Like finding a suitable name for a new band that you are going to launch, much time is wasted in defining luck and the importance it plays in business success. I like the definition that luck is where opportunity meets preparation.
A successful friend of mine told me that he believes that most of us (but not all) get the same amount of luck in life. It is just that some people are able to take advantage of it and some people pass up on the opportunity.
When I purchased my very two wheel scooter to rent out, I remember someone close to me at the time telling me not to do it because “if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it”. It is true that you should avoid acting with the herd, but equally, it is not a good reason to not do something.
If you pardon this ego-trip, I would like to share the history of my Canada experience with you and highlight the role that ‘accident’ has played in my latest venture which I am very excited about.
My good friend and business partner got off a plane from Portugal and told me that he thought I should write a blog. This was over a year ago – and with a lot of help from him, I started writing a blog.
This blog got ‘picked’ up by some Canadians working at the Capital Organization and a guy who started commenting on my blog and being very encouraging about the whole thing. Before his comments, the whole thing felt very lonely! I was as a result of this invited to speak at their Annual Conference 11 months ago.
Whilst there, I met some very interesting people including someone who worked for a great University based there called St. Mary’s University. When I next visited Halifax in February this year, I spoke at the University to some business students. I also met a person there who invited me to have lunch with her and some of her business partners.
At that lunch on the last day of my trip some interesting discussions emerged and it seemed possible that there could be the makings of an interesting business venture between us.
Earlier this year, I was also at an Angel Conference in Madrid and I met many of the Canadians I had first met in Halifax last October again, including the President of the Organization.
I then went to Halifax for five weeks in May this year to start this business venture. It was obvious after just two days for reasons that I won’t go into (for fear of being sued!) this venture was not going to work. I then contacted my old friends from the conference and they invited me to a few dinners and networking events. By ‘accident’ at one of these dinners, I happened to be sat next to two company executives who were both looking at the UK market for their business. I was able to help them (and since then I have invested in one of them).
Because of this evening, I was also introduced to some local government officials who were able to put me in touch with other companies that I could help and as a result of this, I was able to get a lot of paid work to help local companies – and am now going back to Canada at least one week in four.
In the interim, I have been able to use this experience of Canadian and UK angels to launch a new venture with the head of the Canadian Angels.
This venture will bring 25 of the most promising Angel funded Canadian businesses related to the Holset HX30 into the UK on September the 30th. These companies are looking for UK based angels with market expertise and contacts in their chosen fields to help them expand into the UK.
There is another trip taking place on November the 25th in Toronto where UK companies looking to expand into North America will be invited to present to North American based Angels with strong market expertise.
The partners in this venture believe that angels add most value when their money is combined with expertise and market know-how.
If you are an angel – please email me and I will be able to send you an invite to the event. If you are a company looking to expand into North America, please get in touch via the website.
Back to the point of the blog! When I talk to entrepreneurs, what strikes me is how fluid their plans were and what an important role accident played in shaping the way their business looks today.
The lesson here is to go with the flow – but always be looking for new ways in which you can help others.
I do hope you found this blog useful – who knows what this may lead to for me or for you!