Nobody Can Do This For You

Networking has been good to me.  I have received gifts of immeasurable value… introductions, recommendations, advice, books, event tickets, special meals and other tokens from my contacts.  They have given of their time, information and resources with unabashed abandon.  I am, in return, immeasurably grateful, humbled and honored by their generosity.

It’s all paid off.  Lots of little things along the way.  For example, I have received career opportunities, community-related opportunities and social opportunities I might not otherwise have been given access to.  Some may say, “Wow!  That you really got lucky,” or “You were definitely in the right place at the right time.”  Perhaps.

Here’s the thing, I am well aware that nobody can do this for me.  It’s taken time, effort, risk, humility, brazen grit and even some financial outlay to achieve my goals – and, I’m not even close to finished.  I still have a very long way to go and will continue to seek the right contacts, to connect with others who may be able to help me accomplish my objectives.  Ultimately, however, it is clear success or failure is up to me.  Same goes for you.

Trying to land a big sale?  Eager for an internal promotion?  Looking for a new job?  Hoping to join the board of a charity with which you are involved?  It’s up to you to put yourself in the right place at the right time.  It’s up to you to make your own luck.

It’s not going to be easy.  The road to success is a long one.  The journey will have twists and turns.  You’ll have your days… good and bad.  It’s part of the deal.  It’s unlikely that a singular knight in shining armor is going to come to the rescue, to be the one pivotal difference maker in your plan.  Instead, it is more probable that it will be a combination of moments, of tiny interactions with a lot of people, places and things that will all culminate in unimagined glory!  Oh, and think of the stories you will have to tell.

So, prepare yourself, bear down, get ready to make your moves…

  1. Set a goal.  Make it SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time bound) if you can.  Write it down to document your commitment to accomplishment.
  2. Chunk it down.  Think about possible steps you may need to take to achieve that objective.
  3. Connect.  Identify three to five people who may be able to help you on your journey – reach out to them.  Ask them for the names of others who may also be able to help.
  4. I think I can.  I think I can.  I know I can!  Put on your game face.  Don an optimistic, positive disposition.  Rely on yourself.  You can do this.  Others can help.  Make your own luck.
  5. Hold yourself accountable.  If you are going to set a goal, it is your responsibility to hold yourself accountable for ensuring it is met.  Things not going your way?  Iterate and advance.  At each step along the way decide whether to pursue as you are or alter your approach in order to move forward with your plans.  It’s completely fair game to change directions – even slight modifications based on new information you receive can be helpful.

Nobody can do this for you.  You can do this for yourself.

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