I used to feel insulted when people say I’m lucky.
Because whether they mean to or not—it feels like a backhanded compliment belittling all my hard work.
All those sleepless nights that I spent working, only to get up 4 hours later to make the most of the day.
All those parties and gatherings I didn’t go to just to do the work nobody wanted to.
And all those years of sacrificing immediate pleasure for a better payout in the future that was not a guarantee.
In short, telling me I’m ‘lucky’ sort of negates all the ‘right’ choices I made that I am proud of.
But I look back at my life and as much as I hate to admit it I did get luck.
For one, I was lucky I wasn’t born rich.
Had that been the case, I may not have the same drive and hunger I have now to work hard.
I was lucky my life didn’t have any direction when I was in my 20s.
Had I found a worthy goal back then, I wouldn’t have wandered aimlessly trying different jobs and probably wouldn’t have met my wife (my boss back then and still is. lol) who’s responsible for the kind of man I am now.
I was even lucky I failed college.
Had I graduated, I may have had ‘opportunities’ which would have put me in one track and I would not have tried freelancing.
Very often what may seem like a misfortune now… may turn into a ‘lucky’ blessing later on.
I was also lucky I worked ball-busting jobs.
Had I experienced comfortable office work, I wouldn’t have felt the urge to find something better.
And I think I also got lucky when I got laid off just when I needed that money the most.
Had all these situations not left me desperate, I would not have tried applying for a job I hated (call center). I would not have learned how to speak English better. Language, strong communication skills are huge business assets.
I was also lucky I did not know much about anything online.
I was so clueless that the first freelancing skill I ever learned (email copywriting) is still a skill I sell now.
Had I known a lot, I would’ve had a hard time focusing on what skills I had to offer. I am lucky that I learned by doing.
In fact, I was so lucky I never knew that sites like UpWork exist.
I shudder to think what could’ve happened to my life (together with tens and thousands of others) had I never learned a different way of getting clients.
With no other choice, I had to do everything I could to make it work.
I was also lucky that I had a very lonely journey.
Had I experienced the luxury of life I would not have tried creating a community, A tribe of people feeling the same way.
No lives would have changed.
I would not have met the awesome people that I now get to call ‘family’
Now, I could go on and on with this list, but all I wanted to say is this:
If you think 2020 wasn’t a good year for you, don’t draw your conclusions just yet.
Because most often what may seem like a misfortune now will turn into a blessing for something better.
About the author: John is an inspiring mentor to a lot of freelancers, he is the founder of the Freelancer Movement Tribe in the Philippines. He helps entrepreneurs convert more of their prospects to customers through email copy.