Do ya feel lucky? The Role of Luck in Wealth and Money

In the pursuit of wealth, the concept of luck often emerges as a pivotal yet contentious factor. While some attribute their financial success to sheer serendipity, others emphasise the role of hard work, strategic thinking, and preparation. This article delves into the intricate relationship between luck and wealth, drawing on insights from Felix Dennis’ “How to Get Rich,” Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich,” and various psychological perspectives on wealth.

Perhaps a good understanding of financial literacy is needed to as we pursue our happiness in our money lives. Take a view of this on the Dads In Business blog.

Understanding Luck: The Basics

Luck is commonly perceived as a random and uncontrollable force that influences events in life. In the context of wealth, luck can manifest as being in the right place at the right time, meeting the right people, or encountering unforeseen opportunities. However, the question remains: to what extent does luck contribute to wealth, and how much of it is within our control?

Felix Dennis: Luck and Wealth

Felix Dennis, a British publishing magnate, provides a nuanced view of luck in his book “How to Get Rich.” Dennis acknowledges that luck plays a role in achieving wealth but emphasises that it is not the sole determinant. He famously states, “If it flies, floats or fornicates, always rent it. It’s cheaper in the long run,” underscoring his pragmatic approach to wealth and risk management.

Dennis highlights three key quotes related to luck in his book:

  1. “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” This adage, often attributed to Thomas Jefferson, encapsulates Dennis’ belief that diligent effort increases the probability of encountering luck. Hard work creates opportunities, which in turn can lead to fortunate outcomes.
  2. “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Attributed to Seneca, this quote aligns with Dennis’ perspective that preparation is crucial. By being prepared, individuals can capitalise on opportunities that others might miss.
  3. “The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work.” Harry Golden’s words resonate with Dennis’ belief in perseverance. He argues that while bad luck can occur, persistent effort and resilience can eventually lead to success.

The Psychology of Wealth

The psychology of wealth explores the mental and emotional aspects of accumulating and managing wealth. Psychologists emphasise that mindset, beliefs, and attitudes towards money significantly influence financial success. A key concept in this field is the “wealth mindset,” which involves viewing wealth as an attainable and manageable goal.

One psychological theory that aligns with the concept of luck is the “locus of control.” Individuals with an internal locus of control believe they can influence their own outcomes through effort and actions. Conversely, those with an external locus of control attribute their successes and failures to external factors, such as luck or fate. Research suggests that a strong internal locus of control is associated with higher financial success, as individuals take proactive steps towards their goals.

Understand more on the concept of risk with our helpful resource over on the blog page

Napoleon Hill: Think and Grow Rich

Napoleon Hill’s seminal work, “Think and Grow Rich,” delves into the principles of wealth creation and the power of thought. Hill’s philosophy revolves around the idea that positive thinking, desire, and persistence are essential for achieving wealth. While he acknowledges the role of luck, he emphasises that it is secondary to the power of the mind.

Hill introduces the concept of the “Master Mind,” a group of like-minded individuals who support and inspire each other. This idea highlights the importance of networking and collaboration in achieving success, suggesting that surrounding oneself with the right people can create opportunities that might otherwise be attributed to luck.

The Science of Serendipity

Serendipity, the occurrence of events by chance in a beneficial way, is often cited in discussions about luck and wealth. While serendipity might seem purely random, research indicates that certain behaviours and attitudes can increase the likelihood of serendipitous events.

A study by psychologist Richard Wiseman explored why some people appear to be luckier than others. Wiseman identified four key principles that “lucky” people tend to follow:

  1. Maximise chance opportunities: Lucky people are open to new experiences and are more likely to encounter unexpected opportunities.
  2. Listen to lucky hunches: They trust their intuition and act on it, which can lead to favourable outcomes.
  3. Expect good fortune: Optimism and positive expectations can create a self-fulfilling prophecy, attracting positive experiences.
  4. Turn bad luck into good: Resilient individuals see setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow, ultimately turning adverse situations to their advantage.

These principles suggest that while luck involves an element of chance, proactive behaviours and a positive mindset can significantly influence one’s fortunes.

Are men more or less lucky than women? Learn more about the attitudes to luck and risk between men and women!

Balancing Luck and Strategy

While luck undeniably plays a role in wealth accumulation, it is most effective when combined with strategic thinking and action. Successful individuals often create their own luck by being prepared, staying informed, and taking calculated risks. Here are some strategies to harness luck in the pursuit of wealth:

  1. Education and Skill Development: Continuously improving skills and knowledge increases the ability to seize opportunities when they arise.
  2. Networking: Building strong relationships with a diverse group of people can open doors to unexpected opportunities.
  3. Risk Management: Taking calculated risks, rather than reckless gambles, can lead to serendipitous outcomes without jeopardising financial stability.
  4. Adaptability: Being flexible and willing to pivot in response to changing circumstances can turn potential setbacks into opportunities.


The interplay between luck and wealth is complex and multifaceted. While luck can provide unexpected opportunities and advantages, it is often the result of hard work, preparation, and a positive mindset. By understanding and leveraging the principles of luck, individuals can enhance their chances of financial success. As Felix Dennis, Napoleon Hill, and psychological research suggest, the key lies in balancing serendipity with strategy, turning potential luck into tangible wealth. Ultimately, in the journey to wealth, it seems that the harder we try, the luckier we get.

Perhaps you need to understand why you want to be wealthy in the first place, too? Does money buy happiness? Is getting busy the answer? It all depends on how we perceive money and what we want to do with it when we have it. We spoke to an internationally acclaimed author on the topic of money and wealth, Carl Richards about the relationship we hold with money. Check it out!

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These helpful conversations about the topic of money and our relationship to it will help immeasurably when it comes to your attitude to risk and luck from the lens of your financial ambition.

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Download our free guide to help employers create a more inclusive and supportive work environment for men and dads.