Feels good to be lucky, like the stars are aligned…or does it just seem that way for the other guy? But why is that? Are some people just naturally luckier than others? Who knows, I’m not debating some astrological inference or lucky charm; however, I do believe that you have a say in making your own luck.
The business and personal life map comes with unpredictable obstacles, peaks, and valleys that will disrupt your compass. I began asking and applying a statement question in leadership terms during a ‘valley’ period and its negative impact on the P&L. The fundamental root of my question helped reposition the business during the downturn, as well as guided decision-making for the long term and ‘hopeful’ opportunities ahead, whatever those were to be. Luckily, the market rebounded unpredictably, and we were ready, on purpose, and able to strike! So, what is the guiding question?
Are you positioned to MAXIMIZE; are you positioned to PROTECT?
Embed this into your conscious mindset to create purpose, which will drive action and behavior. Fundamentally, answering this question will magnetize your compass towards opportunity, establish balance, preparedness, and strength.
Positioning to MAXIMIZE is awareness to focus decision-making towards best practices, team alignment, systems management, and leveraging technology, even when times are generally good and don’t require refinement. The premise is about leaning forward and not allowing dead weight or blind spots that create drag when it’s time to drive hard. It’s about being ready to pounce when the time is right, because when opportunity strikes, that is not the time to fix and prepare reactively, which is common. The error of complacency is reaction not action, tunnel vision, and losing ground when you need it most!
In your personal life, positioning to maximize means liquidity, or cash, i.e. savings in the bank that allows future investment, purchasing a home, vacation, or other. You achieve this through discipline, because as Jocko Willink states, “discipline equals freedom.” An achievable savings hack is to automate money drips into savings (try an account not readily visible to avoid temptation), which accrue over time, even when budgets are tight.
Positioning to PROTECT does not mean playing defense; like positioning to maximize, it is about positioning for offense and being prepared when those peaks turn to valleys. When a curve ball lands between the eyes, panic (and pain) may set in, causing scarcity based decision-making; not a good place to be. Being positioned to protect is about scalability throughout your business and understanding your financial levers; it’s about elasticity within your systems facilitated through best practices, team alignment, technology, and leadership versus staffing over it. Positioning to protect allows you to operate from strength when others are weakened, and that in of itself creates opportunity!
Being positioned to protect in your personal life means savings, as well as prudent debt management, especially credit cards. You travel further and easier by surfing in front of the wave than swimming hard to catch up. Being positioned to protect is also about discipline, perhaps more so; in addition to savings, automate a money drip towards debt payoff. This is surfing versus swimming.
Positioning to maximize and protect is ultimately about balance; it’s about being able to operate from strength and abundance, not weakness or scarcity. The question may have varying meaning depending on your situation, but the fundamental root applies. Being positioned to maximize on the opportunities and protect against variabilities is positioning for lucky…because I believe, you make your own luck!
Go Forth and Succeed!