Business Relationships: Timing and Luck

By Bob Morrell on December 11, 2015

There was a day, many years ago, when my wife and I considered visiting a horse race near Aylesbury. The Kimble Point-to-Point was a well known fixture, and my Uncle was racing one of his horses there. The day itself was overcast, and chilly. We thought about not going, because we could stay in and go for a pub lunch. Something decided us to go. On that day I don’t remember winning many races, and I would certainly have spent a great deal of money. One thing I do remember, was running into Jeremy Blake. He was there with some friends and was very smug at having just backed a winner. I hadn’t seen him for some years since finishing drama school. He looked very well fed and forcefully happy. 

I remembered how, whilst at drama school, Jeremy had been drafted in during my 2nd year to take a class. It was a vague, rambling affair, lacking any structure, believability or content, but it was fun. In particular, he showed us how to read 'The Stage' newspaper, each week, looking for work. Think about that. A class full of adults being taught how to read a paper! Extraordinary! There was, though, some method in his madness. He showed that by looking at the new production list (all plays and shows opening that week in the UK) you could then see which directors would be looking or moving on to new projects, and then target them with your CV in the hope that they’d see you. This is pretty enterprising when you think about it. At the time though, this part of the lesson was the subject of much derision by me and my fellow students! 

So then cut to 23 years later, and here we are running Reality Training. So that good timing and good luck, on that day, at the races, it would seem to have been a momentus event.  What we experienced, in technical terms, is a classic example of where 'opportunity meets preparation'. We were both looking for a better future, for opportunity, and drama school had prepared us. The combination, and the use of our varied talents, has created our business. And at the same time, if we hadn’t turned up on that day, backed those horses, wandered to that corner of the field, then how very different life could have been!

The point of this, is that life in business is all about opportunity and preparation. Are you prepared to take advantage of an opportunity if it comes your way? Can you spot it? Do you let opportunities pass you by, or are you just very selective? If you don’t feel prepared enough, then that’s clearly something you can do something about, and make yourself better prepared than before. If you do miss opportunities, or foolishly turn them down, not realising their true value, then at the very least learn from that experience so that the next time (and there is always a next time) you’re ready.