How to be Lucky in Business!

One of my favorite sayings is "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."  Since it's St. Patrick's Day today, I wish that quote had been by someone Irish, but it's in fact by Seneca, a Roman philosopher who lived in the first century AD. But since everyone can be Irish for a day today, why not make Seneca a temporary honorary Irishman too.

So let's take a closer look at Seneca's quote and see what we can do to get lucky too, other than hunting down leprechauns, four-leaved clovers and checking for pots of gold at the end of rainbows.

Here are my top 5 ideas to get lucky in business...

1) Be prepared so that when you meet opportunity you'll get lucky: Your Audio Logo

The first major ingredient to luck is preparation.  And for us, as business owners, preparation means having our perfect audio logo (or elevator pitch) ready to go no matter where we are.  Whether you're at a St. Patrick's Parade or at a networking breakfast, you should know what to say when someone asks you "what you do?" - and be able to say it in a compelling way that gets you noticed and remembered whether it's in a conversation or a 30 or 60 seconds formal networking introduction.

2) Be prepared, part two: Carry business cards wherever you go

In addition to having your audio logo ready to go, also be sure to carry business cards everywhere you go. Yes, even jogging or walking the dog. Last fall I made a great connection while out with Darby my wire fox terrier and although the other person didn't have a card, I did so the connection wasn't lost and a new client was gained.  So just like the old American express commercial - never leave home without them.  Networking is about making connections and you just never know when or how it will happen.

3) Be where opportunity has a chance to find you: Get out there

The second key ingredient of luck is opportunity. Be sure to spend time in places where opportunity can happen.  One thing it needs is other people.  You won't make a big splash and gather lots of new clients when you're home surfing the net or watching TV.  At least you won't unless you're watching yourself on Oprah, and your phone is about to ring off the hook.  In that case, staying home so you can answer it might be the perfect thing to do.

4) Help opportunity along: Follow Up

Giving opportunity a chance to put you in contact with people you can create a business relationship with is one thing.  But there's a second part that's just as important, and that's follow-up.  You see, opportunity lies not just in doing the right thing in the moment but also in what you make of it afterwards.  So once you have made the initial connection, be sure to call or otherwise get in touch with that new connection and do whatever follow-up is appropriate, including possibly suggesting lunch or coffee.

5) Expect to be lucky

Luck loves those who expect it.  Seriously.  There have even been research studies that have proven that expecting a good outcome will make it much more likely for good things to occur. You've probably heard the phrase - "you have to believe it to see it". Whether it's the law of attraction, or whether it's something much more down-to-earth, it works.

What down-to-earth thing could it be? Someone who expects a good outcome is much more likely to have a optimistic 'can do' attitude and act in a way that brings positive outcomes.  They'll be out there, creating opportunities for themselves, and making the most of them. 

They'll also be outgoing and positive when they meet people, which increases their likeability factor and makes those people drawn to connect with them.  And they won't flub their lines when it the time comes to talk about their business either.

So Seneca certainly hit the nail on the head when he made that statement about luck happening when preparation meets opportunity.  But what do the Irish have to do with it? 

Well, the Irish have a reputation of being friendly and gregarious, and those are characteristics that can make anyone lucky, whether they're Irish by birth or whether they're "Irish" just for the day. 

And those characters work year-round, so be sure to use them, along with the other get-lucky tips.  In the meantime, if you're hoping to have more luck on St. Patrick's Day, be sure to wear something green.  And a shamrock won't hurt either.