THE ROLE OF LUCK IN BUSINESS SUCCESS
As an entrepreneur you quickly realize that there are no guarantees of success. The journey of owning a business shows that despite the best research and planning, there are volatile, unavoidable twists of fate that can raise your company to the next level — or just as easily bring it to its knees.
The lens of an FGE, however, takes a unique perspective. They expect success. They put themselves in a position to succeed through hard work, persistence and determination. They know there are risks in doing business. And whether or not they believe it is luck that tips the scales one way or another, we believe there are things you can do to prepare yourself when that luck — good or bad — presents itself.
Entrepreneurs who have a good sense of future trends and opportunities have greater degrees of success. While there are many timing factors that could influence the success of a business, these four are the most critical.
Economic. Recognizing when and/or if the economic markets are ready for your product or service.
Technological. Understanding when and/or if the technology is there to offer your product or service effectively and efficiently.
Political. Knowing if the political climate is friendly toward your industry.
Personal. Regardless of how perfectly aligned the other three factors are, you have to be in the right place personally to start your business. Without your personal time being aligned, you won’t have the energy, the focus, or the support to make it through the rollercoaster of growing a business.
Call it good preparation or call it luck, entering an industry at the “right” time can make a big difference in whether or not a business succeeds.
OPENNESS TO IDEAS
Many entrepreneurs birth their ideas almost by accident. Business owners tend to see ideas in everything, finding inspiration in the most mundane of activities. It’s then that many entrepreneurs have a flash of insight and see a way to improve on a current product, service, or business.
Take Jay Sorenson, the inventor of the coffee sleeve, as an example. Sorenson came up with the product in 1993 from an event as simple as receiving a paper cup of coffee that was too hot to hold. Was it luck? Or was Sorenson simply open to and prepared for new ideas?
A SOLID SUPPORT NETWORK
Getting a business off the ground is highly stressful but having a solid support network is the best way to approach and deal with common problems. It is within these relationships that your enthusiasm for your business can be encouraged and nurtured.
Some business owners seek out a formal support network such as the Entrepreneurs Organization, Young Presidents Organization, or Vistage. A structured network can be highly beneficial because of its non-bias platform.
Family members and close friends are often viewed as the most supportive network because they have your best intentions in mind. However, an entrepreneur must be aware that the tightknit relationship you have with these folks can often result in biased advice. A mother, for example, wants the best for her entrepreneurial daughter and may encourage a “safer” route to success with a secure job versus entrepreneurship. Does the mother still love her daughter? Of course. It’s the awareness when getting feedback from family and friends; the entrepreneur may not want their mother to be the first one they share a new idea with.
Were you lucky that you happen to meet the perfect investor at a fundraising event? Or did you meet him/her because you deliberately invested time in expanding your network? Was it luck that caused you to miss your plane, only to be seated beside your future spouse on the next available flight? Or were you open to possibilities and knew enough not to let this one go?
Most business owners would say they wouldn’t be where they are today without at least a small amount of luck. As entrepreneurs, you will encounter both good and bad luck during your business’ lifetime, but it’s how you handle that luck that really matters.
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