Some wear lucky items such as clothing and jewellery or carry gemstones to give them confidence when doing business, while others make time for rituals, prayer, or daily affirmations in the hope they'll up their performance and improve business fortunes.

And while there are people who'd dismiss a reliance on ‘charms' as irrational and even flaky, research[1] shows that activating a superstition boosts confidence and in turn improves  performance.

In other words, simply believing in luck can be a powerful factor in increasing personal confidence, optimism and business success.

Darrell Sansom, Managing Director at AXA Business Insurance, suggested that while being lucky may well be a state of mind, anything that builds business confidence should be welcomed, and over and above that, there are actions you can take to improve your ‘luck' and other fortuitous coincidences in business. He said:

"Day in day out I meet people who are building successful companies in harsh and incredibly competitive environments. I'm always interested to hear their stories, but often, when I congratulate them on their success they tell me the same thing: ‘I've been very lucky'. And while there's a level of modesty and self-deprecation in such a statement, I'm convinced that anyone who says such a thing believes it to be true to a greater or lesser degree.

"Some people say the harder you work the luckier you become, and that's definitely a view I'd subscribe to. Without skill, talent, hard graft and great ideas, you're unlikely to make it on happenstance alone.

"But I also believe that luck is a state of mind, and believing that you are lucky builds confidence and resilience.

"And just as you are more likely to win the lottery if you buy a ticket, you're more likely to achieve the best things in business if you go out and get them."  

So how do you create your own luck in business? Here are AXA Business Insurance's top tips:

  • Know your purpose

They say that success is where purpose and opportunity meet, so know your purpose and focus your activity on the things that are likely to bring the biggest business benefits.

  • Focus on your strengths

Those who succeed again and again do so because they've honed specific knowledge, networks, skills and experience. If you focus on what you do best, you'll get your best results.

  • Collaborate

Be open to new possibilities, extend your networks and break your routine from time to time. Watch out for new opportunities and work hard to make them happen. Don't forget that often ‘people buy people'. Be nice, be honest, be helpful, and always say thank you.

  • Don't fear failure

...but don't force it either. Assess your risks, realise your opportunities, seize them, and take appropriate action.

  • Celebrate small successes

Take time to celebrate something every day - from a minor milestone to a major win. Celebrating success raises confidence, reduces anxiety and helps you understand and build on what you are best at.

  • Minimise risk

And finally, don't rely on luck alone, and don't let a slip up destroy all that you've built. Professional indemnity insurance protects you if a client claims you've made a mistake in your work so it may be of benefit to you. It protects you from legal defense fees and compensation claims and it's important for businesses that give advice, offer a professional service or handle client data or intellectual property.

[1] University of Cologne Department of Psychology 2010