Tuesday, 3 January 2012

How to Win the Lottery in 2012

Here's a sure fire tip for 2012 - you have to buy a lottery ticket to win, so make sure you buy one. That is sound advice, as I can guarantee that if you don't buy a lottery ticket, you won't win.

The odds of winning are pitiful some might say at some 48 million to one for a jackpot win. However, I can tell you with absolute certainty that the odds of you not winning if you don't by a ticket are infinite.

With these sure facts in your mind, your strategy must be to go on line or to a participating shop and buy a ticket - this will dramatically reduce your odds of winning as a first step. Buy two and you exactly halve the odds again. Buy 10 and you will reduce your odds tenfold.

OK, let's wise up. Even if you buy ten tickets, your odds of winning a jackpot are no better than 4.8 million to one, so it's not much of a chance. Even if you buy a thousand tickets, then you are still looking at odds of around 50,000 to one which is still a very long shot, considering you would statistically have to buy the same amount for each draw to stand a chance.

In business, you wouldn't invest in opportunities at such odds, would you? Yet, many businesses will sign up in the new year for snake oil schemes to accelerate their business with secret panaceas sold by ebullient former salespeople who have slipped their cocoon of mediocrity in their own sales careers and suddenly found the obvious things they missed. Now they are selling them at nice profits.

Have you ever been intrigued by these adverts you read in papers about how to become millionaires in short order? When you send off for the literature it tells you that you should place an advert in the paper telling people how to make a million and then charge them for reproducing the same document you received.

Everyone wants to the answer on how to make quick riches. Everyone is selling the solution. The secrets of life, of self-confidence, of social media marketing, of sales success, of business knowledge. Some of these courses may well give some great ideas which can be implemented in the short term but few give the elixirs of future and sustainable success.

Why? Because people are funny things. Some days they are on top of their game, sometimes they are not. Some just aren't cut out for the role they are in, some are. Some may gain knowledge and leave, some may have to be paid more than others. 

Acquiring, developing and nurturing talent is a long term business for companies. People are incredible machines as they are the only intelligent beings in the Universe, as far as we know, and they can outperform any computer over a wide range of tasks. Develop them well and they can be incredibly adaptable. Motivate them cleverly and they will jump off cliffs for you. But keep them in a dark cupboard with no light and they become as dumb as mushrooms to the business.

When it comes to developing new business opportunities, it's fine asking for general purpose advice or training - that will help give the background tools for the job. But some people have specific knowledge, skills and connections and can help your teams 'see' the opportunities more quickly, gain success more transparently and help teams develop the skills for the new markets more quickly by actually doing what's required rather than talking about it.

Putting the specific power you require into the opportunity you want, when you want is a fast track way to gain success. Most other methods are as 'Hit and Hope' as buying tickets for the lottery. You may get lucky with a specific course but underlying selling skills are only a pre-requisite. Knowledge of markets is more valuable. In my lottery analogy, you are far more likely to win if you know the numbers that will be drawn - buying the ticket is only the pre-requisite to potential success.

So as you go into 2012 and look at the available opportunities in the Hi Tech markets, think not of buying lottery tickets but placing your valuable investment money into acquiring specific skills and knowledge, even if this is for the short term only. People are incredible machines, they can even learn and they do so better from watching others.

Get the right skills in, at the right time, to do the job you require for as long as you need it. The other members of your team will learn faster from watching success being achieved in front of their eyes.

It's the way I have worked with companies. Roll up your sleeves, show people how to win without talking about general, esoteric concepts. Don't just make contacts and widen your reach, target and value contacts, covet and nurture them. Social networking is a great shotgun but NOTHING replaces the value of individual, tailored, knowledgeable communication and interaction with specific follow up activities.

Nothing speaks louder than actions with successful outcomes. All the rest is just words.

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