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“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” — Benjamin Franklin

If you were to ask any entrepreneur what it takes to become successful, they’d tell you it takes vision, a willingness to try, and passion. Others would say their success can be attributed to an element of luck.

But what about the everyday guy who’s trying to build up his sales? Or the small business owner with the great idea who’s just trying to provide for the family? Is there a way to “create” your own luck? Here are a few things I’ve done that have helped me along the way.

Be open to feedback.

In the food industry, the feedback we get from our customers influences the daily choices we make. Do customers like what’s on the menu? Can the experience be made better? How can we handle negative feedback? And if the feedback is negative, that’s alright too – it’s all telling you something. Get to the root of the issue and make changes.

Be flexible.

Eventually, you’ll get to a place where you can anticipate the feedback you’ll get and respond accordingly. What you don’t want to do is be inflexible to feedback – without hearing from your customers (both the good and bad), there’s no way to get a sense of what they actually want. Being a receptive vendor helps you and your customer.

Think about how many times you’ve encountered an “old” way of thinking, or someone who says, “Our way is the right way.” We weren’t always doing sous vide products, but we were curious and willing to change up our product line offerings. If you’re not willing to change or innovate, you can watch someone else succeed who is.

Be persistent.

As an entrepreneur, you’ll hear more “no” than “yes.” So, what do you do with that? Keep at it and play the long game. There have been business opportunities I’ve worked at for 4-5 years before something presented itself and the timing worked out.

Be outgoing – sometimes it is who you know

Back in 2004, I attended an airline conference in the Middle East. I didn’t know anyone but talked to other attendees who came from all walks of life and built relationships that continue to this day. You need to be willing to learn what other cultures can teach you – and you never know where that will get you. In the food business, the sous chefs from 2004 eventually become the head chefs of 2019. These are the people who can help facilitate your business in the future.

Create your own luck

It is possible to create your own luck through a combination of opportunity, timing, and persistence. If you’re constantly thinking of how to improve your business and your business relationships, that will help too. The question should not only be what you can do to improve your business, but how you can use that improvement to help your customers – and that helps your customers maintain their reputation. Keep following up, keep building the relationships, keep attending the conferences even if you don’t know anyone. Eventually, it’ll pay off.