odds-in-your-favor2I am a firm believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it.

We’ve all heard that quotation before; often attributed to Thomas Jefferson, it’s a quote that many entrepreneurs take up as a mantra, a badge of honor. I think it gets to the heart of a few core entrepreneurial values: That hard work is essential for success; that luck is a real thing, despite how much we all might like to believe it isn’t; and that, while you’ll never be able to control the universe, you can channel and manage your luck through discipline and tenacity.

These principles are about as close as entrepreneurs are going to come to finding a silver bullet, a sure bet, or a guaranteed solution. The simple fact is that entrepreneurship is always a risk, and there is always going to be a chance for failure. There is no guaranteed way to become fabulously wealthy and wildly successful—no, not even hard work. Looking for a silver bullet is a bit of a fool’s errand.

With that said, I think there is a basic formula that is, if not guaranteed to bring success, about as close to a guarantee as any entrepreneur is going to find. That formula is this: Discipline plus time equals significantly higher odds for success.

Working hard and sticking to the basics of business ownership are not going to make you an overnight millionaire. You can’t hone in on the fundamentals of entrepreneurship for three days’ time and expect results to magically materialize.

However, you can focus on the fundamentals, with consistency, over a period of time—and the longer you do so, the greater your odds for success. At this point it becomes, basically a numbers game. If you do all the right things for a day, that doesn’t mean much; if you do all the right things every day for months or for years, then the odds of your business succeeding will skyrocket.

Hard work is not a silver bullet. Focusing on the fundamentals is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Entrepreneurship is about the long game—and if you focus on being consistent and disciplined over the long haul, that’s as close as you’re going to come to a surefire entrepreneurial system.