Monday, August 1, 2011

Still Harping on Justin Bieber

"Luck is what happens when Opportunity meets Preparation." -Seneca (Roman dramatist)

I heard this quote today, and it really resonated with me. It's so easy to attribute a person's success to Luck. And perhaps it's true. But that doesn't mean there was no work or effort involved.

Take Stephanie Meyers. I've heard it said that her success is merely luck. And perhaps that's true about the fact that she hit on the next teen craze. But the craze didn't just find her. . . . She spent hours writing a novel and editing it. Then she took the time to write a query and put herself out there. She was prepared when opportunity came knocking.

Another prime example: Justin Bieber. His rise to fame is astounding, and it would be easy to dismiss him as the luckiest kid in the world. But fame didn't just show up on his doorstep one day. He was learning to play the drums when he was two. He was entering contests and putting his performances online for others to view by the time he was ten. Sounds simple, but it takes guts. And work. Opportunity came knocking BECAUSE of his preparation.

So when I heard this quote, my mind translated it into this: "Don't sit around hoping to get published or worry that you'll never be lucky enough. Go out and write. And write. And write. Then don't be afraid to put yourself out there."

Because you never know when Opportunity will come knocking. And if you aren't prepared, it might just pass you by.

What are you doing to be prepared?


Jessica Bell said...

Totally right on! Nothing just falls in anyone's lap.

Creepy Query Girl said...

Yup, I'm pretty much in the same mind-set. Couldn't stop writing if I wanted to. It's too much a part of who I am and what I need. So I might as well put myself out there and hope for the best:)

Angela said...

I have exactly the same feelings about the Biebs. When people knock him, it bugs me because they have NO IDEA what he's likely gone through to get where he is today.

Chris Phillips said...

You have an excellent point. I did my hair up like Beiber this morning just in case I run into any music execs here in Nebraska. Dress for success and all.

storyqueen said...

Such good advice.

Most people who "make it" are hard workers. Of course, there are a lot of hard workers that don't make it...but very few slackers make it...and it they do and are still slackers, they don't seem to have much staying power.


Stina said...

Ha! I keep telling my 9 yo this every time he criticizes the Bieb. That and I tell him he's just jealous. Just like all those people who put down Twilight. :D

Great post!

Unknown said...

I've always said, "Luck comes with a lot of hard work."

They all wanted something and they all did something to get to the end goal. They didn't sit there and wait for it to happen. People can say what they want about Twilight OR the Biebs but it all comes down to the fire and passion they shared and their push for success.

I'm preparing myself to get lucky. Giving myself the biggest opportunity for triumph and hoping luck puts me the right agents inbox!

Lydia Kang said...

Wasn't it Edna Mode from the Incrdibles who said, "Luck favors the prepared, dahling."

So true!

I don't rag on Beiber. If I don't want to listen to his music, that's my choice, but I'd never rag on him for his success. He works for it.

LTM said...

excellent post. And I stole your quote! :D The only part luck might play in these guys careers is that it happened so FAST! But they were ready. Very cool~ :o) <3

Maeve Frazier said...

I'm writing, writing, sending, sending and sending. I have my door knocker polished and the welcome mat out!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Preparation is important, no matter what! Because, say luck does just show up one day. We've got to have something to show, otherwise what's the point! :)

Beth said...

I've been astonished at the really mean-spirited things I've heard adults say about this seventeen-year old, apparently clean-living kid. Yes, he's successful. Good for him!
A similar quote that I often think of is Branch Rickey's "Luck is the residue of design". If we keep working, who knows what might happen?

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Such a wonderful post! Thank you for this, Janet. What a great quote and a powerful, important message.

For me, the best preparation is always lots of reading and writing and studying.

Theresa Milstein said...

I love that quote.

SM edited her novel? I know, I'm mean.

Michelle Fayard said...

I love this quote, because it reminds me of another favorite, this one by Thomas Edison: "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

I'm delighted to be a new follower!

P.S. I left a a reply to your comment on Bird's-eye View,

Margo Berendsen said...

It's very true, and encouraging. That's why I love to read "success stories" 'cause in almost all cases, there was a LOT of work behind them. Oh, and I loved your getting old list!!! #8 is so sadly true for me, too!