We think about being in the wrong place at the wrong time as a stroke of bad luck.
If an innocent bystander is harmed either in an accident, or during a crime, we shake our heads at something that was truly senseless. We tell ourselves that they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
We also think about being in the right place at the right time as a matter of luck.
If something great happens to us that's completely unexpected, we generally chop it up to good luck that we were there in that exact moment when that happened.
Unless you believe that every outcome is a matter of fate, or divine intervention, we place a lot of emphasis on the luck of the universe.
But what if we made our own luck?
Setting new intentions
What if being at the right place at the right time wasn't a matter of luck at all?
What if we focused on actually being in the right place at the right time, and set ourselves up for the good things to come our way?
This principle may work well in your personal life, but it certainly works well in your professional one.
Business development is not just about going out there and chasing new clients. It's also about setting yourself up to receive them when they come to you.
How often do you attend a networking event, end up meeting someone new, and hear them say "oh no, I'm not accepting any more business right now"?
They're at the networking event because they've positioned themselves in order to receive new business.
Business development, networking, reconnecting with old clients, asking for referrals - these are all examples of purposefully putting yourself and your business in the right place at the right time.
I am part of a community called Lunchclub, which gives me the opportunity to engage with likeminded professionals from around the world week after week for a 45-minute video call to learn more about each other.
Some of these sessions have been with people in the same industry, and others have featured almost no 'shop talk' as we explore other common interests. Yet I make sure not to leave the conversation without knowing who someone is, what they do, and how they can help others, and I make sure to pass on the same information about myself.
Not only has this networking been invaluable for my own business, but also for those that I've met through the platform.
Last week for example, I met another professional who I was quite impressed with, and said that I would keep her in mind for future referrals. Like clockwork, I've had a number of friends tell me lately that they were looking for someone who does exactly what she does, and so I've been glad to pass her name along.
This can easily be misinterpreted as a stroke of luck, or a comment on the size of my network.
Neither of these are true. She was masterful enough to put herself in the right place at the right time, and was purposeful enough to make sure that those around knew exactly why she was there.
Bringing something to the table
While the first step is about setting the intention to purposefully be at the right place at the right time, you also need to bring something valuable to the table.
If your business had a booth a busy tradeshow, you wouldn't bring outdated marketing materials that had a stale design and old messaging.
When you're speaking with a new contact who's interested in your business, you don't start telling them about the work you were doing 2, 5, or even 10 years ago. You tell them what you're up to today, and what you plan to be working on 2, 5, or even 10 months from now.
Your clients want to know about what's happening now, and what's happening next. That's what has value, and that's what gets people excited.
You can do that through an amazing website that has informative, engaging, and up-to-date content.
You naturally feel bad sending someone to your website if it's less than stellar, just the same way that you would passing out those outdated marketing materials.
Similarly, you're not going to promote a blog that you wrote two or three years ago, especially if the information is no longer relevant to your reader.
Fresh, up-to-date, informative, and engaging content go a long way in helping to seal the deal when it comes to new clients, and it gets previous clients re-engaged as well.
Show up with intention. Put yourself in the right place at the right time, and make sure people know exactly why you're there. Once they're already impressed with you, guide them towards further resources that will only impress them further.
That's how you make your own luck.