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2023 Review-What's Luck Got To Do With It?

Updated: Jan 2

(By: Erika Willitzer)

In 2022 the Defiance County Economic Development office recorded over $175 million in new investment, and in 2023, our office aided with over $230 million in new investment into our county. I can’t tell you the number of people who have come up to me and said, “Wow, you have been so lucky.” Or they state, the only reason you’ve had some

economic development success is LUCK. I took offense to that, at first. It felt like they were implying our team just sits back and lets the good times roll.  I thought to myself, “Oh if they only knew of our team’s many fails or disappointing moments. Or if they only knew of the strategy and scrappiness of what we do each day!”  BUT my entire perspective changed on “Luck” after one Defiance County native spouted off a movie quote.

I was speaking with Businessman Rod Rittenhouse of Defiance, when he threw down the quote, “Chance favors the prepared mind.” I asked where he heard that quote. He calmly said, “it’s from the Steven Seagal movie, “Under Siege 2”. I cracked up laughing.  1.) Because I wasn’t expecting that answer, and 2.) It was from a Steven Seagal movie! And following that conversation, I started researching “Luck”.  Turns out science has discovered how to be luckier. Luck is actually a question of attitude and seizing opportunities that many might miss.

British psychologist Richard Wiseman, a prominent figure in the study of luck, argues that luck isn't a matter of chance, but a product of our thoughts and behaviors. In his research, Wiseman identified four principles that lucky people seem to exhibit: they are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, they make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, they create self-fulfilling prophecies via positive expectations, and adopting a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good. Thus, in Wiseman's view, luck is not a mystical force, but a pattern of behaviors and mindset that can be learned and enhanced.

While some people may seem luckier than others, it's important to remember that luck is not solely determined by chance. By being prepared, networking, and adopting a positive attitude and behavior, anyone can increase their chances of attracting luck. As Wiseman suggests, perhaps it's time for us to shift our mindset from one of "luck" to one of "creating opportunities."

After all, luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. So, let's prepare and keep an open mind to welcome the fortunate moments that come our way. Chance does favor those who are prepared!

So, are we lucky here at Defiance County Economic Development?  I would say, OH YEAH!  Do we jump at attractive opportunities -Yes! Do we find the learning lesson or the positive in some of our losses - Yes!  Do we position our County to WIN…Absolutely & Always!  And do we come prepared…Every single day! So, what does luck have to do with it? Turns out, Everything.  

Column by Erika Willitzer, the Executive Director of Defiance County Economic Development.

If you have questions when it comes to doing business in Defiance County, Ohio, feel free to email at

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