In the last episode with Kashem Miah, we discussed how to build a brand community and the benefits it can bring us. In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss how we can take advantage of lucky opportunities.
Warren Buffett, an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist, is worth more than $100 billion according to Forbes. While he recognizes his own hard work and determination, he contributes much of his success to luck.
In 2013, Buffett told a journalist, “The womb from which you emerge determines your fate to an enormous degree for most of the seven billion people in the world.” He calls this idea the “ovarian lottery,” meaning that many of our life situations are based on luck. For example, he says he is lucky to be born in the United States since he could have just as easily been born in Bangladesh as a farmer in which his life would have been completely different.
Kashem said that Buffett’s idea of luck has always stuck with him. He said, “Luck plays a role in our lives regardless of how we know it.” He continued, “I often say I’m very lucky to be where I am because I’ve had certain moments in my life where if I wasn’t in the right situation at the right time, I might not have been able to think fast enough. Part of my career has been being prepared for when those opportunities come, and I’ve been more conscious of that over the years.”
While Kashem agrees that luck plays a role in our success, he also believes we need to be ready to take advantage of the luck that comes our way if we want to be successful. A lucky opportunity may come our way, but if we aren’t prepared, that lucky opportunity will pass right by us.
25 Ideals of Beauty
Kashem worked at Fiverr, the world’s largest marketplace for freelance services, as the director of social media, community, and content marketing for just over two years. When he first started, they had a journalist come to them who wanted to do a study on beauty ideals around the world. Fiverr gave her credit for her study and two weeks later she came back to talk about the information she had gathered.
In the study, this journalist sent an unedited portrait of herself to photoshop experts around the world and said, “Make me beautiful.” When she got the pictures back, she found that every photo looked completely different, because the perception of beauty is different depending on where you are. (You can watch a BuzzFeed video on the study here.) As soon as her study was published, it took off.
Within the next couple of days, Fiverr had over 125 media outlets not only cover her piece but mention their company platform. Good Morning America then had this journalist on their show to talk about her experiment and using Fiverr’s platform to build that.
“I’ll never forget this because I had tickets to go see the NBA draft in Brooklyn,” Kashem said. “And while I was at the NBA draft . . . I was also building as many pages with her pictures and stories [as possible] and trying to build an experience.”
While it was luck that brought that journalist to Kashem and Fiverr, it was through preparation that Fiverr could really take advantage of this opportunity.
“We were ready,” Kashem said. “We were ready to take advantage of not only district traffic but the story and the opportunity. We were able to build an experience for every customer that came in wanting to chat about that. . . . We quickly realized you can’t replicate success. When it hits, it’s like a lightning storm. It just comes and it goes and we spent a lot of time thinking about how we could replicate that, but I think in that situation, we were lucky.”
Luck comes and it goes. It comes by in random moments within short windows of time. If we want to take advantage of these lucky opportunities, there are certain things we should do.
How to be Lucky
Here are three ways you can get lucky:
1. Be Prepared
“There are rules to luck, not everything is chance to the wise; luck can be helped by skill.”
– Baltasar Gracian, writer, and philosopher
Kashem and his team were lucky, but they were also prepared. They were there at the right time, at the right moment, and they were ready for it.
At the time the opportunity came, Fiverr had a well-structured team, good community managers, great content writers, and a strong forum and blog. They had the skills and systems they needed to optimize the opportunity when it came, and to take advantage of it before it passed them by.
“We were there at the right moment, but we had the right team and were ready to take on something like that. I think a lot of brands miss out on opportunities because they’re just not ready for that opportunity,” Kashem said.
If we really want to be lucky, we need to be prepared and willing to act. Nesta Jojoe Erskine, a speaker, and blogger said, “You don’t get lucky while sitting on the sofa with arms crossed doing nothing. You can be lucky only when you are prepared.”
2. Look for Lucky Opportunities and Be Able to Identify Them
“Diligence is the mother of good luck.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Kashem and his team weren’t just prepared for a lucky opportunity, they were also looking for it. We need to have the right team ready to recognize opportunities; this means diligently seeking opportunities around us, not just waiting for luck to hit us in the back of the head. If we aren’t looking, we aren’t going to find it.
Looking for these lucky opportunities can be looking for business tectonic shifts in the marketplace. What is changing around us? How are our customers changing? Are there new technologies arising? What new problems are arising? By searching for changes and asking these questions, we may find luck.
Ed Lowe, the man who invented cat litter, did so because he identified an opportunity. He found an opportunity through the problem of a neighbor. In 1947, he worked for his father’s sawdust company. His neighbor had knocked on their door asking for some sand because her cat’s litter tray was empty. Instead, Lowe offered her an absorbent clay used for factory floors, thinking this would be better. Later, the neighbor returned asking for more (Source: Talk Business).
Could a neighbor asking for cat litter really be considered luck? In this case, it was, but only because Lowe was looking for it. He started selling “Kitty Litter” to local pet stores in five-pound bags. His business became such a success he later sold his company for $200 million (Source: Talk Business).
When we are constantly looking for opportunities, we may find we become much luckier than we were before.
3. Act Quickly
As soon as we recognize an opportunity, we need to be ready to jump on it before it leaves. In Kashem’s case, he had to work while watching the NBA draft in Brooklyn. He set aside what he was doing at the moment and made room for the opportunity when it hit. As he said, luck often comes like a lightning strike. There one moment, and gone the next.
Just as Kashem saw the opportunity with the journalist and acted on it quickly, so should we. Sometimes this may mean dropping whatever we are doing at the moment to pursue something else.
“It’s really important to make sure, when you see the aptitude, to get out as quickly as possible,” Kashem said. “If you have a team around you already established, it’s a little bit easier to act on something very quickly and be able to execute against time.”
An Extra Note on Recurring Revenue
In today’s episode, Kashem also dove into the benefits of recurring revenue. He shared three main points:
1. Keep a healthy dialogue with your users. We should provide value not just in services but also in content and engagement.
2. Spend time showing your customers what value you provide. The community only cares about certain features, but they will stick around longer if you show them what happens behind the scenes.
3. Play around with the pricing and funding. We should realize that one customer that is a month-to-month customer might be better on an annual plan. There are different ways to price recurring revenue. We should customize our products and packages to serve different customer segments.
To look at recurring revenue more in-depth, be sure to listen to our podcast episode.
Thank you so much Kashem for sharing your stories and insights with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:
1. Luck plays a role in our success, but we need to be ready to take advantage of the luck that comes our way if we want to be successful.
2. If we really want to be lucky, we need to be prepared and willing to act.
3. When we are constantly looking for opportunities, we will most likely have more “luck”.
4. As soon as we recognize an opportunity, we need to be ready to jump on it as soon as possible, or we may miss it completely.
Connect with Kashem
To learn more about or connect with Kashem:
-Visit his website at Medium.com/@KashMiah
1. Get my free ebook about passion marketing, and learn to identify and leverage the highest passions of our ideal customers at PassionMarketing.com.