When it comes to being successful, are some entrepreneurs just lucky? I am a great believer in good fortune, however I don’t consider it a factor in the success of a business.
You hear people saying it all the time: “They just got lucky because they knew all the right people,” or “they were lucky to launch at a time when no one else was around”.
Although some people have lucky moments, I think entrepreneurs can also create their own luck. It is about an opportunity, and if you make yourself more available for opportunities to happen, then they will.
Here is what you can do to increase your good fortune:
As clichéd as that sounds, do not give up on your dream just because nothing has gone to plan for a couple of months. Sometimes a business needs a couple of years to pick up. This is something I often witness with young entrepreneurs in the UAE and Gulf region. If their business is not profitable within a year, they give up on it – completely the wrong move.
Have a strong support group
Surround yourself with people who are happy for your success, who will encourage you. Positive vibes go a long way and can actually lift your mood. The last thing you need when you are feeling low is someone dragging you down even more.
Believe in yourself
Doubts will creep up, and you might question why you even started your business when you already had a decent job that supported you. It’s OK to feel like this. Hang in there. At the end of the day, only a strong belief in yourself will propel you towards your goal, and ensure you achieve it.
Read a lot. Make friends. Attend networking events. Be curious. Reading broadens your horizons and meeting new people can present new opportunities. I’ve landed many a business deal or speaking opportunity simply by attending networking events. You won’t get anywhere if you just stick your head in the sand and hope for things to work out.
Talk about your business all the time
I cannot stress this point enough. Whenever you meet new people, whether over a friendly dinner or during a conference, talk about your venture. It does not have to be for long, but enough for people to remember what you do. Carry business cards everywhere, and if you don’t have one on you when you meet someone interesting, then drop them an email later to introduce yourself.
It’s OK to be picky
Many opportunities will present themselves to you, and as much as you strive to remain open to receiving them, you need to be choosy. Do not reply straight away. Think about what you have been offered. Will it serve you in the long run? Will it bring good returns to you on a business or personal level? Do the maths and consider the opportunity from every angle before giving your final word.
If you can help someone out, then do so. It is good karma and will one day be returned to you in some form. People remember how you once stood by them and you will be top of their mind when an opportunity arises.
Creating your own luck is about refusing to see nothing but the big picture. Be kind. Be helpful. Be patient. Obstacles will present themselves, and challenges are sure to arise, but if you choose to, you could view them as opportunities. Once your perception changes, everything suddenly becomes easier and the journey becomes enjoyable.
Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and communications consultant based in Abu Dhabi. Twitter: @manar_alhinai.
Follow The National’s Business section on Twitter