“Best of luck in creating or finding what you are really meant to do…” Is how I conclude one of the chapters in my book It’s in the Bag that discusses building a business from home. When I reflect on my own life, I often wonder how much luck played a role. Please, let me explain.
I created a global multimillion dollar business with my brainchild: The SHERPA Bag, the first soft-sided pet carrier. But I became an entrepreneur by accident. Yet maybe it wasn’t an accident because I do believe my entire life’s journey had been leading me to the creation of the company, for which I am forever grateful. So, was I lucky? Was it an accident? Was it timing? Still all good questions. Yet, if you read my book or have listened to any of my interviews, you know part of my answer to anyone considering entrepreneurialism would be a warning that they must be ready to work long and hard every day and even nights too, to be successful. So if I’m lucky, than I’d say luck is best defined as a combination of accidental meetings, timing and hard work…though commitment also plays a big part as well! It’s this kind of “luck” that enabled me to build a business into a number one global brand. And you know the best part? The SHERPA Bag, 30+ years later, is still a highly ranked favorite! According to The Strategist (part of New York Magazine), it is the “best overall pet carrier”.
The name of my business was inspired by my first dog, SHERPA. I had always wanted a dog but my job as a flight attendant prevented me from being able to care for one adequately. When I was laid off by TWA, my fiancé and I took a trip to the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts to get a break from NYC’s hustle and bustle. While there, I heard about a Lhasa Apso breeder in the Berkshires, so we took a life-changing detour that ultimately resulted in meeting SHERPA, the LAST puppy left. No longer a flight attendant with grueling hours, I could finally have myself a dog. And it was love at first sight! SHERPA later became not only my company’s namesake, but my #1 brand Ambassador, while also becoming the four-footed love of my life. Was it luck that SHERPA ended up in my life? I certainly think I was very lucky to have everything align perfectly from the moment she became mine.
I recently read a quote from a Roman philosopher that said: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” This had me thinking about where I am right now in my career. I often meet with legislators and brand-name company leaders on a regular basis, as well as heads of airlines, hotels, resorts, restaurant owners, fashion icons, media gurus, and, of course, key influencers in the dog and cat world. I continue to prepare for luck by staying on top of industry trends and exploring multiple opportunities to partner with brands in the pet industry. Certainly, I’m looking forward to getting “lucky” when I find the right one!
So, luck. Do I believe in it? Maybe so, but only to an extent — because I also believe we must keep working hard to have good things come our way. Otherwise we won’t be ready or in position to be found. With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, I am curious what you think about luck? Some people say they have good luck, other’s say bad luck, and some say no luck at all. What do YOU say?
Gayle Martz is the SilverDisobedience Pet Ambassador who will be sharing her insight on a variety of pet-related topics. Gayle is the founder of The SHERPA Pet Trading Company, where she single-handedly designed, manufactured and marketed the iconic SHERPA Bag you see everywhere! This carrier, which millions have bought for their dogs, cats and other animal companions, continues to be THE top-selling, prize-winning, globally-popularly soft-sided pet carrier. Further, it is because of Gayle’s advocacy and entrepreneurship that pet travel on airlines is now possible and common. Gayle’s the author of “IT’S IN THE BAG”, which is part memoir and part business book.