I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.
― Thomas Jefferson
To me, everything about starting up was to challenge the conventional wisdom. The day I decided to venture out into the fascinating world of entrepreneurship, I set a date to quit me job. That was even before I had inkling about what I’m going to do.
I did finally have the epiphany and also quit on the date I had set before.
Many challenged how I would get the capital to start an investment-heavy services business, but I put the words to rest by starting up Arkenea Technologies with zero capital.
So when it comes about making the first sale, I did not leave any stone unturned either. Of course, it was not as easier as I had imagined it to be. I had my company website designed and put out.
Money was the easiest to spend to get the word out. My partner and I put in some funds and launched a nationwide campaign. But we quickly realized we needed much more than just money.
It was time. I invested in publishing a blog, writing content, reaching out to people on Twitter, Facebook, my Gmail address book. Wrote and spoke to any and everyone that I knew of.
I even set myself an ambitious target to close at least two sales in the first month. I waited with baited breath for the phone to ring or the email to pop. The first week of waiting turned into second. Second into third. And third into fourth.
It was nearly the end of the month and I hadn’t made a single sale. Leave alone that, I did not even get to talk to a prospective client to convince them of the value that I would add to their product should they hire me.
Then on the third last day of the month, an email came by. This one made me jump out of my seat as it was from a totally unexpected source. A prospect from one of Middle East’s most reputed companies.
They came to us with a problem. A mobile app had to be developed within 15 days and launched on the app store. Most companies had rejected the offer, as the timeline seemed unrealistic to them. Not wanting to lose the first client, we agreed to take on the challenge.
Within the next two days, we signed the contract and began the relationship. A team of five worked round the clock sleeping for a few hours everyday, mostly in office. And the rest is history. Today, we have kept the same attitude alive and that is one of the reasons why clients prefer to work with Arkenea Technologies.
So what worked? We did some introspection and it dawned on us that we enabled our luck to work for us. We let serendipity happen to us.
Lucky people increase their odds of chance encounters or experiences by interacting with a large number of people.
And now for the best part: how can you engineer your own luck, enable the universe to work in your favor and let chance occurrences into your life and business? Here’s the answer.
Get out of your comfort zone
This is as simple as it gets. If you want the universe to work in your favor, you’ve got to do something different from what you’re already doing. You can’t expect the unexpected if you continue with your routine.
Get out of your office, go work at a coffee shop. If you already work at a coffee shop certain parts of the week, work at a different one in various locations each time.
Do the same with creating connections, online and offline. Meet people, talk to them, share ideas, write, blog, exchange ideas and respond to interesting people. Create conversations and let them foster. Let the conversations take the directions they want to. Nothing is right and neither wrong.
Go to conferences and meet people. Attend meetups in whatever area that you are passionate about. You’re just increasing your chances of meeting the right people or getting the right idea!
When you’ve got a problem, look for one specific thing but be open to encountering something different and going with that. You’d be able to activate this by being obsessive about your problem. That makes you see things by developing a strong perspective.
Take for instance Sir James Dyson. He was obsessed with the idea of building a better vacuum cleaner, but it wasn’t until he stumbled on an industrial cyclone at the local sawmill that he came up with an idea for how to solve the technical problem.
Most of business life is routine. And that is what you need to break for serendipity to embrace you. All it takes is to get out of your comfort zone and you can activate luck to start working in your favor, just like that!
Update: Check out my interview with Guy Kawasaki on my blog. How did I manage to land an interview with this awesome person? I simply asked for one!