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Are You Lucky, Or Are You Ready?

     I once had a conversation with a group of friends about Denzel Washington. I’m a huge fan of his. He’s an amazing talent and is at the top of the acting profession. His success is incredible.

     One of my friends chimed in a one point and said, “He got lucky.” I looked over at him in disbelief. Held my tongue and just laughed. I had to consider for a moment what I was dealing with and realized he didn’t understand. He didn’t understand the basic principle of success. I’ll do my best here to explain it.

     In the book The Richest Man In Babylon, there is a story of a livestock trader who was lucky enough to have the opportunity to purchase a large flock from an anxious seller. Instead of making the deal, he delayed the purchase until the morning. Unfortunately, by then many more buyers were on the scene willing to pay much higher prices than was originally offered. What is clear in this story is that the livestock trader recognized a great opportunity and procrastinated, losing it.

     Luck and good fortune come to those who are prepared for the opportunity and take swift action.

     Here is my personal story.

     Back in 2018, I realized that the business I had sign on with was not what I had expected. By then, I had invested a significant amount of my savings and risked just about everything to be an entrepreneur. I knew the business could be great, but I had no idea how to make it great. The people in charge of the corporation did not have the training nor the knowledge to help, just some useful tips. I knew I was in trouble.

     Here’s the thing. I made a decision to leave my job on Wall Street where I was making a good living to become an entrepreneur. I was about to risk it all. I promised my family I would succeed, and the business would be amazing. When 2019 came around I realized I didn’t know how I was going to do that. In the past, when I came across difficulty and challenges, often times, I would just take the easy road and avoid the uncomfortable challenge. Except this time, I really had no option. I needed to succeed. I had no option. I decided I would do everything and anything I needed to ensure a successful launch of my business. I started by gathering the troops. I knew many new owners of the same business that were in the same situation. Many had opened and struggling. Many were still yet to open and were in trouble like I was. I created a Facebook Group with all these people that needed help. I reached out to veteran owners that had experienced success and asked if they would help us. They did. We would do group Zoom calls and the owners would have the opportunity to ask questions and get answers. Every guest we had seemed to be God send.

     During this time, one of my mentors, gave me some great advice and listed some books to read. In these books, I learned the about the value of humility, something that I was in short supply of. I learned that I really wasn’t as smart as I thought I was, and I needed help. Over the next several months, I would meet many veteran owners and visited many locations around the country. I gathered information and knowledge. Most importantly, I met 3 people that changed everything. Knowing that I didn’t know what to do was the key for me. These 3 people had cracked the code and I was lucky to have met them. The advice they gave me would change everything. They gave me the directives and guidance to have a great launch of my business. I did everything they told me to do. I didn’t spend any time evaluating whether they were right or wrong. They were the experts, and I was the notice. They were successful and I wanted the same thing. I took action and did what they told me to do. I put aside the distractions and focused on the things they told me to focus on. I spent money on the things they told me to spend money on. I read the books they told me too. I avoided those things they told me to avoid.

I spend 12 months doing exactly what they told me to do. The end result was that I got exactly what I was working for. My business launched with over 300 clients which was unheard of for a new owner.

     I’m not comparing myself to Denzel Washington. I’m not comparing myself to anyone. I did what I had to do. I was in crisis and saw an opportunity. Recognizing an opportunity is step #1. Acting on the opportunity and taking swift action was step #2. When I look at the results and how I arrived at them, was it luck? Some people who do not know the full story will say yes. I was in the right place and the right time. I met the right people at the right time. I opened in the right location. I opened at the right time. Was this all luck or was I just ready, willing and able to take action towards the attainment of my goals? If someone offers you an amazing opportunity, do you take it even though you’re not fully prepared? Do you say yes to the opportunity and figure it out later? Or, do you walk away scared because you don’t know what you’re doing?

     “If someone offers you an Amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say Yes – then learn how to do it later.” ~ Richard Branson

     Oh by the way, I opened my business in January of 2020. Two months later, I had to close due to COVID. How lucky was I.

     Today, the business is back to pre-COVID days. I’m grateful!

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