Growing up, Lunar New Year was my favorite holiday. Some of the traditions we had were making 100+ homemade egg rolls with a long family assembly line in charge of one specific part of the process, going to our local Asian supermarket to watch lion dancing 🐲, and playing games geared towards maximizing your li xi (lucky money in a red envelope) 🧧. I'd risk my li xi in playing in all the games, and sometimes it paid off.
I thought most of the games were based on luck. The chances I could win were lower than the chances I could lose. But I still wanted to play. These odds feel similar to running a business.
The cards you were given are your upbringings, what you're born into, and timing.
What faces up on a rolled dice are the different chances you take on deals that can push your business forward.
Closing your eyes and randomly picking is similar to betting on relationships with GOOD key stakeholders.
It's the big debate: is success based on luck or skill? I personally think it's 70% skill and 30% luck.
You can have the best idea in the world, but if you don't meet the right connections to advocate or buy your solution, then it fails. Same is true that if you have an incredible network but you're selling a subpar solution, then it will eventually fail.
Here are some tips that have been helpful for me when I was on two founding teams that successfully built solutions that transformed healthcare ecosystems.
Mastering your Skill AKA keep learning and working hard
Understanding the needs of the user and buyer by creating mutually beneficial touch points, such as workshops or 1:1 interviews followed by a curated deliverable
Seeking industry insider information by studying the processes and strategies of later stage companies that operate on a similar business model
Engaging in productivity hacks, such as time blocking and delegating specific tasks to contractors
Making strategic decisions based on well-researched data and personal and other people's experiences
Creating your Luck AKA being at the right place at the right time
Connecting with people and businesses that could potentially add value to business development, such as attending networking events or asking for introductions from your network
Building your brand to keep your business in the forefront of people's minds, such as posting consistently on social media, paid advertisements, or applying to awards
Applying to programs that gives you access to new networks and resources, such as accelerators, fellowships, or social clubs
Being in the know by subscribing to newsletters related to your field, following creators that post new opportunities, or creating a spreadsheet to track initiatives that your business could partner in on
The hardest part of being an entrepreneur is staying in the game, so I try to maximize my chances on winning. How are you doing it?