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Making your own luck

2 min read


SmartBrief is partnering with Big Think to create a weekly video spotlight in SmartBrief on Leadership called “VIP Corner: Video Insights Powered by Big Think.” This week, we’re featuring Tony Tjan, managing partner at Cue Ball Capital.

There are several ways to keep your options open and make your own luck, says Tony Tjan, managing partner for Cue Ball Capital. He says there are certain habits involving optimism and relationships that you can adopt that help ensure you are open-minded and available to benefit from lucky circumstances.

The first habit is called the 24X3 rule of optimism, Tjan says. It is inspired by the idea that you should think of every reason why something will work before you think about why it won’t. According to the 24X3 rule, Tjan says that when you hear an idea, you should consider whether you can wait 24 seconds before you have a negative thought about it, and then 24 minutes and finally 24 hours, which allows you to open yourself up to more opportunities. “And if you think about every reason why someone’s idea might actually work first, it creates greater openness, generosity, and it exposes your own vulnerability, and it pushes your luck to a whole new level,” he says.

Another habit deals with your approach to relationships, says Tjan. He says that while you should always be aware of your most important relationships, you should also keep an open mind and shouldn’t overthink creating relationships with new people. Tjan suggests that at your next business event, you should make a list of the 10 people you plan on meeting or interacting with, but you should also try to meet people randomly. He gives the example of talking to all the people who are wearing red. “You’ll find yourself less contrived, you’ll probably find yourself being more authentic, you’ll probably feel that you have greater openness,” Tjan says. “And believe it or not, you might find yourself with the lucky network friend that can help you in the future.”

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