Increase Surface Area for Luck3 min read

tim ferris and andrew huberman

How come when we learn how famous people rise to fame every person seems to have an incredible amount of luck? What does it mean to even have surface area for luck?

Kanye did it

Back when Kanye West was a nobody, he was at a party in Los Angeles that included Sean Combs, Missy Elliott, the Neptunes, and Jay-Z. Kanye approached Jamie Foxx with a song he thought Jamie would be a good fit for. Jamie had never heard of Kanye but decided to give him a chance and contribute his vocals to the song. That song was called Slow Jamz and broke Kanye into the mainstream as a featured artist on Twista’s 4th studio album and also jump-started Jamie Foxx’s music career.

How can we all attend a party with Sean Combs, Missy Elliott, the Neptunes, and Jay-Z? I don’t know, but I do know the strategy at play here; increasing surface area for luck.

“You need to make yourself a big target for luck, and the way to do that is to be curious. Try lots of things, meet lots of people, read lots of books, ask lots of questions.

Paul Graham, How to Do Great Work

By constantly following our curiosities we can find something we are truly excited about. Effort and focus over time has a compounding effect. We are likely to burn out or give up too soon when we are not passionate about what we are doing. By finding something we care about we can increase our chances of finding luck.

“Placing yourself in a place where you can be in a very active pinball machine where you can interact serendipitously with many different people from many different worlds is hard to overstate the value of.”

Tim Ferris, Interview with Andrew Huberman

Tim is bullish on the least-crowded channel of building in-person connections by surrounding yourself with like-minded people, especially if you are in a place in your career where you can solely dedicate focus to yourself and your capabilities.

Luck = Doing * Telling

The more energy you pour into your passion and the more people you tell about your passion will increase your serendipity. More people will be drawn to your passion. More people will learn of your interests. The combination of these two things creates luck. Source

Do stuff for others

As Noah Kagan and Tim Ferris say in this conversation, we want to find ways to be useful to others. Often, this will start out as giving our time for free.

Here’s what I’ve gathered:

  1. Be curious. Try lots of things, meet lots of people, read lots of books, ask lots of questions.
  2. Put yourself in high-density environments In-person and online (focus on in-person).
  3. Bring value to others without asking for anything in return.

What this looks like for me.

  1. Consider moving to Los Angeles, CA or Austin, TX for music and tech opportunities.
  2. Seek to learn from everyone I meet.
  3. Attend weekly live music events (songwriter showcases, songwriting sessions, and conferences)
  4. Build my online presence through YouTube and Meta around my music interests

Over the next year, I’ll use this plan to take steps towards my careers in both music and tech to expand my surface area for luck. Cheers to getting lucky!

Share This Post

Popular Posts