Luck’s Impact on Success and Failure


Tom Corley boats - crop

Luck, good or bad, results in success or failure. In my five year study of the habits of the rich and poor (Rich Habits Study), I discovered that luck plays an important role, a critical role, in determining success or failure. In fact, 87% of the rich in my study admitted that good luck, or unexpected good consequences, made it possible for them to amass their enormous wealth. Conversely, 54% of the poor admitted that bad luck, or unexpected bad consequences, forced them into poverty.

But there’s more to the story. The luck that helped forge a life of success for the wealthy was a unique type of luck I have come to call Opportunity Luck. Successful people do certain specific things every day, oftentimes for years, that gives birth to this Opportunity Luck. What I’m talking about is the principle of Cause and Effect. Successful people create the opportunity for good luck by doing certain good things every day, for many years (the cause) and good luck follows (the effect). Good habits, I discovered from my research, are the cause and Opportunity Luck is the effect. This Opportunity Luck is typically something unexpectedly good that occurs while the wealthy are in pursuit of their dreams and goals. Because they go all in and pursue success every day by forging specific good goal habits, eventually they get lucky. Even a blind squirrel can find an acorn if it’s persistent enough. So too with successful people, I found. Persistence, in the application of good daily habits, eventually results in good luck. The key is the persistent application of these good habits. Persistent good habits, or what I call Rich Habits, sets the stage for good luck.

Conversely, poor people create something I have come to call Detrimental Luck. This is another cause and effect type of luck that is the result of doing certain bad things every day, for many years (the cause), and these bad things result in bad luck (the effect). Persistence, in the application of bad daily habits, eventually results in bad luck. The key is the persistent application of these bad habits. Persistent bad habits, or what I call Poor Habits, sets the stage for bad luck.

If you want to change your luck you need to change your daily habits. Rich Habits foster Opportunity Luck and Poor Habits foster Detrimental Luck. Change your habits and you change your luck, which changes your life.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley understands the difference between being rich and poor: at age nine, his family went from being multi-millionaires to broke in just one night, due to a catastrophic fire that destroyed his Dad's thriving business. For fourteen years they struggled with poverty. There were eleven in Tom's family, and they lived in constant fear of losing their home.

Driven by the desire to unlock the secrets to success and failure, Tom spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 rich people and 128 poor people. He discovered there was an immense difference between the habits of the rich and the poor. During his research he identified over 300 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots.” Tom decided to write a book to share what he learned. That book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals (1st Edition), went on to become an Amazon Bestseller in the United States forty times over a three year period. To give you some perspective, in order to be a true Amazon Bestseller in the United States, where you actually receive a specific Bestseller designation from Amazon, you need to be in the top 100 of all books sold by Amazon in the United States in a given day. Rich Habits did that for nearly thirty straight days, rising as high as #7, eclipsing such Bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and J.K. Rowlings. Imagine that - an unknown, first-time, self-published author selling more books than J.K. Rowlings!

Tom now travels the world, sharing his Rich Habits and motivating audiences at industry conferences, corporate events, universities, multi-level marketing group events, and global sales organizations’ presentations and finance conferences. He has even spoken on the same stage with famous entrepreneurs and personal development experts, such as Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Dr. Daniel Amen, and many others.

Tom has shared his insights on various national and international network, cable, and Internet television programs such as CBS Evening News, NBC News, Yahoo Financially Fit,, India TV, Australia, and a host of others. He has been interviewed on many prestigious nationally syndicated radio shows, including the Dave Ramsey Show, Marketplace Money, and WABC.

Tom has been featured in numerous print magazines—such as Money magazine, Inc. Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Fast Company magazine, More magazine, Epoca Magazine (Brazil’s largest weekly) and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine—and various online publications, including USA Today, CNN, MSN Money,,, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider,, and a few other media outlets.

National publicity has garnered international media attention for Tom and his Rich Habits research spanning 23 countries. Broadcast media, online publications, and television throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Central and South America have shared his powerful message.

In an effort to help parents, grandparents, teachers and adults become success mentors to the younger generation, Tom released his second book, Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life in 2014. This book was the self-help category winner of the 2015 New York Book Festival and Runner-up in the prestigious 2015 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards Contest. In 2016 Tom released his third book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. This book provides the latest science on habit change as well as more of Tom's unique research on the specific habits that helped transform 177 ordinary individuals into self-made millionaires.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. People often use the term luck and randomness interchangeably. I like to think of randomness operating at a system level and luck at an individual level. If I gather 100 people and ask them to call coin tosses, randomness tells me that a handful may call five correctly in a row. If you happen to be one of those five, you’re lucky.

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