Getting luck on your side

It is a fact of life that we have a limited amount of time available. Much less than we usually think. That's why it is very important to be careful about how we allocate it if we want to reach our top 3 outcomes. To reach our top 3 outcomes, whatever they are, we would love to have luck on our side. There is indeed a component of luck involved in reaching our top 3 outcomes. A lot of factors can sway our efforts in the wrong direction. Bad things happen. So, what's luck in the first place? As far as I concerned I define luck as "preparation meeting opportunity." Yep, that's it, preparation. You need to be prepared to jump right away on the opportunity as it presents itself to you. The unprepared will say "well, you know, I was unlucky and I was unable to seize the opportunity..." And the more you prepare, the more you'll be able to spot opportunities as well as you'll hone your skills. But beware, do not drown yourself in preparation. Make sure that you prepare on real cases, not just looking at books or discussing without purpose. That's the difference between knowledge and skill. Skill is what you are after. Skill is knowledge that has been applied to real world situations. You have been through the issues, you have a real solid learning. That's not fluff. That's not hot hair. As a side note, it is much better to have a grain of skill than 100 cubic meters of hot air on a given subject, no matter what the noise the hot air crew makes! But then the next problem occurs: which skills are going to help us meet the opportunity we want to seize? And what opportunity are we interested in in the first place? In the previous newsletter we looked at a bunch of questions to help you do just that. Identify your outcomes. At least the areas where you want them to be. There is no way to get away without this. You need to be clear on youroutcomes first. And with a kind of metric so that you know when you are there, or close enough to consider it reached successfully. Which leads us to the most difficult thing to do when you want to reach your top 3 outcomes: saying no to a lot of other stuff. You see, if you choose to pursue your top 3 outcomes, or even one of them, you'll need to stop chasing other things. And that means saying "no." It means that you have made a choice. And making a choice is saying no to what is not that choice. Say you want your firm to be well known in the marketplace so that it attracts customers for its very specific value proposition. All right. But if you want to get there, and get there fast, you'll need to focus on making it true. Learn how to do it, maybe staff for getting it done. Channel your resources to make it happen. No matter what, you'll have to say no to other things because nobody has infinite resource (not even Microsoft, Google or Apple: they all let go products that do not catch up). So, this month, let's reflect on what you'll say no to:
  • letting go of old habits that make no sense in the pursuit of youroutcomes (these are just time leeches)
  • letting go of people that do not contribute to your outcomes, or people who are sabotaging your effort (what a relief!)
  • letting go of projects that have been on the backburner for too long and have nothing to contribute to your outcomes (it will make more space available in your mind)
  • stop making commitments just to "look nice" and "because you have to." (2 minutes to say no, more satisfaction for hours by focusing on what matters instead of pleasing others)
Choosing is saying no. And if you do not choose, others will do it for you. Wouldn't it be better to act on your agenda rather than on theirs, by default?
Until next time, let's say no to crap and yes to luck!