Growing up, I was fortunate to have a Boy Scout troop based at my grade school. My older brothers were in scouting and I joined as soon as I could. I made friends that have lasted more than 25 years and learned many skills that I use on a daily basis. I am very thankful for the great leaders in my troop who set aside significant portions of their life to enhance mine.
The Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared” is likely the largest contributing factor to my success (also in the running are creative thinking and taking action).
Being prepared is having a range of skills and tools that can be used in a variety of situations you are likely to encounter. It is through proper preparation that we:
Have a quality conversation with a new introduction and get to understand their needs
Ask the difficult questions to make them think seriously about using our products/services
Follow up timely and relevantly
Propose an idea in a way that people understand and appreciate
Deliver on our promises
Being prepared is first about recognizing the opportunities facing us, and then taking swift action to make the best results. Preparation often put me in the right place at the right time for me to act. It was also thanks to my preparation that I knew when the best action was to join, and when to quit.
Luck however, is what comes to us by chance. It is beyond our control and is relatively unpredictable. There is a correlation between hard work and good luck, and as Benjamin Franklin said; “Diligence is the mother of good luck.”
Looking back on my scouting story, I may have been lucky to have a great scout troop so easily available; lucky to have older brothers and supportive family, but luck is only a bonus that shows us the doors of opportunity. It is up to us to diligently use our skills and tools to open those doors… then to walk through them. I am proud to be an Eagle Scout (only about 5% of all scouts reach this level)! I find that the more I prepare and the better I prepare, the more good luck seems to favor me.
I am not one to curse luck, or claim that we can be more powerful than the mysterious force of nature. It is nearly impossible to eliminate the benefits of the most inconsequential of occurrences. Luck is not something on which we should rely in our businesses. After all, how many people consider Lottery Winnings as an anticipated source of business revenue?
Then again, if you don’t play, you have no chance of winning.