“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” Roman philosopher, Seneca, is credited with saying.
Preparation can help you win future business opportunities, such as a chance to pitch in front of an important investor, or a meeting with big client that has potential to change your entire business.
Preparation not only helps you recognise an opportunity when it arises, but also increases your chances of successfully grabbing it, says Colleen Qvist, business coach, workshop facilitator and owner of CQ Consulting.
It’s important that you are ready for a business opportunity, Qvist warns.
“I now look [back] at the opportunities that come my way and wonder why they didn’t come along six years ago. The truth is I was not ready.”
She adds: “When I encounter an obstacle, I know that I need to figure out how to grow so that I can go under, over, through that obstacle.”
This is why preparation is key.
Landing a big contract could mean that you need more staff to handle the increased workload.
You have to think of the possibilities and plan what you will put in place when you get the opportunity, she says.
Another example could be getting a business opportunity with a very tight deadline. “(When the opportunity arises) you are not left with a window to still acquire a skill, set up a team, gain credentials or set up specific paperwork.”
Qvist says there are two main factors that prevent entrepreneurs from getting their big break. The first is self-sabotage.
“We have this amazing ability to get in our own way. Our mindset can tell us that we are not ready, or not lucky,” she says.
Also to blame is entrepreneurs having a limited view of what constitutes an opportunity.
“We are also rather blind to opportunities and may not recognise the opportunity when it does present itself. Be aware that you may be hoping for a specific opportunity. For example, a ‘red opportunity’ – and a host of ‘yellow opportunities’ may come past, but you are waiting for that red one and do not even see the yellow ones,” she adds.
Do you have your pricing worked out? Is your elevator pitch ready? Do you have all the training that you need? Do you have the right credentials and accreditation? Do you have the necessary certificates like a SARS certificate? Have you joined a relevant professional body? Are you networking?
[This] is a great way to prepare yourself for an opportunity and [provides guidance as you] prep both yourself and your business. Invest in your growth by appointing a coach or mentor to work with you.
It is possible at a point to outsource work to someone who has those particular strengths which you don’t have or are not skilled at.
I think a vision board exercise helps immeasurably especially when combined with goal setting around that vision.
Surround yourself with people who believe in you and know your vision.