Luck Has Nothing to Do with It

With St. Patrick’s Day upon us, the concept of luck and how people associate it with success in business got me thinking.

How many times have you heard a successful business leader say their success is “just luck”?  They may feel as though they were in the right place at the right time, or an opportunity just came their way.   Anyone who has achieved their own business or career success knows there is no such thing as an overnight sensation!  Success doesn’t just fall in your lap.  You have work to do to prepare yourself.

In an Inc Magazine article, author, Eric Holtzclaw, said

To claim that you are just “lucky” is
a disservice to those considering following an entrepreneurial path.
If success is just based on luck,
then small business owners have no control over their eventual success
and “being unlucky” becomes
an excuse for failure or choosing never to start.”

Richard Branson shares a similar, yet different view.  In fact, Branson says “people and businesses that are generally considered fortunate or luckier than others are usually also the ones that are prepared to take the greatest risks and, by association, are also prepared to fall flat on their faces every so often.”  He goes on to say “You can’t get lucky if you’re playing it safe.”

Luck ispreparationmeetingOpportunityI know I don’t attribute career or business success to luck.  In fact, I believe that luck is the result of making decisions and taking action!

One client I worked with started her path to change by making the decision to seek external help.  I was the person she decided to work with during the transition phase.  These two steps, decision and action, lead her to identify gaps in her team which she addressed, systems that were not working for the team or for her business, and clarified the results she wanted to achieve.  Our collaboration resulted in set expectations for client interactions by each team member, development of tools and resources to assist in improving client retention and to boost sales.  This didn’t happen overnight, and at the end, she indicated she “felt lucky that I came along to help turn things around”.  Her determination, hard work and a willingness to make tough decisions and take action lead to her new success, I was just there to help her remain accountable to herself and her goals.

In the well known book, Good to Great, Jim Collins shares his insights on luck.  He says luck is part of pattern he coins “the window and the mirror“.  He explains Level 5 leaders (individuals who let go of their ego and self-interest while being very ambitious and focused on their organization), will

look out of the window to apportion credit to factors outside themselves when things go well (and if they cannot find a specific person or event to give credit to, they credit good luck).  At the same time they look in the mirror to apportion responsibility, never blaming bad luck when things go poorly.

If you want to enjoy your own luck, now or in the future,

  • recognize what you have accomplished to date and
  • recognize the steps you must take to prepare yourself to be ready to capitalize on opportunities that present thomas-jefferson-luck-wallpapers_18165_1024x768themselves to you.
  • build a good network of like minded people, such as a mastermind group, to keep you focused and moving forward.
  • consider working with a Coach to raise the bar and
  • be willing to take risks and stretch out of your comfort zone!

Are you ready to take action?  

Book your complimentary Ignite Call to explore how we can help you to build your own luck!

End the Roller Coaster of Business

One thing I have learned over the years in business is there will always be some ups and downs.  Some are small, others more of a roller coaster ride!  When ups and downs happen, as the leader, you know how important it is to stay the course rather than make major changes.

Now, staying the course does not equal no change.  Instead, it involves connecting with your vision, understanding the market place and evaluating your systems.  Are they in alignment?  For example, as we enter summer, business may slow down as more of your customers take holidays and are away from work.  If your customer base is primarily business, the rotating holiday schedule may delay the decision making process, even when a sale appeared imminent just prior.  In this situation, you won’t make drastic changes, but may have to adjust your business operations or attract new clients who are open for business.

Regardless of which approach you choose, it is important to have a clear vision and strong systems in place so you can make subtle shifts effectively.  Recently I have experienced a series of ups and downs in my business.

The Spark in all of this was a major setback when a client backed out at the last minute.  Do you Is your biz on a roller coaster-Is it (2)believe in coincidences?  As I write this post, I have a smile on my face… realizing that coincidences do happen!  When one door shuts another opens.  You just have to be looking!

As I mentioned, I was speaking with a potential client who was indecisive on taking next steps. Long story short, we’d been doing the “sell-dance” and ended when they decided not to move forward on their project.  They loved what I could bring to the table and wanted to work with me because they could clearly see where I could lead the transitions they want to make … yet they decided to put everything on hold.

Ok, I must admit that this is not the first time I’ve experienced this same scenario, but it’s still frustrating!  I’m sure you can relate.

When facing this situation, I have found two key questions can help potential clients to make a decision.  “What specifically will motivate you to make a decision?” and “Is money the major obstacle?”

This gentle roller coaster ride resulted in some amazing business opportunities to appear because I was prepared and open for business.  After receiving the news that I wouldn’t be starting this major project, I had to redirect my focus.  Fortunately I had not put all my eggs in one basket and had kept looking, talking and making business proposals.  I also found the process I underwent with that client forced me to really shift my mindset and let go of the result and just go with the flow.

I don’t know which of these items were the positive influence, but I do know that one or all of them worked!   I was offered a new project by a former client which starts shortly, received several referrals, identified two new potential clients and projects where I could really help add value, and I create a new way to grow my business.

Your take away….

1.  Think Big — opportunities abound when you keep your eyes open to possibilities

2.  Stay Positive — one set back or two isn’t enough when you have a strong will to succeed

3.  Be willing to Exert some Effort in the process — we all want instant results but a little elbow grease always helps

4.  Focus on the Future —  Just because one potential client keeps telling you positive responses, until they put money in your hands, they are only a prospect.  Don’t let any other prospects or leads pass you by!

5.  Don’t Give Up! — Persistence, consistency and communicating your value in your prospect/customer’s language is key!

 

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.

When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

Buddha

 

When Opportunity Knocks, Do You Answer?

Opportunity…

1  : a favourable juncture of circumstances 

2  : a good chance for advancement or progress

How do you view today’s economy?  Do you view our economy pessimistically or do you see the glass half full – with the current economy offering you an array of opportunities to create business and grow.

