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Why Timing Isn’t Everything in Your Career

How often have we heard that in order to succeed, ‘you have to be in the right place’…when?

Exactly, you have to be in the ‘right place at the right time.’  Look at how easily that statement comes to mind.  Over and over we have heard the ‘right place, right time’ myth.

Why is this myth so dangerous?  It is dangerous because it conditions a person’s mindset in a way that they believe that success is more about circumstance than substance.  It is about having the good fortune to be in the right place when success comes knocking on the door.

As a result of this limiting belief, far too many people wait for success to happen to them rather than to going out and creating it for themselves.

Imagine being on the ground floor of a rapidly growing internet company.  A company that was about to take the industry by storm.  A company that was preparing for a public offering that was set to make early employees into multi-millionaires.  Think what you could do with your new found financial freedom.  Think of the places you could travel to.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could just find ourselves in that right place at the right time?

As one of the founders of Twitter, the $15 billion dollar social media company that taught us to convey our most profound thoughts in 140 characters, Noah Glass, was certainly in the right place at the right time.  Yet rather than being a billionaire, or even a millionaire, today Noah Glass has a net worth of about $125,000.  Why?  Well, he was kicked out of the company that he helped found because he wasn’t the type of leader that the early investors felt that they needed.

What about Sandy Lerner, she co-founded Cisco Systems, a multinational goliath in the communication, networking and IT fields.  A $135 billion dollar company that Forbes magazine ranks as one of the most valuable brands in the world.

Learner was un-ceremonially fired from the company she founded and never realized the tremendous abundance that was created as the company grew.  Why?  The team of people around her didn’t feel she had the skills necessary to take the company to the next level.

Both of these people were undeniably in the right place at the right time.  Yet success eluded them.  Why?

Perhaps success requires something more than just being at the right place at the right time.  What it requires is being the right person at the right place and right time.

There are countless examples like Noah Glass and Sandy Lerner.  People who were in the right place and the right time, but they were the wrong person.  As such, success marched right by them.

So how does one become the right person?  The caliber of person who is truly capable of capitalizing on opportunity when it presents itself?  Certainly honing and refining the right skill sets plays an important part.  Life rarely rewards the mediocre.  As such, one must ask themselves, what skills will be required in order for me to achieve success?  To answer this question, look at others who have accomplished similar achievements.  Will you need to become a better salesperson, a better manager, a better leader?

However, far more important than developing the right skill sets, is developing the right mindset.  There is one overriding common denominator amongst all highly successful people… they think differently than everyone else.  They don’t make excuses, rather, they take ownership.  They believe that they can learn whatever is necessary.  They stay positive in the face of adversity.  They relentlessly focus on their dreams and goals and this drives their self-motivation.  Last but least, they do not let fears and self-doubts stop them from taking action.

The bottom line is, our mindset matters most.  It causes us to develop the right skill sets, to become the right person – the person who can recognize and then capitalize on opportunity.