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Are you an opportunistic entrepreneur, business visionary or lucky?

Some entrepreneurs are visionaries and exceptional out of the box thinkers. Whereas, other ‘lucky’ opportunistic entrepreneurs are in the right place at the right time to catch the next big opportunity. It would be easy to think you don’t have much in common with these celebrity business owners. However, if you look closer you might be surprised to discover you can do the same thing...

Are you a visionary or an opportunistic entrepreneur?

You’re probably similar to free thinking business owners who get their best ideas first thing in the morning or when they’re having a shower. However, the best founders choose their business by understanding customer value, opportunity and probability.

Needs focused (or visionary) entrepreneur: Ideas based on under-served needs or product/service improvements

If you’re a needs focused entrepreneur, you can spot an under-served group of people and offer a product or service to meet their needs. Your decisions are based on understanding the likelihood of success before pursuing your idea.

This could be considered lucky by non-entrepreneurs.

Trends focused (or opportunist) entrepreneur: Ideas based on consumer behaviours or wider industry trends

An entrepreneurial definition of an opportunist recognises the selfish motivation to take advantage of popular and lucrative business trends.

However, your side hustle or small business cannot succeed unless you’re providing something of value.

This is when some people outside of entrepreneurship talk about luck...

Are you lucky in business and life?

What if you could be lucky by thinking differently about your life?

Lottery luck and probability

To be lucky you have to try, but unless you try it’s impossible for you to be lucky.

Lotteries (and most gambling) rely on you believing you have a ‘chance’ of winning more than you risk, if you play the game. Gambling relies on a combination of luck and judgement whereas lotteries are more focused on pure luck.

Winning a lottery could be anywhere from a remote chance of winning to an extremely remote chance of winning. Most national lotteries have a probability of winning the main jackpot at many millions to one.

Therefore, if you played the lottery many millions of times, you would expect a tiny chance of winning the jackpot based on the millions to one odds.

However, if you factor in how much it would cost for you to play the lottery many millions of times and the average jackpot win, you can quickly see you’re likely to be out of pocket. Even if you had an infinite number of times to play, you would still lose money. This is a losing gamble and one entrepreneurs can avoid with business creation.

Entrepreneurial luck and probability

It may seem your chances of ‘winning’ your side hustle works in a similar way, but with odds in your favour.

If you were asked to predict the outcome of a coin flip many times over, you would have a 50% likelihood of predicting the correct flip with each flip.

However, over the short-term you could flip many heads or many tails in a row before the total number of heads and tails settle. Over the long-term you will have a 50-50 chance of predicting the result. Therefore, if you played this game an infinite number of times, you would have a 50% chance of winning. This is very good odds!

Every action you make has a probability of success and it’s your job as an entrepreneur to move your probability of entrepreneurial success, in your favour.

What is outside the box thinking?

Entrepreneurship is concerned with probability rather than luck and the return expected from balancing your options and making decisions.

Every action you take has a matching probability of success. If you choose to create a blogging business, that will have a probability. If you decide to market to podcast listeners, that will have a probability. If you change the font of your website or move a sign-up button from one location to another; there will also be probabilities associated.

Thinking outside of the box is only choosing ideas or moving forward with different actions and constantly adjusting to ensure the probabilities of success are moving in your favour.

As you develop you will understand entrepreneurship requires constant iteration. If you have an existing product, you could modify the product, so that it meets a new customer need, improves upon the original or could be marketed to a different demographic.

Each change to your product, service or business model will alter the probability of success and each change means you will learn something new until you succeed. Your learning could be for the better or worse. But everything becomes a learning activity.


You may have started your side hustle based on industry trends or customer needs, but the only relevant point is your probability of success. It’s your job as the entrepreneur or small business owner to grow your businesses and have confidence in your decisions to move your business forward.

Your success is a probability tower of ideas, options and actions. Your probability tower could reach the stars or fall to the ground with several wrong decisions. Base your business decisions on probability and you will iterate your way to success.

Good luck!

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