Luck, Hard Work or Both?

By Davon Cook on September 10, 2015

"Good luck follows hard work." A protégé of my father said my dad taught him that well-known maxim early in his career.

Have you ever been "in the right place at the right time?" Undoubtedly there was hard work involved in getting yourself to that "right" place. Opportunity is everywhere, but the primary beneficiaries are those prepared to take advantage of it.

What hard work are you doing now, to be in the right place in the future?  Some examples we see from business-owning families:

  • Investing in employee development beyond what’s needed today.

  • Building a cash reserve or financing plan to jump quickly on expansion opportunities.

  • Planning a 5-10 year timeline of talent changes through retirements, and creating strategies around when and how to fill the organization's needs.

  • Articulating asset ownership plans so family members have appropriate expectations about, and can plan for, their future.

  • Strengthening financial management, including better budgeting, converting to accrual accounting or stepping up to reviewed financial statements before a bank requests it.

  • Developing relationships with future landowners via multi-generational events, value-added educational offerings and disciplined communication efforts.

  • Organizing the family and business for effective communication and decision-making through the use of advisory boards, formal boards, and family councils.

This work is hard in part because the need for it may not seem immediate. The payoff happens later, when that unexpected opportunity arises. When it does, if you've accomplished some of the activities listed, luck will follow.