Sell Your Soul: Luck is being prepared when opportunity presents itself

November 8, 2016

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You won’t get your big break before your time. This is an unfortunate truth of being a creative. It doesn’t matter who you know until you are good enough to create mind-blowing content nobody is going to hire you.

So many creatives believe that meeting Stan Lee or Steven Spielberg will change their lives. The thing is that it just might. It might change your life, but not until you are ready for it. If you meet Steven Spielberg and hand him your piece of garbage short film, he’s not going to care.

If you meet Steven Spielberg with your earth-shattering movie, he might take notice. He might not, but he might if you catch him on just the right day. But that chance meeting is luck. You have no control over luck. What you have control over is your preparation.

If you prepare properly, opportunities will present themselves. If you put yourself in the right situations opportunities will happen. If you are prepared, then you will be able to make the most of those opportunities. The right opportunities can take years to cultivate, like pulling on a rubber band. As you pull back the tension grows and grows. The harder you pull on the band, the more force it has when you finally release it.

The trick is to find these opportunities before you are ready and cultivate them until the tension is so tight that releasing it will send your career to the stratosphere. This is possible even if you are at the beginning of your career and haven’t created anything of import yet.

So how do we do that?

There’s an old saying among creatives: good, nice and on time. You have to be two in order to succeed. If you are nice and on time, you don’t have to be that good. If you are good and nice, you don’t have to be on time. If you are good and on time, you don’t have to be that nice.

So it follows that if you want to find opportunities, you have to master two of those qualities.

At the beginning of your career, you aren’t very good; at least not comparatively to where you will be in the future. The only two things you have control over are being nice and on time. If you can master those two, opportunities will present themselves if you put yourself in the right situations.

The nicer you are and the more on-time, the more people will want to work with you. Then, your good will grows among those who matter to your career. In time, you will learn to be good, even great, at creating things. Then, you will have all three and be unstoppable.

I call this the holy trinity of success. If you can start out just being on time and nice, people will want to help you. If you keep working at your craft, you will eventually get good. If you can be good, nice, and on time, there will be no stopping you.

It’s important to note that when you get your opportunities by being nice and on time, these will be lower end opportunities. They won’t be hiring you into your dream career. They will be using you for grunt work.

If you can just do that work with a smile, you will build up so much trust with people they will assuredly want to help you at the opportune moment. You don’t want to ask for that help until you are ready. However, when you can create great content it will be a no-brainer for them to work with you because they know you are already a pleasure.

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