The Art of Harnessing Opportunities

How to win at almost anything (by getting luckier)
The Art of Harnessing Opportunities
Jake McNeill
September 9, 2021
5 min read
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Have you ever wondered why a small section of creators are consistently more successful than everyone else?

Why do some creators make more money and get offered more opportunities?

They’re not better. They just know what others don’t. They know how to increase the surface area of luck — and possess the courage to go all in.

They know it’s a bit risky but strategy stacks the odds in their favour.

This article is about seeing what only a fraction of others can see. And doing what they do to get similar results.

Naval Ravikant

Naval was born poor in Delhi in 1974.

He moved to America with his mother and brother aged 9.  He is the founder of Angel list and an investor with a personal net worth in excess of $ 60 million.

He is also one of the most credible and influential voices on building wealth and finding happiness.

Naval believes in 999 out of 1,000 alternative realities he would be rich. In fact, he believes everyone can do the same.

Why? Because there is a system.

Naval knows you need to create your own luck, attract your own opportunities: and he knows the system to create the luck to do that.


According to neurologist and Zen Buddhist, Dr. James H Austin there are 4 types of luck. He wrote about them in his book Chase, Chance, and Creativity: The Lucky Art of Novelty

Chance 1: Blind Luck

“Chance I is completely impersonal; you can’t influence it.” - Dr. James H. Austin

This is the most basic form of luck. It’s winning the lottery, or randomly bumping into an old colleague in the street which leads to work. We have zero control over it.

It’s not a repeatable system and therefore not a strategy.

Chance 2: Motion Luck

“Chance II favours those who have a persistent curiosity about many things coupled with an energetic willingness to experiment and explore.” - Dr. James H. Austin

This type of luck comes from constant motion. The more content you publish and promote the greater your chance of success.

You’ve probably heard the harder you work the luckier you get phrase before

This is the creator flywheel:

Produce content + Publish content + Promote content =  fans

Rinse and repeat until you have a big enough fanbase to sustain you and your work.

It’s slow but it works. As long as you don’t quit.

Chance 3: Receptivity

“Chance III favours those who have a sufficient background of sound knowledge plus special abilities in observing, remembering, recalling, and quickly forming significant new associations.” - Dr. James H. Austin

This is about experience and expertise in a market to such an extent that you can spot opportunities as they are unfolding. It’s the talent scout that can spot raw talent with the strength of character required to succeed.

It’s the creators who spot the trends before they become over-saturated.

This takes years and many up and downs to gain the insight in order to spot opportunities other can’t see, and the courage to go all-in and maximise them.

Chance 4: Personal Behaviour Luck

“Chance IV favours those with distinctive, if not eccentric hobbies, personal lifestyles, and brands.” - Dr. James H. Austin

This is key to winning at almost anything. You create your own luck with your personal brand.

You niche down and become the go to expert in your niche.  

How do you do this? By becoming a thought leader in your field. That means creating long form content. Content with big ideas.

“Then the last kind of luck is the weirdest, hardest kind. But that’s what we want to talk about. Which is where you build a unique character, a unique brand, a unique mindset, where then luck finds you.” — Naval Ravikant

Thought leaders write newsletters and best selling books. They host popular podcasts and YouTube channels.

They know that big ideas inspire big change.


Charisma on command is a YouTube channel dedicated to helping introverts be more confident in social situations.

That’s pretty niche, right? Well, they have 4.75 million subscribers and 453 million lifetime views.

That’s pretty big, right?

Lucy Sheridan is described as “one of the UK’s most successful coaches” by The Times, London.

She has been featured in Elle, Grazia, Cosmopolitan, The Daily Mail, Stylist and countless other publications and high-profile podcasts.


Lucy only does one thing. She is the world’s leading comparison coach. She helps clients from pop stars to pub owners stop comparing themselves with others.

She is a thought leader on the subject. She has written best-selling books about it.

When the media write articles about comparison they get quotes from Lucy, which further promotes her expert status.

When you google comparison coach, Lucy ranks in the top 9 out of the top 10 hits.

Creating your own luck

Opportunities come to those who are experts in their niche.

This is the best kind of luck. Become an expert in solving specific problems with a unique point of view, and people will seek you out.

On Joe Rogan’s podcast, Naval explained further. Let’s say with blind luck you found buried treasure so deep at the bottom of the sea that nobody can get it. You’re going to seek out the world’s best deep-sea diver who can plumb depths no one else can, and offer them a 50/50 to retrieve it, right?

That’s real luck. The deep-sea diver became the best at a skill in a specific niche and opportunities seek him out.

Steps to becoming a thought leader

Create a niche for one

To be a thought leader you need a unique voice. You need to create a niche for one. You should look at skill stacking.

This is your skills + interests: combine these to build a niche for one.


David Parrell: Skills ( writing) + teaching others (interests)  = 7 figure online business.

David created a write of passage an online school and group coaching business teaching people how to make a full-time living with their writing.

Lenny Rachitsky: Skills ( ex product design and growth lead at Air BnB) + Giving advice ( interests)  = $500k ARR

Lenny writes the # 1 most popular paid newsletter on Substack. He gives starts up founders and CEO’s product and growth tips after helping Air BnB scale to the company it is today.

Jack Butcher: Skills (design) + business ( quotes) +  = 7 figure online business.

Jack took his design skills and created online courses, memberships and sold cool merch.

All these people have leveraged their expertise and built their personal brands around thought leadership in their niches.

They have created a niche for one with skill stacking. And opportunity seeks them out.

Choose your weapon

You need to micro-niche down.  This is critical. And the most difficult thing to do.

Why? Fear.

Fear of picking the wrong thing. Most of us suffer from shiny new thing syndrome.

So we split our energy over multiple projects which dilute our impact. Focusing on one niche for 6 months will get you further than most people do in years.

Becoming an expert and a thought leader requires courage. The courage to go all in a micro-niche.

You can mitigate risk by testing ideas.

Big ideas

Use content to test concepts and see what resonates before you spend 2 years writing a book, recording an album, or building a podcast audience.

Simon Sinek spent 3 years talking about his golden circle before he got a book deal and his Ted talk went viral.

That was 3 years of trying and testing his content. His Ted Talk has been watched over 56 million times.

His net worth is in excess of $12 million dollars and is one of the highest paid keynote speakers earning in excess of $100k per speech.

All that is possible because he had one idea to inspire leaders and founders to create a purpose for their companies that inspired others.

“People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do itSimon Sinek

This was his one big idea. 👆

Find the ideas that stick and then get to work spreading the word.

James Clear’s most successful blog post was an article about habits.

He turned it into a book, Atomic Habits which has sold millions.

Mark Manson uses each article he publishes to test engagement as a potential chapter in his books. The subtle art of not giving a fuck was his most popular article ever.

The book of the same title has sold over 13 million copies. Which is obviously fucking insane.

Luck is everywhere. You just need to create it.


  • Test content and see what works.
  • Have the courage to go all in.
  • Find scores of different topics to create content around your micro niche.
  • Set a time frame of 6-12 months and monitor key performance indicators for progress.
  • If the message isn’t resonating; try something else
  • Rinse and repeat.

A bit about me

I’m an ex- multi-platinum artist manager. I created strategies and built audiences for artists who sold millions.

You can read more in the archives here. Find out more information on my website or connect on my LinkedIn

Too Much to do? Don’t know where to start?

I help creators and indie founders build no bullshit step by step creative business strategies to achieve their long term goals

I do discovery calls to see if we’re a good fit.

Cost? $0.00 Commitment? Zero. Time? 30 minutes

More info? Go here

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