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How to Skew the Odds of Success Wildly in Your Favor

Woody Allen famously said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” I think he’s right.  At least that’s what my experience as a business coach tells me.

The quote pretty much speaks for itself.  But let’s get a little more granular.

What does it mean exactly to “show up” in the context of running a business?

Off the top of my head, I’ve come up with five distinct, yet related, ways in which you show up as a business owner.

First:  You approach your business the way you would a full-time job … especially if your business is brand new!

You put in 40 hours a week.  Not two or three.  Not 10.  That kind of minimal effort simply isn’t enough to get anything more than minimal results.  You show up by literally showing up … and staying on the job til you generate meaningful results.

Second:  When you’re working, you’re really working … moving the ball forward.  You do that by focusing on those tasks that matter most … not allowing yourself to get distracted.  Not checking social media or the latest news or plowing through the 100+ emails in your inbox.  Because, when you’re not focused on the business, you’re not really there … even if you’re physically present and putting in time.

And what are the two main things you need to be focused on?  Serving clients and attracting new business. 

Third:  You consistently do the things you need to do … the things you don’t really want to do … and the things you’re not even sure how to do.  You stay in the game, even when you’re discouraged … even when you feel bad … even when it feels like you’re not getting any traction.  You dig in, get creative, and keep going.

Fourth:  You respond to people’s indications of interest, needs, and requests in a timely way.  You’re accessible, available … and you follow-up, even if you can’t provide what someone needs at that time.  You don’t leave things hanging.  You’re there for people.

Fifth:  You’re interacting face to face with your peeps … the folks in your target market … whether that’s one-on-one or via a talk to a group or a podcast or a newsletter like this one.

I’m mostly talking about in-person interactions with clients, prospective clients, prospective strategic partners, and even people you’ve never met before in networking meetings and the like.  You show up by being there and getting to know people as they get to know you.

Are there other ways to show up that can help you be really successful?  I’m sure there are, but if you take these to heart, you’ll have tilted the odds wildly in your favor.

It’s a winning formula.

So, assuming we have fairly realistic expectations around what it takes to succeed in business, why don’t we all show up 100% of the time?

Because we’re human.  We’re not perfect.  We all slip here and there.  We all come up short from time to time.

The good news is it’s not about achieving perfection.  It’s about consistently showing up and putting your best foot forward.

Do that and Woody’s right.  The rest will usually take care of itself.

Best Wishes,



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Meet Denise: Denise Hedges is a Business Development Coach and Speaker Coach for small business owners who want to be more comfortable, confident, and successful with their sales and marketing efforts. She specializes in helping them use speaking as a way to dramatically improve their results!