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When Preparation Meets Opportunity, Luck is Afoot

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Back in October 2007, I won a $15,000, 4 Day adventure with 3 mates through an Australian beer company named James Boag's.
(For the record, it's a mighty fine drop and their Premium Lager has won a Gold Medal 10 years running in the Monde Selection - which is like the Food And Beverage World Titles) Like most people, I'd won the odd raffle and meat tray here and there, but nothing to do cartwheels about...
not like the major prize I won with Boag's.
Although they were happy for me, all my family, friends and co-workers that knew about the win said I was 'Lucky'.
Maybe I was.
Mr Samuel Goldwyn (from Metro Goldwyn Mayer) once said that "Luck is the essence to recognize opportunity and the ability to take advantage of it.
" Oprah Winfrey put it more succinctly with "Luck is when preparation meets opportunity" And winning the competition was definitely a case of this principle in action.
Because the winning ticket wasn't drawn out of a barrel, you had to give your answer to a question in 100 words or less, and the best response was judged the winner.
At the time, I was a Creative Director for the largest regional media company in Australia.
A major function of my job as a writer was to be as creative as possible in a limited time frame.
You realize pretty quick that word economy is paramount when you only have a small window to get the message across.
So when I was surfing the net one day and stumbled across this competition on the Boag's website, the opportunity had presented itself, and preparation wise...
I couldn't have been more ready! (And the fact I'm partial to a beer or 2 on a hot Summer's day didn't hurt either!) The point of the competition was to tell the guys at Boag's what you'd do if you could take 3 mates on a $15,000 trip for 4 days.
(As long as was legal and within Australia!) And if you won, that's what you had to do.
I researched the details for the itinerary for about 2 hours and then spent about 5 minutes writing the 100 word answer.
With everything in place, I filled out the entry form, sent it away and 3 weeks later I received a phone call saying that I'd won the major prize.
As Homer Simpson would say,"WOO-HOO"! So back to everyone saying that I was lucky.
I was lucky, because I'd made my own luck.
I was prepared when the opportunity arose.
If I had still been working as a chef at that stage, I wouldn't have had the tools or the confidence.
But because I'd been writing for a living, it was right up my alley! That's why as an entrepreneur, it's so important to never stop learning new skills.
Not only will it increase your knowledge and keep your mind active (just like a muscle, the brain needs constant activity to keep running at optimum levels) but continuous learning will also strengthen your discipline and willpower, and also add value to you as a person.
And on top of that, you prepare yourself to recognize opportunities that previously, would have slipped through your fingers like grains of sand through an hourglass.
Are you ready for some luck? Then it's time to go to work on yourself with continuous learning.
It's time to harness the power of your mind and reach your full potential.
Improve your discipline...
strengthen your willpower! Enroll in a course, go back to school, sign up for newsletters, read books, listen to educational material in your car...
the list goes on! The resources and tools are everywhere, but it's up to you to take consistent action so when opportunity knocks, whether it's a business opportunity or personal, you'll be ready to open the door to some extraordinary possibilities.
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