Thursday, August 04, 2005

Sometimes Business is About Luck

Eighty percent of success is showing up. - Woody Allen

He should add "at the right place at the right time".

I pitched a consulting project to the CEO of a mid-size company back in May. I followed up two weeks later and then a month later and never got a response. I pinged the acting CFO - my advocate inside the company and a former colleague - a few more times, but had basically written off the opportunity.

Last week at the airport I saw the CEO waiting in line to board my flight. I walked over, said hello, and shook his hand - it took all of ten seconds. He nodded towards me as he boarded the plane and moved towards his seat. I thought that would be the end of the run-in, but later sent him a brief email saying it was good to see him again after our meeting three months ago.

He contacted me earlier this week and asked to speak with me at his office yesterday. Today he is signing my consulting contract before he leaves for vacation.

The interesting thing I am asking myself is this: would I have this company as a client if I hadn't accidently run into the CEO at the airport and refreshed his memory about me? It's hard to say. It certainly didn't hurt. But it is an indication of how much of business - and success - is just being at the right place at the right time.

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