August 5, 2023

Avoid anyone who touts that they’re “unlucky.”

-Sean Stephenson #Sean365

“I’m an introvert so I have trouble making connections and building my business”

-Too many introverts

When I received the quote above from Sean Stephenson (a quote from Sean is a treat in my Inbox every day), it made me think long and hard about the role “luck” plays in our day-to-day activities…especially in business.

Others have written about luck much better than I can…and I’ve read some fascinating books on the topic.

For example, many authors have written about how luck shows up by magic (a more spiritual approach); or different ways we create our own luck (a more self-reliant approach); or that luck is simply a manifestation of hard work (a realist approach).

There are many other theories as well.

All are worth exploring and I guarantee you will enjoy going down the “luck rabbit hole.”

I agree with Sean’s thesis that people who believe that being “unlucky” is a valid excuse for not achieving their goals…or for not being as successful as they “deserve” …is more of a crutch than a valid belief.

I paired the other quote above with Sean’s (which is a mashup of what I’ve heard from some self-proclaimed “introverts” over my 40+ years in marketing) because many who have spoken some version of it, also use it as an excuse for their lack of success.

Is luck a real thing? Sure.

Is being an introvert a valid personality type? Sure.

Can luck be good or bad and can being an introvert be positive or negative? Of course.

But using being unlucky and/or being an introvert as your go-to excuse (and some even use both simultaneously), when things don’t go your way, has its problems.

In the P.S. I will tell you about the “Luckiest Introvert” I know.

And don’t fear the bad-luck-introvert-reaper…there are many more like him…so keep the faith if you see yourself as an unlucky introvert.

And read the P.S. 🙂

Overcoming bad luck by making your own (good) luck…and/or making your introverted personality your friend…is what I want to talk briefly about today.

Making your own good luck by being proactive, not reactive

Real connection and relationship building have nothing to do with luck…it’s work…and it is my contention that creating true “relationship capital” (as opposed to accumulating 5,000 Facebook friends for example) is the prescription for achieving good luck…which then makes luck a skill.

Good fortune happens all the time…as do bummers of all kinds…but if you have laid the groundwork by nurturing your relationship capital, over time, there are fewer surprises either way.

Said another way: Good fortune is more predictable than you might think.

What do I mean by nurture?

For the purpose of linking nurturing with luck, nurturing is the process of making deposits into your relationship capital “account” without waiting for the “interest” to simply accumulate by fate.

You create the interest.

And the only way to create compound interest is to work at it…not with gratuitous communication about yourself…but with meaningful communication (and engagement) with those you want to build a deep and lasting relationship with…and making it about serving them and what you can do for them.

These are themes you know about already…from me and others…but it is the key component to making your own (good) luck.

In fact, one of my earliest posts in 2014 explored “The compound interest from relationship capital“ and I’ve been on reruns and reworkings of this concept ever since.

Even last month, I wrote “When ROI is overrated” which was another angle on the same theme.

And now I can relate it to “getting lucky.” 🙂

While I firmly believe that luck is earned and not a gift, I also believe in “serendipitous luck.”

That’s where you prepare for success with a large (and building) relationship capital account…and when certain people don’t reciprocate on everything you put out into the world for them, you need to be OK with that.

There’s no reason to panic when you serve and share for one person (or many) and nothing comes back to you immediately…or soon after…because life is long.

Over time, putting into the world what you want to share, with no expectation of a return, will come back to you from other directions that you don’t expect–serendipitously–because of the good karma you created in the first place.

I’m not saying this to be woo-woo…and I don’t consider myself an overly spiritual or religious person.

A good friend of mine has heard me speak on this topic several times, sent me a pillow as a present with the following written on it:

serendipity. (ser-en-`dip-i-te). n. The happy occurrence of fortunate discoveries by chance.

I will add that “chance” is often created by years of dedication and focus to learning and giving…and writing.

Yet another way to make luck a skill.

I have hundreds of instances from my career where “luck” seemed to have come out of nowhere…but it came from somewhere…just not from a direction that I had directly targeted.

Hopefully this happens to you often because it’s a thrilling way to experience life.

If it has, I bet you make regular deposits into your relationship capital account, regardless of whether you experience short-term success…or you do it not looking for some quick (or dumb) luck.

However, if you look for rapid, direct reciprocation for everything you do for others, I have a feeling you might see yourself as “unlucky” more times than not.

I’m sure that is also what Sean had in mind when he proclaimed avoiding anyone who touts themselves as unlucky.

Leaning IN to your introverted nature…rather than leaning ON it

I have been told anecdotally that there are many more people who self-select as introverts as opposed to extroverts…but according to The Google, it’s actually closer to a 50/50 split.

