Hope, Luck & Trust
Over my career I shudder when I try and think of the number of letters, emails, messages, posts, comments, meetings and telephone calls I have made and received…..hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions. Yet, a common series of words and expressions seem to pervade my communication.
How often do we wish people “good luck”, say “I hope to see you soon”, “trust that things will go well” or “I’ll be in touch again soon”? Do we really mean this or is it communicating on autopilot? It’s definitely the latter.
Here’s the thing, living in a world of hope and luck often relies on too many factors outside of our control to ensure that the right outcome is achieved. Leaving things to chance, all too often ends in disappointment. I believe in making your own luck and working with a sense of purpose, focus and discipline. It also requires you to have a sense of self belief that things will happen in the way you want them to. It also takes years to understand the things that we can control and the things we can’t.
I find that in the role I perform, helping entrepreneurs succeed on their journeys, I need to let the luck happen, but it is underpinned by a careful and structured approach to managing my engagements with my audience. I also read between the lines and accept that many of the people I connect with are on autopilot and that despite my good intentions, I’m just not going to get anywhere. Forgive my cynicism, but lines like, “…I’m fine for the moment, but if things change, I’ll be in touch” or “…I’ll keep your details on file and will call you if we need anything” are just another way of putting you in the cyberbin!
I do accept that the majority of folks don’t want to be hassled and it’s never nice being let down or rejected, but it’s even worse if you’re just fobbed off. My message is to just be honest.
I do think that a few golden rules need to be applied in the way we engage with people in business and here are my top 10.
- Do what you say you’re going to do and try not to let people down
- Be courteous and nice, no matter what. You have a choice to think about how you feel about a set of circumstances.
- Accept defeat and don’t hang on no matter what. Nobody likes desperation.
- It’s not personal, it’s just business
- Make an effort, don’t just throw out messaging randomly
- Take ownership and be responsible for your actions, don’t cover up and lie
- Be direct and purposeful if you want something.
- Often a soft approach can work just as well as a hard one. Being blunt can be off-putting
- Try, try and try again. Be persistent, but not pushy
- The beginning is not the end. Just because you called/DM’d/emailed/connected with someone, don’t assume it reached them and they have taken the action you want, or that they will come back to you.
I’m sure some of this may resonate with you as a striving entrepreneur. In either case, just remember we’re all human and trying to do our jobs. Most people have good intentions and if you do happen to make that one great connection that leads to something, don’t ever forget the journey you took to get there.
Good luck, I hope things work out for you and trust you’ll call me if you ever need any help.