Wednesday, February 13, 2008

66 Tips To Better Networking - #56 -Manufacture Your Luck

Route 66 - The Journey Toward Success

Manufacture Your Own Luck

I know I am a fortunate guy. Some of my good fortune comes from hard work and strategery (I love that fake word, thank you Will Ferrell) while other things just fall into my lap.

When I was in college I was a five day returning champion on the game show "The $25,000 Pyramid" (Oh yes, it shows up from time to time on the Game Show Channel). I won $20,000, a trip for two to Brazil, a sailboat and a stereo. Plus more useless parting gifts than anyone would ever want (a year's supply of Triaminic...what was that about?). Many people proclaimed how "lucky" I was, but I never saw it that way. Or maybe it was luck, but I manufactured the situation that allowed me to be lucky.

To be on that game show one had to go through an extensive series of interviews and try-outs. I called the number, drove to Los Angeles (I lived in San Diego at the time) and took a battery of tests. Additionally, I had great word association skills - which were either God-given or taught in the Arcadia Unified School District. When someone said "grapes, bananas, the Brady family", I instantly knew they were talking about "things that come in a bunch". Without the skills and the action of getting my butt to the audition, there could have been no luck.

I recently wrote on this blog about how I scored my family four great seats for the Hanna Montana concert three hours before the show. Many people were surprised, but I had worked my network like crazy to find those tickets. The friend who tipped me off on their availability is someone I have known for about seven years. If I have not become friends with this person in the first place, my kids would have missed their favorite fictional pop-star rock out the show! Other parents commented on how lucky we were to get tickets. Again, not sure it was luck.

You never know who can bring something amazing into your world. All opportunities come from people, which means that if you embrace others, you win. But it must be a mutually beneficial relationship or the other people will not go out of their way to help you. Helping others allows you achieve more.

A reader of this blog left a post the other day telling me I was "lucky" to have a friend who was going to the Superbowl (and invited me to go alone). Again with the "lucky".

I think we make our own luck. Most people never think about this concept and just go through life without trying to influence their destiny. If you want more luck, try the following three steps and see what happens:

1. Expand your network. Knowing the right people has advantages. If your current friends are not providing you with new opportunities, you need to find some new friends! I am not suggesting you abandon the people in your life, just include new folks.

2. Let people know what you want. If you keep your goals and dreams secret then nobody can help you. Like the Hanna Montana tickets, they did not drop from the sky, I had told about forty people that I wanted to take my kids to the show. Only one came through, but that was all I needed.

3. Take chances. You have to try if you want to succeed. If I had not gone to the audition for the game show, I never would have won. However, if I had not been selected as a contestant, my life would have not been harmed. Therefore, you lose nothing by trying. However you could lose everything by not trying. Just go for it.

Have A Great Day.

thom


4 comments:

Cory Garrison said...

Thom,

Great post...I couldn't agree more! A good friend of mine here in Des Moines, IA created an event that he hosts a couple of times a year called The Big Dream Gathering (www.bigdreamgathering.com). Basically, you write your dreams on a big sheet of paper, then what you already have (skills, things, etc) to make your dream come true, and finally what you need. The rest of the night everyone else in the room (I've seen as many as 400 people at one gathering) walk around and write down suggestions and words of encouragement to help everyone get a step closer to realizing their dream.

He will also sometimes video people's dreams and post them on YouTube. Pretty cool!

You meet amazing like minded people (Expand your network), Let people know what you want, and you take chances often times just by putting it out there!

Thought you might find the comparison interesting.

Best Wishes,

Cory

Anonymous said...

Great post. I often forget that luck does not happen by luck.

Aruni said...

Nice post! I totally agree. One of my early advisors for my first company called it Manufactured Luck too. I think he was employee #40 at Dell. A story I like to share on this has to do with a $5 bill.

One person is walking down the street and is thinking about other things or looking a certain way and doesn't see a $5 bill on the ground. Another person comes right behind him and she is looking around and sees the $5 bill and picks it up. People call her lucky but it was the way she observed her environment that made her see the bill where someone else didn't. He considers himself unlucky which he dwells on and continues to miss the $5 bill opportunities.

I've also heard it said that Luck is when Good Preparation meets Opportunity.

David Morris said...

WOW - a trip to Brazil! Who did you take? I bet that person is a life long friend now.