Many years ago, my brother Don was playing volleyball with some friends from New Jersey. Now, my brother is a heavily-built man; he was a football player and heavyweight wrestler in high school, and he looked it. Despite his build, he was extremely competitive, and was dashing around the volleyball court like a bird, repeatedly spiking the ball into the face of our friends. They thought that they were good at volleyball, and repeatedly discounted his repeated scoring against them by saying “That shot was a fluke … that was another fluke … more flukes … he’s just fluky, that’s all!” With an enormous grin on his face, as Don spiked the winning point, he exclaimed “You have to be good to be fluky!”
Earlier today, at the Michael Jackson memorial service, Michael Jackson’s brother Jermaine sang the song Smile, one of his deceased brother Michael’s favorite songs. On my website, I have the lyrics to Smile, since it was composed by Charlie Chaplin and the theme song to Modern Times. This led to a large influx of traffic to the website. I mentioned this on my Facebook account, and my sister-in-law Leza (Don’s wife) congratulated me on my “luck” – as Don would say, you’ve got to be good to be lucky – or fluky.
My day job is a web programmer, and I’ve taught myself quite a bit about search engine optimization (SEO) over the years. I’ve worked hard on this site over time, and I’ve worked hard to get the #1 listing on Google.com for “charlie chaplin smile”, “smile lyrics”, and numerous variations – “luck” had nothing to do with it.
The larger point is, success isn’t due to luck, or being “fluky” – it’s the result of hard work. That’s true whether you’re working at SEO, improving your clown makeup, twisting balloons, developing your clown character, or whatever it is that you’re working at; hard work doesn’t guarantee success, of course; but not working definitely guarantees failure.