There is no doubt that times have been challenging and the debt load held by countries and people alike leave many facing cut-backs, lay-offs. loss of homes and stability.   Despite recessions and challenging TimeisMoney_Phaitoon_ID-10072145economic times, there are many opportunities available.  As the economy picks up, the opportunities continue to grow and evolve.

As the definition above indicates, an opportunity may be a juncture where you connect with someone or something that opens a door to something new or different.   Ultimately, an opportunity will allow you to move forward in some way if you capitalize on it.

I strongly believe that when one door closes, another opens!  The key is whether you are open to what is presented, and if you actually see it!  Many businesses I have worked with have failed to recognize how a situation they are facing is advantageous and could help them grow and prosper.  I came in to assist with the change process as they re positioned themselves.   I have watched other businesses struggle to maintain the status quo when the environment around them was changing quickly and they weren’t keeping up.  They didn’t recognize what key decisions were needed and failed to reach out for help from others.  The result… the competition left them in their dust.

An opportunity can only move you forward when you take action.  Action begins with making a decision.  Contemplating an opportunity without making a decision will leave you stuck in the same place.  On the positive side, taking time to make a decision does allow you an opportunity to evaluate your options but you cannot reap the benefits until you make a decision to take advantage of it.

Not all opportunities are the right ones for you.  An opportunity should allow you to grow. Opportunities frequently push you into new areas and this new arena will most likely be outside your comfort zone.  Growth requires you to step up, think outside the box or accept managed risk.

 

What opportunities are on your horizon? 

What steps do you have to take to capitalize on these opportunities? 

Opportunity Knocks…

In July 2012 my article “Opportunity Knocks — Are You Ready?” was posted by Entrepreneurial Woman Magazine.  I thought I would share it here as well… I hope you will enjoy it. [Read more…]

Stretch Goals…Step Forward & Grow

How high do you set your personal and business standards?  In my mastermind group we determined that we all set the bar pretty high for ourselves and we are committed to reaching and exceeding our own goals and performance standards.  Each of us has been an entrepreneur for several years and have each enjoyed many successes.  We also set the bar high when we were in school and in our prior careers.  As a successful mastermind group that has been together for 3 years our commitment to each other’s success is a testament of our high standards.  Our mastermind provides a solid, safe place to face our fears, brainstorm ideas and celebrate our successes.  In order to achieve our goals and dreams, each member of our group sets business and personal goals that will move us forward and allow us to grow. These are stretch goals.

Stretch goals are commonly referred to in the business world as a way to achieve more.  Stretch goals require a person or business to ambitiously extend itself  beyond what seems realistic within current paramentersJohn Miller wrote about the conflict between stretch goals and smart goals in his blog.  Here is the acronym he presented to explain how the two fit together:

“S = SMART goals that

T = teach an organization how to

R = reach higher levels of performance by

E = engaging everyone in

T = testing hypotheses through

C = cross-functional cooperation

H = in a humane fashion.”

Setting the bar high should be reflected in your performance as well.  Is the quality of the product you offer your customers reflective of your standards?  Continuous quality improvement will occur when you continually reassess current systems, standards and outcomes and then set the bar higher.  Rejig to keep things current, and to maintain quality and performance — it also keeps life challenging and interesting!

Elevating operations, goals, expectations and deliverables takes planning and dedicated effort.  A Coach or Mentor or Mastermind Group can help make you stretch and achieve your goals by keeping you accountable.  I challenge you to raise the bar in business and your own life and reap the rewards that follow.

Will Change Hurt or Help?

In my work, I am always dealing with change.  It may be helping clients to implement new systems, facing behaviours that are not working for them, creating new products/services, starting a new business or switching jobs (or careers).  No matter how we look at it, change is a constant.  There are many commonalities in how business owners, leaders, organizations and industries are dealing with this reality but there are also many differences.  Some organizations are internalizing the changes (looking inward and identifying ways to restructure, identify efficiencies, and plan for the future), while other organizations are looking outward for support and ideas in addition to looking inward.  It doesn’t matter if the organization is large or small, there are examples of both approaches in each category. [Read more…]

Is Achieving Great Success A Leadership Prerequisite?

I was listening to a Sports Radio station in the car a few days ago.  The discussion centered around different leaders in sports and their accomplishments — number of “Rings” or medals.  In each situation, the people identified by the hosts were great athletes and deserved the accolades for their accomplishments. They also were leaders on their team.  When trying to determine which athlete was a better leader, much of the discussion centered around their achievements on the field, in the ring or on ice. [Read more…]

The Power of Many

Are you feeling stale in your job?
Do you have a sense of uninspired leadership?
Are you isolated or feeling unsupported?

If you answered yes, our Leadership Mastermind programs are for you.

A mastermind group is also referred to as a peer mentoring group or personal board of directors. Napoleon Hill shared the concept in his book “Think and Grow Rich” [Read more…]

Igniting Leadership!

Ignite Leadership International is proud to announce

our new fundraising project

with Create Change!

 

As part of Ignite Leadership’s “More Than Green™” program, we are proud to share our latest social responsibility program.

 Our Goal:          

To change the lives of six (or more) capable young women in Northern Ghana, who cannot afford to fulfill their dreams of having a career.

[Read more…]

What Do You Say?

Ever wonder what to say when people ask “What do you do?” You know you’ve lost business because your answer lacks that certain “Wow” factor. I know I have. And we all can do better than that!

Imagine this scenario instead…

You’ve got 60 seconds. Everyone is expecting that same old ‘elevator pitch.’ Instead, you wow your audience with your killer 60-second introduction that’ll make jaws drop and heads snap to attention, and attract prospects & referrals. Wishful thinking? Not at all! [Read more…]

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