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Today’s Cooking Lesson: Making Luck

Julia Child is a fabulous example of someone who made her own luck, and while most of us may not match her in the kitchen, making our own luck is a skill we can all master. There is much to be said for being alert to life’s possibilities, resilient and flexible in the face of obstacles, and optimistic enough to take a reasonable chance when it presents itself. That’s what Julia Child did when she found herself somewhat adrift in Paris, tried her hand at a few things, and eventually embarked on the cooking path that led to so much success and satisfaction in her life. So how do we set the “mise en place”, and up the luck in our lives?

These are a few of the characteristics to cultivate, according to an article in Psychology Today by Rebecca Webber.

• Broaden your network. A broad, diverse network of acquaintances increases the likelihood of fortuitous encounters, gives you more resources to tap into.

• Cultivate resiliency. Yes, look on the bright side, but it means more than that; assess, analyze, and chart a new course when obstacles or disappointments inevitably mar life’s course.

• Chart a flexible course. Have a direction in life, but know that there are many paths that can bring you to the general destination you have in mind, and be open to taking a different route than you’d planned.

• Broaden your mindset. As the author says, “conscientiousness is no friend of serendipity”. People who stay too focused and task-driven can miss opportunities and miss the big picture. I like to say, there’s perseverance and then there’s perseverativeness…know the difference, know when to say to heck with this!

• Sometimes…Jump! This doesn’t mean reckless abandonment, it means that when life presents an opportunity that may seem scary or challenging, analyze it carefully for its opportunities, downsides, fit with your life goals – and sometimes, go for it. Those “lucky” lives tend to be peppered with times when a person took a chance on something. Doesn’t always work out, which is why we need that resiliency, flexibility, and that network.

Let’s bring it back to the world of Marketing Research – Some ideas:

• Consider these positive traits when developing and testing the positioning for your new brand or product. Can your product support any of these traits? Travel products often speak to the potential for travel to broaden one’s perspective on life, and literally recreate onself.

• Apply these principles the next time you face a tough marketing research challenge, which happens often in these tumultuous days.

• Cultivate your luck by widening your perspective – not just broadening your network of people, but broadening your knowledge base in areas tangential to marketing research. To wrap up and stay with today’s French theme, this ends with a salient quote from Louis Pasteur – Chance favors the prepared mind. Bon chance, mes amis!

2 Responses to Today’s Cooking Lesson: Making Luck

  1. This is a powerfully pithy news-you-can use post – thank you.

    Another is Be a valuable ally by giving specific, relevant introductions, information and other resources to colleagues and others you wish to turn into colleagues

    • Mark Rees says:

      This current post is also pithy and relevant. The beauty of it is that it applies to all new products including yourself. I forwarded it to a friend of mine who was just recently laid off and he found it to be if not inspirational at least directional.

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