The idea that growth and opportunity can happen linearly one success at a time is one version of a story that plays out. But if you ask people how their success happened over time (and they are honest), you discover that all events are not the same in impact or reward.
Every relationship is different, and some may be part of building revenue incrementally. There are other relationships that open up entirely new channels of opportunity or distribution. The latter tend to be disproportionate in their impact on the story of growth and success. The problem is that these tend to be harder to plan for or anticipate. But that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare.
The strategy for getting lucky is to work on two levels in growing your business or brand. On the one hand, you have to continue to gain and service customers. Keep doing what works as this allows cash flow to continue.
On the other hand, you have to innovate and create. This work not only keeps you fresh in your delivery, but it influences the level of value you can bring to people that pay. They get the benefits of new product innovation through the leakage.
But, the bigger payoff is to be positioned and ready for that discussion, introduction or opportunity with a different type of suitor. If GAP came knocking on your door or Microsoft wanted to look at your technology for bundling, this is a different type of opportunity altogether. It’s the type that launches you forward by miles rather than a few feet at a time.
So the question comes back to whether you can identify what it means to be ready for such an opportunity. Do you have to keep building content to attract such a suitor? Are your relationships far and wide enough to attract someone that you can be in such a conversation with?
Working backwards, I believe it is a law of attraction. You have to make yourself attractive and have substance underneath the hood to be noticed. It’s a form of readiness and takes a lot of work to make happen. It means that you can’t get so buried in the details that you forget there is someone out there who represents a big break.
Are you building enough for them to want to engage as well as servicing your bread and butter customers? The work is not unrelated. It just takes some focus and intentionality to manage both tracks. One is working hard to drive what is known and seen. The other is a bit of faith. It is working hard to get lucky with the unseen opportunity.