With everyone running around sporting Kiss Me I’m Irish shirts and shamrock-shaped sunglasses, it’s easy to get sucked into the feeling of the season.
But as a small business owner, you’re probably hoping for the luck of the Irish all year around.
There’s a lot of debate about luck and business. How much does luck (good or bad) affect the average business? Can you succeed simply from having good luck?
When it comes down to it, the most successful businesses do well because great entrepreneurs make their own luck – they pick their businesses up and carry them to fields of four-leaf clovers, if you will.
So how can you encourage and create good luck for your business? These tips are a good start.
Practice Radical Kindness
One of the most important and oft-overlooked aspect of great networking is simple kindness. We’re naturally drawn to people who treat us well and go out of their way to help. When you make it a point to practice radical kindness, the people you meet are more likely to be on the lookout for ways to help you out.
When that person whose spilled coffee you helped clean up happens to work in venture capital, that’s a lucky break. Radical kindness can be both an icebreaker and a way to open the door to future opportunities.
Seek Out New Opportunities
Luck won’t just find you sitting in the office doing paperwork. In order to cultivate good luck for your business, you have to get out there and chase down new opportunities – whether they’re networking, customer acquisition, PR, funding, or any other kind of opportunity.
Make probability work for you and luck will follow. The more opportunities you chase down and smart risks you take, the more likely it is that a few of them will work out swimmingly – it’s basic math.
How to Do It:
Open your eyes and be receptive to new opportunities.
Cultivate relationships with connected and influential people in your industry.
Play to Your Strengths
There’s a lot of debate about whether we should be working to improve our weaknesses or running with our strengths. When it comes to getting lucky, it’s best to use what you’re already good at to your advantage. If you’re spending time learning new skills that aren’t vital to your business, opportunities (and lucky breaks) could be flying by outside the window.
Capitalize on the things you do well, and (when you can) hire to compensate for the things you aren’t so great at. Focusing on your strengths allows you to keep driving the business forward and finding new ways to get lucky.
Pro tip: Embrace superstition. A big part of both performing well and getting lucky is confidence. If superstitions like a lucky pair of socks or pre-meeting ritual help you feel competent and prepared for what lies ahead, indulge in them.
Always Be Prepared
You’re standing in an elevator when the doors open and Mark Cuban walks in – what a lucky break right? But are you ready for it? Do you have an elevator pitch prepared and polished? A business card with you?
A big part of being lucky is just being prepared to capitalize on lucky breaks. Have a quick pitch for your business and practice giving it. No matter how unlikely it is that you’ll run into Cuban in an elevator, you’ll be kicking yourself if it happens and you can’t take advantage of the opportunity.
How to Do It:
Write out and rehearse your elevator pitch. Practice in front of friends & family and use their feedback to make it even better.
Always carry business cards. It’s old fashioned, but handing someone a card is a lot faster than typing your phone number into their smart phone.
Don’t hesitate. If an opportunity presents itself, jump on it.
Work Your Butt Off and Take Risks
It’s true that good luck is often a product of good, old-fashioned hard work. When you hustle every day, try, try, and try again, you’re bound to catch a few lucky breaks. There’s simply no tip, trick, or shortcut that can substitute for showing up and working your butt off day after day until that lucky stretch finds you.
As for risk, they say ‘fortune favors the bold,’ and that’s often the case in business – don’t neglect due diligence, but once it’s done, be willing to take the leap and good luck will find you on the way down.
May the Road Rise Up to Meet You
Good luck can take you a lot of places in business, and the debate rages on about its true significance. But one thing is as sure as always – work hard, come prepared, always be kind... and success will follow.
How do you make luck happen for your business?