Eric Schaeffer
Theater director

Eric Schaeffer

Co-founder and artistic director for Signature Theatre in Arlington, which won the 2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award for sustained artistic excellence.

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If doors don't open . . .

Q: How much does achieving success rely on luck vs. skill? This week a Western Maryland lumberjack named Darvin Moon won $5 million in the World Series of Poker. He insists he is no more skilled at cards than any recreational player. What do you think?

Gee . . . how lucky can you get?

That's a famous line from a Kander & Ebb song that probably is a question a lot of folks end up asking themselves. Is it luck or skill -- but it's a battle of both really.

I think any time you have a successful career path it starts with who you know and the connections to people in the right places. There is no doubt that these people can open doors -- but then it's up to you to actually connect and make things happen. And if the doors don't open, then you need to start knocking on them yourself.

I find a lot of times people want the easy road of getting the introductions but they don't have the passion or drive to back up what they say they can do. That is when reality sets in. Many times people aren't as realistic as they should be.

And some of it is really being in the right place at the right time. I guess that's luck -- but it just happens with some people that they seem to be ready to walk through any door that provides opportunity.

With any of this, it always goes back to you as the person. Let everyone see the real you -- not the you you may want to be. I think if you're honest with yourself and what you believe in, you'll get the luck and the success.

By Eric Schaeffer  |  November 12, 2009; 8:11 AM ET  | Category:  Skill versus Luck Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Bias against luck | Next: One step at a time

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