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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