5 Tips for Increasing Your Odds for Success

NetworkingPersonal Branding

Everyone has heard about the Powerball winners from a few days ago. One of the winners let the computer pick random numbers. Which statistically is just as likely to succeed as taking a more measured course by selecting favorite numbers. All in all … Good for them. I hope they do great things with their new found money.

Of course, most people don’t have millions of dollars thrust upon them. The lucky few that do also have great responsibilities thrust upon them as well.

This post is about making a bet on something that has significantly higher and more predictable odds.

As a point of reference – you are much more likely to be struck by lightning. If I had my choice … I’ll take the lottery odds.

  • Odds of being struck by lightning: 576,000 to 1.
  • Odds of winning the lottery 175 million to 1 (source: Powerball.com)

My suggestion is … Play the odds that are in your favor. The odds you can control … at least to some extent. By following these tips I think you can tip the odds in your favor. Good luck and please let me know your tips in the comments.

Tip 1 – Build your Platform

In The Impact EquationChris Brogan and Julien Smith implore readers to build a platform. The act of developing a platform requires that you take time and think through what you want and what you don’t want. A platform lets people know what you stand for and it makes it much easier to help yourself and potential investors know what direction you are taking. By investors I don’t mean financial investors only. I also mean stakeholders and interested parties.

Vision without action is daydream. Action without vision is nightmare. ~ Japanese Proverb

There are much greater odds of success when you have a platform to stand upon.

Tip 2 – Build your Network

A network can be a set of trusted advisors. A network can be a set of informal advisors. A network can be a group of people you may not even know, but one that might be willing to crowd source ideas and innovation. A network can make all the difference when the time comes to gut check and sanity check ideas.

The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity ~Keith Ferrazzi

Look for advisors that will:

  • Pick you up and dust you off
  • Bask in your glory (this is ok … if they’ve been there though the hard times too).
  • Real friends will be there for both

There are much greater odds of success when you have a network to rely upon.

Tip 3 – Listen More

As I wrote in a post here before about 7 Tips for Hearing More and Doing More it’s easy to say Listen Up, but it can be much harder to really listen. My suggestion to increase the odds of success is LISTEN MORE.

When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen. ~ Ernest Hemingway

  • What could you accomplish if you listened more?
  • Some might say listening prevents them from doing. While this may be true, the act of listening may prevent you from doing something that will ultimately decrease your odds of success.

There are much greater odds of success when you are listening to you your advisors. (Even if you don’t always heed their advice)

Tip 4 – Screw It … Just Do It

Sometimes you just have to go for it and take action.

Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. ~ Henry Ford

Sometimes you have to buck the odds and just go for it. When you’ve done steps 1, 2 and 3 in a diligent manner you should have the odds in your favor.

Tip 5 – Share

As you learn — good and bad things — share what you’ve found. Everyone benefits.

It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else. ~ Erma Bombeck

Sharing is caring. It can be hard to do. However, when done regularly it becomes much easier. When done right the dividends are huge and they often come back to you in unexpected ways.

When you’ve beaten the odds … Share what you’ve learned.

I’m sure there are many other tips for increasing the odds for success. I’d like to hear your tips for successfully increasing the odds for success in the comments. What have you learned? What would you like to share?


Jeff  is a veteran in the Enterprise Content Management industry. Over the past 20 years he has worked with customers and partners to design, develop and deploy solutions around the world. Jeff is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances at Winshuttle. He has worked for Microsoft, FileNet (IBM), K2, Captaris, Open Text, Kofax and Kodak. He speaks and blogs about ECM and the Intersection between Social, Mobile and Cloud Computing.