Lucky in Life, Lucky in Business

Lucky in business with Steve Zehngut and ZeekLuck means different things to different people.

Some are lucky in business.

Others are lucky in love.

And others, like long-distance swimmer Steven Robles are lucky to be alive.

Robles was an hour into his regular Manhattan Beach swim when he was attacked by a shark last week. Robles was pulled to shore, further extending his luck and saving his life. In his own words, Steven said, “I was really lucky. I’ve been given a second chance.”

Being lucky in business can be a similar story. Entrepreneurs have multiple opportunities and second chances. We also have many situations where we may feel attacked by sharks. I know I’ve experienced both feelings.

The moments that stick best though are when I’ve been lucky in business.

Five years ago, Jeff Turner and I founded the OC WordPress Meetup. It was Jeff’s idea to form a referral network of other WordPress developers in the area. We had a good problem – there was more work than we could handle and we didn’t want to leave our clients in the lurch. Starting the Meetup on a solid backbone of giving and sharing created an unbelievably generous WordPress community in Orange County. That’s very lucky in itself, but I had another lucky break early in my career that led to me being here.

The OC WordPress Meetup wasn’t my first rodeo, cowboys.

When we first started Zeek, we were going to be the next great CD-ROM developer. We specialized in Macromedia Director development. To learn how to develop, I began networking with other developers. I attended a SIG (Special Interest Group), held at the Los Angeles Macintosh Group in Santa Monica that was led by Richard John Jenkins, a Director enthusiast. I met Richard and began participating and presenting regularly. Soon, Richard recognized me as a “go to” resource when he had developer questions. Lucky for me, Richard was eventually hired by Macromedia and asked me to lead the group. I happily accepted.

The people at Macromedia recognized the power of user groups early on and put a person in charge of user group support – Suzanne Porta. Suzanne would send us t-shirts, stickers, mugs, and software licenses to give away. Suzanne and I became friends. And it was lucky that we did.

Around 1998, Macromedia was in the process of creating their own original content site, called Shockwave.com (originally Shockrave.com). Suzanne knew Zeek’s reputation for creating games and got us an invite to be one of the first participants. We created a game called Taco Joe and it launched with the site. It was an instant success. We made some money from it and we got many leads from people wanting similar games. We learned what it meant to be lucky in business!

Luck changed our mindset at Zeek and taught us to look for opportunities. We learned, as Steven Robles has, to embrace the lucky breaks and utilize second chances whenever they come our way. That, and, to steer clear of sharks.

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