In business and in life, we make our own luck

What I sometimes forget is that in order to catch fish, you need to actually cast and get the line in the water.

There’s a scene in one of my favorite movies, “Rogue Trader,” in which actor Ewan McGregor plays Nick Leeson, a real-life financial market rogue trader.

In one scene, one of the people who works for Leeson believes a wardrobe choice is bad luck for the trading operation. Upon hearing this concern, Leeson responds, “We make our own luck.” (It’s a good movie with a lot of lessons, one of which is, don’t bankrupt one of Great Britain’s oldest banking institutions. But I digress.)

But I was reminded of this quote while I was participating in a fishing derby over the weekend. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, so I’m always trying to make sure I’m tying the lure on with the perfect knot. I also tend to fiddle with just about everything else, including bug spray, the rod and reel, my watch and multi-tools.

What I sometimes forget is that in order to catch fish, you need to actually cast and get the line in the water.

At the derby, I noticed a lot of other people were catching more fish than I.

I know this, of course, because I was busy watching them and not fishing much.

Over the years, I’ve accumulated quite a bit of fishing expertise, if I do say so myself. I’m no fish whisperer, but I can look at the water, time of day and check out a few other factors and get a reasonable sense if I’m going to waste my time for hours or catch some fish.

But none, I mean none, of that expertise matters one bit if I don’t bother to cast the line out there.

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Mark Phillips is the editor and video host of Aftermarket Intel, a global hub for automotive aftermarket and emerging technology news. Through an automotive media career spanning more than 15 years, Mark has etched his name as a respected authority within the industry. His passion for automotive news and his trusted insights have taken him around the globe, from the bustling tech shows of Japan and Taipei to the historic automotive landscapes of Italy and Germany and the vibrant streets of Panama. Previously, he was editor of newspapers in Ohio and in Boston. He is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University.