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Today's Marketing Cookie - Guiding Your Luck
"It is a great piece of skill to know how to guide your luck. Even while waiting for it."
Today's fortune came from Andrew Davis of Charlestown, MA. Andrew, is the Chief Strategy Officer & Co-Founder of TippingPoint Labs. Mr. Davis has recently written an exciting new marketing book called "Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships", which will be on store shelves on September 1, 2012. I was delighted to learn that the book features Today's Marketing Cookie. I've ordered a pre-release copy and you can too.
Today's Marketing Cookie is about recognizing opportunity.
A friend once told me that there were no such thing as luck, but rather, only opportunities taken. There are opportunities all around you. However, you must be open enough to see them coming, be willing to recognize them as opportunities, and flexible enough to consider them -- even when they may not seem "ideal". Being in the right place, at the right time, is of little benefit if you are not willing and brave enough to seize the opportunity when they come to you. This is a principle I've found to be true in every area of my life. I know, because I was there the whole time.
Please allow me to provide evidence of my findings...
Case Study 1:
My wife is beautiful, smart, creative and mind blowingly talented. How in the world did I end up with her? I suppose you could say that opposites attract, but either way, she was and always will be way, way, way out of my league! It's simple. I was willing and brave enough to approach her during one of our play rehearsals in NY, and offer her half of my peanut butter and fluff sandwich.
Lesson Learned: Always carry an extra Fluff-N'-Nutter sandwich, you never know when you might meet the girl of your dreams.
Case Study 2:
Believe it or not, I once won a raffle. Nobody ever wins these drawings right? Well I did. My wife and I had just moved to Kentucky and although I was working three minimum wage jobs, it was a struggle to make ends meet. It was early in the morning on Black Friday, and we were hoping to buy a few discounted Christmas presents at the mall for our little daughter. As soon as we walked into Sears, a lady asked me to fill out a drawing. So I did. For the next few hours, we wandered around the mall pretty discouraged because we just couldn't justify the expense of buying some of the great things we wanted to give our little girl.
We had walked all the way to the farthest side of the mall when nature began to call - and my wife announced that she needed to visit the ladies room. Wouldn't you know it, the public bathroom had a sign on the door saying, "Sorry out of order. Please use the bathroom at Sears". So, we walked what felt like three miles all the way back to Sears. While I was waiting for my wife, I heard the Christmas music go silent for a moment and my name was being announced over the sound system, "Attention shoppers, would Myles Bristowe please come to the service counter? You've won $500 and you have ten minutes to claim your prize."
At a time when we couldn't find the means to purchase gifts for our daughter, the opportunity found us. Whether it is making eye contact and stopping to listen to an awkward sales associate at the mall, or having to walk back to where you just came from to find working bathrooms, consider that you're being guided to your next possibility. It's not enough in life just to show up... you must also be present to win.
Lesson Learned: Be willing to take a chance on opportunities and never be mad when you see an "out of order" sign. You'll be surprised where it could lead you.
Case Study 3:
I got an amazing job developing one of the world's first-ever websites, before the invention of the Web Browser. How in the world did I end up in that corporation? I was offered the job by a customer I had never seen before, while slicing deli meat in a tiny grocery store in Wilmore, KY. I didn't have a degree in computer science. In fact, I didn't have a degree at all. I did have, however, the willingness to take a job in a deli earning minimum wage and I did that job to the best of my ability. People around you will see that you are working hard and may recognize YOU as part of their next opportunity. The truth is, if I hadn't taken the deli job because it was "beneath me" or because it wasn't "ideal", my life-changing big break would never have had the chance to present itself.
Lesson Learned: Be willing to accept a job opportunity at a deli - even if it isn't ideal.
In closing, I must say I believe it is possible to guide your luck, even while waiting for it as today's fortune suggests. However, I don't think the proper way to "guide your luck" is to ignore opportunities that aren't what you view as "ideal". People have asked me many times to help them find a job. They tell me how they were laid off and how they have been struggling, but when I send openings their way, they often say, "Thanks but it wasn't a fit." I suppose it may well be true, and I will always continue to send job openings to folks whenever I hear of them. However, I sometimes wonder what amazing, life-changing opportunities they may have missed, while waiting for luck to arrive.