Don’t Give Opportunity the Stink-eye if she Peeks in your Office

August 07, 2015 By Dave Chase

Luck is a handicap.  Some people believe in luck.  As a result, holding out for luck becomes a demotivating factor in their lives.


You’ve heard them all before in one form or another:

“Opportunities are often cleverly disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.”

“Luck is when opportunity meets preparation”

“When it comes to luck you make your own”

 “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have” 

I’ve known a lot of successful people, and outside the very rare instance, most of them are living testimonies to the concept of being prepared when an opportunity presents itself.  I’m a firm believer that luck really is 95% work and 5% timing…being in the right place at the right time.

The real question to ask is whether we’re willing to pay the price for “good luck”.

I love to mountaineer and once had a dream where a famous mountaineer, Ed Viesturs, called me and asked me to accompany him to the summit of Everest.  Given my climbing prowess, that would be even a near impossibility for even Lady Luck to pull off, unless she slipped Ed my number as the pizza delivery guy.

The reality is, if I want to maximize my chances of attempting some truly great climbs, I need to start working today.  I can create my own luck by non-technical climb like Timpanogos first.  Next I should tackle the Grand Teton, something with mild technical requirements.  Still sticking in the Western US, I would tackle a summer ascent of Rainier.  Continual learning and preparation are the keys to any challenge..

I am quite fond of Emerson’s statement on persistence. 

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed, but that our power to do has increased.”

As our capabilities broaden, we gain confidence and perspectives change.  We must all work so that when opportunity sticks her head in the door, you recognize her for what she is…work yes, but opportunity nonetheless.  Then, rather than giving her the stink-eye for interrupting, you’ll give her a wicked little knowing smile and invite her in.

David Chase, a partner at Advanced CFO Solutions, has experience in small to medium private companies and large public companies as a senior operational and financial leader.  With 15 years in finance, a CFO of multiple entities and divisional EVP experience, Dave has a breadth of experience.  Dave has led or been instrumental in raising multiple rounds of equity and debt in excess of $450 million.


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