Note from administrator:
As well as being kind enough to submit a guest post for NBS, Sara and Chris Greenfield are also looking for UEA and business students to blog for The Best of Norwich. You can blog whenever you like and on any subject relating to Norwich – e.g. student life in Norwich/ info about the University and your courses/ night life / things to do/ what you like about Norwich – anything! A great opportunity for any student to increase their online visibility.
So, over to Sara…
Do you think of yourself as a lucky person?
Do you tend to dwell on the good things that have happened to you, or just the bad?
Personally, although I have had my fair share of ups and downs, I have always felt lucky.
There was a time when I negotiated to work three days a week for my full time salary – I was able to really enjoy my days off with my son, but still keep my brain active at work. I could not believe my good luck in having such a lifestyle.
Then there was the time, whilst living in London, when I went to queue for tickets for the Opera. If you queued up in the morning, you could get tickets at a discount price for that evening’s performance
I got up at a ridiculous hour on a Saturday morning and stood in a queue at Covent Garden for a few hours. When it finally came to my turn at the ticket office, I asked for three tickets, only to be told I could only buy one ticket at a time.
My heart sank at the thought of queuing another two times, and I was just about to slump away, when the man behind me said “You can have my ticket”.
A complete stranger queued for two hours and then gave me his ticket!
I have written a short “How To” book, aimed at authors wanting to market their book using Twitter. At an event the other day, I accidentally pushed in front of someone to buy a sandwich, apologised and ended up sitting with him whilst we both ate our sandwiches. It turned out he was a publisher!
Even now, in the current difficult business climate, I think of myself as lucky – lucky to be running a business that I love, meeting people for coffee in cafes rather than formal boardroom meetings – and most of all, being in control of my own destiny.
So I was intrigued a few years ago when I came across a book called “The Luck Factor: The Scientific Study of the Lucky Mind” by Professor Richard Wiseman. He studied a large group of people who considered themselves either very lucky or very unlucky.
He came up with four principles of luck;
1. To maximise your chance opportunities – build and maintain a strong “network” of luck, develop a more relaxed attitude to life, be open to new experiences.
2. To listen to your lucky hunches – listen to your gut feelings.
3. To expect good fortune
4. To turn your bad luck into good – look on the positive side of your bad luck, don’t dwell in ill fortune and remember that ill fortune may work out for the best.
Looking back, all my “lucky” experiences have revolved around other people.
I was able to negotiate 3 days a week for my full-time salary not only because I had made myself indispensable, but because the finance director kept winking at me all through the meeting, until I cottoned on, and asked how much they were paying the less qualified man who was covering my maternity leave!
The finance director had become a friend after we got chatting one evening whilst making a cup of coffee, when we were both working late.
I had been chatting to the man in the queue for the Opera.
I had been chatting to the man in the queue for the sandwiches. (OK, so coffee, sandwiches, and probably chocolate cake, play a large part in it as well!)
It is also why networking has played such a big role in developing our business.
Networking and social media were the two biggest drivers of new business last year. Every time I go to a networking event, I get business in one form or another – not always immediately – one lady took four years to get in touch after we’d met at one event!
It seems that the more people I meet, the luckier I become. And all this for someone who was told they should not go to University because they were too shy!
What are your thoughts on “luck”? What lucky experiences have you had, and how much do you think it impacts on business?
About the Author
Sara Greenfield runs two businesses with her husband and business partner, Chris.
The Best of Norwich promotes and showcases recommended local businesses
Bright Yellow Marketing provides social media training and mentoring.
Sara originally qualified as a lawyer and became a partner in a top 100 law firm when only 3 years qualified. This work involved dealing with multi-million pound property transactions and travelling to the Far East. After 16 years in the law, Sara decided that she needed a change – a different pace of life. Luckily Chris was equally keen to change from his career in IT Training, so they both handed in their notice, looked at the map of the UK and decided to live in Norfolk. They bought The Best of Norwich in 2005 and introduced their social media training a few years ago, after demand from clients.
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