At the end of last week after working a solid 56 hours in 4 days someone I know told me I was “lucky” to have so much business. I was speechless.
When you are lucky something happens by chance. Finding a $1000 bill on the side of the road, sitting next to George Clooney on your next flight home, being the 10,000th customer to walk into a store and winning a new car…those things occur because you are lucky.
But having a good flow of existing business and lots in the pipeline too; well, that’s not luck.
When I started my first business over 30 years ago I knew that I would have to work incredibly hard in order to succeed. Frankly I underestimated just how much work it took to create and build a sustainable business. Bootstrapping all the way, I never once attributed anything that I was able to accomplish to luck but rather found that it was a better strategy to dissect all of my successes and learn how and why they came about. By doing this I was able to replicate the tactics that served me well and eliminate those that were a dismal failure.
I still follow the same path and it has served me well over all these years. Here are some other tips that might help you to “make” your luck:
- Work both smart and hard and understand that one cannot substitute for the other but together they can be the recipe for success.
- Expect to stumble and be prepared to get up, dust yourself off and keep going. The road to success is rockier than you can imagine.
- Help your “luck” along (!) by bringing in some experts just as soon as you are able to do so. A business coach, sales and marketing resources, an outsourced bookkeeper and CFO can help you to see your way clear to success faster than if you try to do it on your own.
- You’re going to be working hard so get healthy. Consuming junk food at your desk and sleeping just a few hours per night will undermine your stamina and your acuity. Have a healthy diet and get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. No excuses.
- Network like crazy. The cliché “it’s not what you know but who you know” is very much true when you are an entrepreneur. Don’t spend all of your time in your office with your nose to the grindstone. Get out, meet potential clients and referral sources and cultivate these relationships knowing that over time you will be rewarded with business.
So if you want to say that I work hard and smart, am a generous networker and have a passion for what I do, please go ahead. Just don’t say that I’m lucky!