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.”
I 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 themselves 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!