So much for listening to people anecdotally.

However, in my experience, extroverts tend to wear their outgoing nature as a badge of honor, something they are proud of, and rarely do they talk about it as something that holds them back.

Of course, an extrovert can be a jerk like anyone else. 🙂

Introverts are far more complicated…some wear their introspective and shyness as a badge of honor as well…especially when they achieve goals not “suited” to their personality (e.g., a self-proclaimed introvert becomes a world class public speaker) …but many use it as an excuse that holds them back.

And then they might fall into the group that calls themselves “unlucky” more than folks around them want to hear.

But go back to the principles of communication I talked about above…and growing your relationship capital slowly (which may be a more appropriate pace for an introvert). Introverts might have a built-in advantage to relationship and community building. Just a theory.

I am by no means introvert-shaming in any way (given that I am an extrovert) …just the opposite.

In fact, I could use a little extrovert-shaming when I get out of control.

The only point I am making is that using anything that is part of who you are, what you represent, where you are in your life, does not make you inferior in any way…and everything you think that might be a curse is a blessing.

And…anything that you can use as an excuse might be a strength.

And…anything and everything can bring you “good luck.”



P.S. Ben Settle, the king of email marketing, is as far from an unlucky introvert as one can be…and by all measures, he’s had much good fortune (and if you need to label it as luck, go for it).

He has accomplished this while taking introvert to “hermit” status.

And he’s built that into his persona and made it a strength in all of his marketing.

He defines the words consistent and congruent…which beat luck and introvert by a wide margin.

He is the luckiest hermit on the planet…with all his luck being earned. 🙂

He has proven there are many ways to accomplish success, in his case as a severe introvert, using email to build his relationship capital, and rarely speaking or “extroverting.”

Although he has produced some videos while walking his dog…and he produced some videos with me (see below).

On the surface, you would think Ben and I would be strange bedfellows:

  • He’s an introvert/I’m an extrovert
  • He writes daily emails/I write weekly emails
  • He has no patience for trolls, people who lack grace, people who lack basic intelligence/I tolerate everyone (often at a huge cost I might add…which I am willing to pay)


  • We both agree that email remains the “killer app” when it comes to online marketing (with no disrespect to video, audio-podcasting, live webinars, social media et al…..it’s just that we believe email fuels everything).
  • Two of his favorite film directors, Frank Capra and Quentin Tarantino are my top two …check out this post…”Pulp (Non) Fiction”… which talks about my love for Tarantino, how his movies relate to direct response copywriting…and in the P.S. there is a video Ben and I did together about Frank Capra (and Ben’s insights are gold for any copywriter or marketer). If you don’t know who Frank Capra was (or even if you do) you are in for a treat.
  • By analyzing our respective online families—yes, our email lists—the overlap is incredible…much more than any strange bedfellows deserve…which tells us we need to overlap even more.

So…if you are not a member of Ben’s online family, you need to be…and you can sign up here.

This is a basic “email swap” between the two of us (he recently did the same for me) …to add to the overlap of our respective families…so you can have some more Ying with your Yang.

Being part of Ben’s world will deliver delightful surprises into your Inbox every day.

I think you are ready. 🙂

When you sign up you will receive a free PDF of the first Email Players issue (Email Players is his flagship “product,” a print newsletter, and I have been a subscriber for many years) …PLUS you will receive access to his mobile app with 40+ hours of content.

Being an introverted hermit is not a deterrent to deliver unlimited content. 🙂

One thing I also admire about Ben is that he understands the power of physical product and print in an online world.

He sees it, as I do, as an unfair advantage that most online marketers don’t recognize…unless they read Ben’s emails on a regular basis.

That’s one of many reasons to be a follower of Ben.

He also uses “Infotainment” for good and not evil…marketing through stories, narrative, “reader mail,” and experiences…with purpose…and with hundreds of marketing lessons.

As I mentioned above, he recently sent an email to his online family to be part of mine…some of you who are reading this right now came from Planet Ben…and I’ve already engaged with many of you. It’s been a blast.

I am interested in hearing from more of you as you compare our email “styles” …and hopefully you continue to enjoy yourself here since I know you probably worship Ben.

As you know, I rarely endorse other people’s products…and when I do, I do it to share valuable information, education, and impactful marketing lessons…and I don’t take affiliate commissions either (and when I am offered a royalty or commission, I use them as a “kickback” to get my subscribers the best price…or donate my commissions to charity).

In this case, I am only asking you to sign up to be part of Ben’s email family…which is worth more than any product I could sell you…and it’s free.

Please sign up right now by clicking here.

I consider it a privilege to do this…and you will consider it a privilege to be part of Ben’s world.

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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