lucky buddha

Making Your Own Luck: You Gotta Take the Long Shots

lucky buddha

I recently wrote about the Best Jobs in the World, which is a working holiday put on by Australia’s tourism board that pays you $100,000 for a six-month contract doing probably the sweetest jobs ever. There were 428,000 applicants by the time I threw my hat in the ring, so your odds are basically 1 out of half a million, roughly the same as finding a significant other who can both dance and not completely embarrass you in public these days. A true long shot. Regardless, you gotta take these shots  and make your own luck.

For real.

Success in life is not a forgone conclusion. It is a probability. You take concerted action on a regular basis and then magically the odds of your success go up. You are stacking the deck in your favor until one day you “get lucky”. There isn’t some magic formula that produces luck. Well – maybe I should say there is. It is called playing as many hands as possible in the probability game. Some people take one shot and hit it, others stack the deck and it takes longer, if ever, but you gotta take those long shots when they come along. This holds true for both work and employment opportunities, and the romance game.

Over the past year and half, most of my job hustle has consisted of taking those shots. Some were not long, but what mattered, was that I got in the game. How do you get in the game? What’s the best way to stack that probability?

As seen in the video, I would have never found out about guys doing distance teaching at online American universities for $2,500 a course, had I not fought against my natural urge to put my iPhone ear buds in and turn on my internal snooze mode and completely ignore this dude (he was American after all, and I tend to zone out and sing something less annoying, like Justin Bieber songs in my head, when I hear my country men’s accents).


working at a pizzeria

When I was in Italy, I really wanted to work in an Italian pizzeria to learn the art of pizza making. So what did I do? I did something out of the ordinary. I drank wine and spoke to strangers.  Anyone and everyone when out. Having beer at a café and see a guy drinking alone? Say what’s up. At a social mixer and see a couple of folks you don’t know? Go say what’s up.

Bottom line, to increase your probability of success of having cool shit happen to you: get social, open your mouth and just let words fall out. By doing so, you will make opportunities.

Or creep out strangers. Either way – win.

Turner barr

Hi, my name is Turner. I travel the world, hustle to find interesting jobs, and write about what happens when you read too many self-help books.

  • Turtle
    Posted at 17:36h, 16 April

    When it comes to creeping out strangers, you are truly the master! 🙂

  • heathersharmony
    Posted at 17:52h, 16 April

    I’ve got to agree with Michael, you are the master! I’ve learned more than one lesson about creeping from you! Great article by the way!

  • Kellie
    Posted at 18:39h, 16 April

    Love this post – especially as I’ve just thrown in the office job to spend some time travelling, writing, photographing and seeking out other jobs that I have never considered being stuck in an office. Seems like I’ve come across your website at the right time….!

    Good luck with the competition, as they say ‘you gotta be in it to win it’!

  • Penny Sadler
    Posted at 03:51h, 18 April

    Great post! I actually followed up on something you wrote about, the Croatia sailing gig. Unfortunately I couldn’t get an Advantage ticket at the time they needed me and I didn’t want to buy a ticket – so. Did you really work in the pizzeria? Wow so I can go to Italy and just hang out and bug people until they give me a job? Why didn’t I think of that?!

  • flip
    Posted at 12:08h, 19 April

    So true… success/goodluck doesn’t just fall from nowhere, most of the times we need to work hard )and strategically to increase the odds of getting what we want in life.

  • person-living-the-extreme
    Posted at 20:40h, 09 May

    This is cool. I teach English in Bangkok right now to little Thai munchkins. It’s actually a very difficult job on many levels, not to mention cultural as well, especially when the only people with authority over me are Thai nationals. I encourage people going out and getting experience in exotic places!

  • Jamie
    Posted at 21:18h, 10 May

    Couldn’t agree more. It’s all about putting yourself out there. The odds of being in the right place at the right time for an opportunity to materialize increases dramatically the more places you go! Get out there and make your own luck. Good reminder 🙂

  • Josh Manion
    Posted at 09:13h, 16 May

    Hey, if anyone get’s the chance could you help me out. Ive been looking at travelling for a very long time now i’m still only young at 19, which no A levels and a degree nothing. I really look at every job and think that could be good, i think on the website putty that she put it right im multipotentional. But i so scared to actually set of and go because what if i cant find a job, what if i get lost, what if i cant find a hostle for the night, what if what if what if, the list goes on and on, if anyone could offer me any advise please email me at thanks.