Success is often the result of luck for many entrepreneurs. Regardless of if you’re luck in the business world is from a job referral or simply from an idea that picked up, this luck can make anyone’s career grow. Carl J. Schramm, author of BURN THE BUSINESS PLAN, teaches you how to succeed in business.
Every successful entrepreneur can point to one or two lucky incidents that shaped his success. Formal business plans never mention luck, for good reason. No one can teach you how to maximize good luck or avoid a bad turn of events.
How do entrepreneurs get to be in the right place at the right time? Thomas Jefferson is alleged to have suggested an answer. “I am a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” For entrepreneurs, good luck is a return on three kinds of hard work. First, the ability to create an innovation relates to the breadth of facts at your command. The more you know, the more creatively you can think. Louis Pasteur’s observation about scientific discovery applies equally to entrepreneurs: “Fortune favors the prepared mind.”
Second, entrepreneurs, must be effective at building valuable social networks. The more encompassing their web of relationships, the more likely it will produce new opportunities and lead to new ideas, better employees, and more sales. An analog of this rule explains one feature of labor markets. Most people who get a job on the basis of word of mouth, not being recruited or applying for work, benefit from the referral not of a close friend but someone in a more remote second or third circle of acquaintances.
Third, good luck involves making opportunity from accidents. Everyday occurrences, a new twist on a product design, or a comment made by a customer on a sales call, may open an unexpected door. Entrepreneurs must make their own luck or, as the comedian Milton Berle once advised, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”
These lessons do not serve as a formula for success in which each operates as a critical ingredient. In all likelihood it will be only after the fact that you will recognize which were most important to your experience. Without such experience, however, these elements, considered together, may help you understand the task of becoming a successful entrepreneur—and whether what’s required of you seems authentic to your aspirations.
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Excerpted from Burn the Business Plan by Carl J. Schramm Copyright © 2019 by the author. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.