-By Jaime Willis
Actually, around here, we like to call March 17th the “Matt Leedham National Holiday” as it is one of his favorite days of the year! (Matt is grateful that that is the largest size photo I could find of him in his holiday get-up!) In Matt’s honor, we’ve turned our webpage green for the day.
On a holiday filled with talk of luck, I want to dispel the myth of luck. You aren’t missing out on life because you are unlucky. The other person didn’t get the job because they were luckier than you. Luck just doesn’t exist.
What does exist is PREPARATION and OPPORTUNITY. When you are prepared to take advantage of an opportunity, you may get “lucky.” How can you prepare to be lucky?
- Start each day with a positive attitude and outlook. “You can complain that roses have thorns or you can rejoice that thorns have roses.” It is all in your outlook. Since an optimistic attitude has been proven to make a positive difference in recovering from illness and achieving goals, you can activate your ‘luck’ first with a great attitude.
- Do your research. You may have always wished you could be on the Today how. But have you ever once done the research to see what it takes to get on an episode? What stories are they looking for? How do they book guests? How ‘timely’ do stories need to be? If you have the answers to all these questions, you can craft a piece or a pitch that best meets the show’s needs. You may get ‘lucky’ enough to get on the air.
- Ask for help. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again, networking is amazing. The world is getting smaller and smaller — it is surprising how often someone you never would have guessed has a contact, lead, or information on something you are trying to accomplish. For example, think how many parents your kid’s teacher knows who are all in different fields? How about the barista that serves the same regulars every day? I was once connected to a private car auctioneer through the parent of one of the kids I tutored, just because I asked how the student was able to get such a good deal on his vehicle.
- Have your resources at the ready. I graduated from law school in 2003 and passed the New York Bar that same year. However, for the next six years, if you had desperately needed a lawyer and were willing to pay me a MILLION dollars to fix a legal problem for you, I could not have done it. Why? Even though I’d spent seven years in school and another several months studying for the toughest exam I’ve ever had to take, I stopped just short of the finish line. Because I never went back up to Albany, New York to get sworn in. For SIX YEARS after I passed the bar, I couldn’t say I was a licensed attorney. You cannot get ‘lucky’ if you don’t have the right resources available to take advantage of the opportunity. In 2009, I finally went up and got sworn in. Now, if a legal opportunity came up, I could take advantage of it.
- Keep your eyes open for opportunity. Opportunity rarely comes in the exact packaging you’d expect. A lot of opportunities come with a whole heap of hard work attached to them. The perfect job for you might be in a city across the country. Your dream home may be lovingly updated in the latest ’70′s style. Don’t edge away from opportunity just because it requires a leap of faith or hard work – go for it!
I hope are preparing for your next opportunity today! I know I am.