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Op-Ed: The Truth About Small Business Success, Luck Has Nothing to Do with It

Here are several things I have learned about being lucky--and truly happy--in business.

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“I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” – Thomas Jefferson

Each day, I meet a lot of people that tell me how lucky I am to own my own business … “be my own boss.”

A part of me always wants to tell them, “Luck has absolutely nothing to do with it.”

However, I refrain from saying this because a few years ago I used to say the same thing – until I started hanging out with a different crowd. Over the years, while running a successful small business marketing consultancy, here are several things I have learned about being lucky–and truly happy–in business.

1. Know what you really want in life and business.

It is a fact that 90 percent of people do not really know what they want. They chase what they believe they should have and then they a) spend time nearly killing themselves to get it or b) are still miserable even after they’ve got it!

What do you really want right now? Most importantly why do you want this?

If you gain clarity on why you want a certain outcome in your life and business it usually simplifies the desire or want. For instance, if you say you want to gross $100,000 next year, why? What does that revenue signify? One hundred thousand is just a number, but the reasons behind that number is what will move you to find a range of solutions to meet your underlying needs.

The point is: don’t become so fixated on a particular outcome. Focus on the reason why you need that outcome – that’s the clue to what is really important … your true desires.

2. Start everything with an expectation.

There’s a saying “As you think, so you’ll be.”

You can learn all the small business marketing tips and tricks that you want, but if you do not genuinely have an expectation of the results you plan to achieve you will keep sabotaging yourself and your business.

Nobody is going to run the race for you.

Nobody is going to believe in your business and your outcome the way you do.

If you spend every waking moment thinking about how unfair entrepreneurship is and how it can never happen (despite all the work you’re doing) you are right. It probably won’t happen for you.

Instead, start each day with expectation. What have you got to lose?

3. Don’t over think other people’s intentions.

I have been hard-pressed to find any small business owner who is clairvoyant — meaning that they can read the minds of their clients, customers, suppliers, investors, co-founders, etc. Unless you are telepathic, spending valuable time trying to decipher people’s intentions behind every good (or bad) deed that you experience in business is waste of your precious energy and time.

To truly prosper as an entrepreneur, you must accept that when someone does something good for you (or bad to you), their intentions should not have any bearing on the situation at hand. If it is good, accept it with the “expectation” you started the day with, and pay it forward. If it the opposite, don’t dwell on it … and keep moving. Assigning evil motives to other people’s weird behaviors adds extra misery to life and distracts from your business.

Since you cannot read anyone’s mind you don’t really know the why behind what people do. That is perfectly okay.

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