Some people seem to flit through life picking up the best job offers, landing new clients every other day and closing deals with the same ease your parent’s have for embarrassing you.
When these lucky individuals turn up, envy often rears its ugly head. It’s a natural reaction. After all, we ordinary people have to work extremely hard for every success, no matter how minor. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking is preventing you from seeing what’s actually going on behind the scenes.
This is a frequent problem encountered when observing those who have already achieved a level of success that you aspire to. From the outside, you only ever see a tiny sliver of the countless hours of work that went into their achievements.
So what’s really going on?
Turning up everywhere
Research has shown that the best jobs are often not advertised. When the vast majority of people go job hunting, one of their first ports of call is likely to be an online job board. Quite often, this is going to be the only place they check as well. Those with no qualifications are dismayed at the lack of options, and the ones who do have extensive qualifications can’t find anything that fits their dreams.
The lucky ones who seem to find extremely prestigious positions are using a different strategy, and it’s a technique that works very well for entrepreneurs with their own businesses too. Instead of passively waiting for others to hand them an opportunity on a plate and then competing with everyone else who saw it too, the lucky take a more active approach.
They don’t hunt for jobs, they network. They turn up everywhere, maneuvering themselves into positions where they are most likely to get an introduction to useful connections. Actually doing this is both easier and more difficult than it sounds.
For example, I’m a freelance writer. When I first got started, I signed up to content mills and job boards to see what kind of projects people wanted to hire writers for. Most of the time I was beaten to the punch, and the kinds of jobs I did get were very poorly paid. I spoke to others who were in the same position as me, and they were all experiencing the same frustrations. A common complaint was that there were simply too many freelance writers for anybody to have success.
I knew this wasn’t true. After all, the whole reason I got into freelance writing in the first place was because of all the success stories I’d heard. Despite my optimism, I was still struggling. I began to wonder if it was too late to have any success as a freelance writer for somebody who was starting out at the same time as I was.
Eventually I started to try out different strategies. Instead of constantly looking for new clients, I began to focus on the people I had already worked for. I asked them if they needed any other work, or if they had anybody in their network who had need of a good writer.
And more or less overnight, everything began to change.
Most of the people I asked had absolutely no interest in helping me out, but they did want to help their friends out. They passed on my details, and soon I had regular clients asking me to do so much work that I was unable to complete the workload and keep my full-time job.
My fellow amateur writers said I was simply lucky, but I knew it had nothing to do with luck. I messaged over a hundred past clients to get the results I did, and a very large percentage of those people never responded. Instead, it was a case of being in the right place at the right time by being in as many places (in this case, inboxes of likely clients) as frequently as possible.
Brute forcing the luck lock
The same principle applies to all kinds of businesses, but it has nothing to do with luck. Instead, it’s all about the law of averages. In order to be in the right place, you have to get out there. If you have a primarily offline business, that means getting out of the house and perfecting your elevator pitch so you can take advantage of every chance meeting. Sitting around at home or in the office won’t get you anywhere. Never turn down an invitation to a useful event. Find out where your ideal clients congregate and start going there too. To be there at the right time, there’s nothing complex to it. You simply do it over and over again until you get the result you’re after.
Of course, this is a horrible and soul-destroying grind for most. The thought of dealing with rejection hundreds of times, possibly in the span of a single day, is enough to reduce grown men and women to tears. The trick to dealing with this is one used by any good salesperson. Instead of viewing each rejection as a rejection, you’ve simply eliminated one of the time-wasting doors and can now move on to knock at the next door.
Remember, luck doesn’t matter. It’s all about perseverance, being an active marketer of your own business and not doing what everybody else around you is doing.