Susan RoAne

Article Summary:

Looking for a success strategy? Luck is a crucial part of success; here's how to "make your own luck".

Success Strategy: Make Your Own Luck

Have you ever met someone, listened to him or her and thought, "That person has all the luck." Yes, Lady Luck often gets credit for the wonderful events in our lives. But if we carefully analyze the situation, we learn that luck has little to do with the successful result. What matters are the actions taken by the lucky person and those they wisely chose to avoid.

The people who turned serendipity into success exhibited different combinations of these Eight counterintuitive Traits.

Trait One: They talk to strangers
This counterintuitive trait has opened up a world of possibilities for most of the people. If you take a moment to think about it, you have had experiences that started with talking to someone you didn't know.

Trait Two: They make small talk.
As I travel across the country giving presentations, I have learned that many people hold small talk in low regard. You Never Know It Alls are not dismissive of small talk. It can start with kids, pets, food, parents, sports, books, and yes, even the weather. and that it often leads to BIG Talk.

Trait Three: They "drop" names.
There is a school of thought that dropping names is a way of showing off and when we try to legitimize ourselves by mentioning the people with whom we spoke, dined, hung out or met, it is. But when you mention the name of someone you both may know, you're establishing commonality.

Trait Four: They eavesdrop and listen.
People who had situations arise out of coincidence and serendipity were people who not only listened and observed, but they had highly refined OVERHEARING. Keeping one's ears open is not only a way to court information but also a way to do low cost 'market research'.

Trait Five: They ask for/offer help
So many of us were raised with the old adage about "Making it on our own," not asking for help but "pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps.' The "lucky" people ask for help. They let people know what they need without applying pressure and they reciprocate.

Trait Six: They stray from their chosen paths
Some of the successful You Never Know It Alls were on paths that they had chosen but did not stay on course. When the AHA light bulb was lit, they allowed themselves to detour from their paths in order to pursue the new one.

There are people who were something else first: lawyers, lobbyists, teachers, realtor, engineers, accountants, doctors, sales person, manager and volunteers. But they took the fork in the Robert Frost-like road and that 'has made all the difference".

Trait Seven: They exit graciously without burning bridges
Newspapers and magazines often carry stories of sports figures, entertainers and executives who leave their careers in a timely fashion. They know "when to hold 'em, and when to fold 'em." And Shakespeare said it best, "All's well that ends well."

The corollary to a gracious exit means not burning any bridges. Why? Because you just never know!

Trait Eight: They say YES when they want to say NO.
A current trend, recommended as a time -management technique, is Just Say NO to anything that might require time and be an imposition. The subtext is that we are also saying no to any opportunities that might result if we only had said yes.

Susan RoAne is an in-demand keynote speaker and best-selling author who has worked conventions, trade shows, meetings and the bleachers of Wrigley Field. Her best-selling books: "How To Work A RoomŪ", "The Secrets of Savvy Networking and What Do I Say Next?" and her audio-book, "RoAne's Rules: How To Make the RIGHT Impression", are available in local and on-line bookstores. Susan RoAne is the nation's leading and original networking authority and can be located in San Francisco at 415-239-2224 and at:

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