conversation. You can also get to watch us live there too because-

John: Hello!

Jason: Every podcast which we record, we actually record live, broadcasted via Facebook, so that’s in there too. Yeah, that’s Big Idea dot CO dot UK forward slash Facebook.

John: Yes, and you may even be able to speed it up using the Chrome extension. So there you go. We’ll be back next week with another episode of The Big Idea podcast, where once again we’ll be sharing some nice, simple, practical ideas to help your business grow so we’ll see you next week. Bye-bye.

Jason: Bye.

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“John and Jason have been there and done it and don’t have an ego about it like many others.

I know I am better organised, better planned and prepared and more likely to succeed sooner, thanks to their wisdom and experience.”

Matt Tricot - 1upsearch

"Two normal blokes from Plymouth" John and Jason have been working together, building businesses for over two decades!

They're the anti-gurus with a strong dislike of psuedo business psycho-babble. Their no-nonsense, straightforward approach with relateable and valuable advice has won them followers from all over the world. They've helped hundreds of business owners improve their businesses and lives.

The King of Can-do and the 'Lazy' Entrepreneur have a mountain of knowledge they're happy to share.

Could you DOUBLE your business 1% at a time?

Could you grow your business by just 1% this week? That doesn’t sound too hard, does it? Well, if you could grow your business by just 1% every week, after 69 weeks, you’d have DOUBLED your business!

These 1% gains are the same techniques used by the British Cycling Team that helped them turn a bunch of “also-rans” into world beaters, notching up forty-two medals in the last four Olympics, as well as winning six of the last seven Tour De France races.

The One Percent Club will show you EXACTLY how to implement these 1% gains into your business, and how they can stack up to REALLY grow your business.

John released his first book “Big Ideas… for Small Businesses” in 2017, and it shot straight to the #1 bestseller list for Small Business and Entrepreneurship on Amazon, outselling books by Richard Branson, Alan Sugar and Duncan Bannatyne combined.

Since then, it’s sold thousands and thousands of copies all over the world, and attracted more than 100 five-star reviews. But more importantly, it’s changed the lives of small business owners all over the world, who now understand that running a lifestyle business isn’t a bad thing.

I think you’ll like it…

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