I had been thinking about it, and for me, it comes down to two things:
- Be good at something, and
- know lots of people.
On the other hand, you can have outstanding skills, but if nobody knows what you do, you will have a hard time finding work. Every job that I've gotten so far was either from someone who knew me directly, or from a referral from someone who knows me.
And then, you have to be in the right place at the right time - there's always an element of luck. But the more people who know what you do and believe you do it well, the better the odds. And then you have to deliver.