In this, the best of all months, because it contains my absolute favorite holiday of all time (ST.PATRICK’S DAY), I have been reflecting a lot about LUCK.
Today, it seems, people are very willing and anxious to tell other people how lucky they are. When someone finds out I have 4 children, they either make the obligatory comment about having my hands full (how original) or they tell me how blessed I am. Yes, it’s true. I am. But there’s a lot you don’t know about my situation, and that is true for just about everybody on the planet.
This is also a common issue in business. People seem pretty willing to look at someone successful and then reflect about how lucky they are. Have you ever stopped and thought about how insulting that is? Because it sort of implies that all their hard work, sacrifice, struggle, failure and suffering were somehow not factors.
It is pretty easy to look at any person or situation with blinders on and just see the superficial circumstance of right now. What I am asking you to do is consider the historical context behind that perceived success. Even better, try to find out the actual facts surrounding it and find out what you can learn from it, what you could potentially emulate to advance your own career or business.
We have a lot to learn from successful people. What I think ends up happening, though, is that we let envy get the better of us, and so we allow ourselves to make room for a phenomenon like luck in the place of honoring wisdom, intelligence, and instinct.
Instead, try asking yourself, “How did that person get where s/he is today?” If it is a really famous person, chances are it is pretty easy to answer that question: They’ve probably written a book, or someone has written a book about them or your friend the internet can tell you some things about their struggles and obstacles. If the person is a co-worker, competitor, or business person in your community, here is a radical idea. Ask that person for 5 minutes of his/her time to impart some wisdom on you. Better yet, ask him/her out for coffee/lunch/a beer and talk it over. Make friends. Seek a mentor relationship. Always seek to expand and learn and grow instead of to covet.
The other side of this issue is: The only person who should be able to say you are lucky is YOU. So maybe it’s time to take a look in the mirror and take an inventory of all the ways you are currently kicking ass. Just landed a new account? GO YOU! Just managed to get an appointment with that hard-to-reach prospect that you’ve been chasing for 2 years? WHOO HOO FOR YOU. And for the love of god – don’t keep it a secret! Make sure your boss, your fellow salespeople (especially the one that you not-so-secretly plan to beat in this month’s sales contest) and anyone else you can think of KNOWS about your wins.
Bottom line: Luck has very little to do with. Your smarts, your perseverance, your creativity and your willingness to put in the time and energy to succeed are what will get you there. Let’s leave luck and St.Patrick’s Day for drinking green beer. The first one’s on me.
As a sales and marketing coach and consultant at Success In Print, Kelly Mallozzi advocates for graphic arts companies to start a revolution and fight to keep print relevant. She may be irreverent, but what she lacks in convention, she makes up for in smart-assery.