The secret to business success – being in the right place at the right time?

by: June 24, 2014
I was recently talking to a highly successful Swiss entrepreneur, and asked him what he put his success down to. He replied that it was because he was “in the right place at the right time”.
Rubbish!  Yes, sure, he was ‘in the right place at the right time’ but then so were thousands of other people.  Many of those people didn’t recognise the opportunity, some of them saw it but didn’t do anything about it, and a few set up in competitive businesses.  And even compared to those few competitors, the guy with whom I was speaking had been massively more successful.
So, whilst I can accept that being in the wrong place at the wrong time will usually hinder business success somewhat, the key to success is not down to being in the right place at the right time.
If we take my Swiss friend as an example, and I know him well both in a social and business context, I’ve got a pretty good idea why he’s been successful and why he continues to be successful: he’s got passion.
He is so passionate about his business, he’s constantly thinking about it, finding ways of doing things better, driving it forward.  He is passionately interested in providing excellence and value in both product and service. His passion is infectious and it permeates through everyone who works in his business.  He always strives to be better than his competitors, watching, learning, responding, outflanking.
And his business never stands still: new opportunity spotted, let’s work out what we need to do, let’s make it happen. Since I’ve known him, he’s opened up new outlets in other locations, broadened and expanded his offerings, whilst always retaining the business’ focus on its core market and raison d’être.
Yet despite the giddy heights of business success he’s experienced, I’ve seen him in action welcoming customers to his business and he’s still got it – the natural customer service skills, great friendly communication, willing to do whatever it takes to satisfy his clients.
We can accept his “being in the right place at the right time” reason as modesty, but let’s all be completely clear; “passion and commitment” would have been a more accurate answer.


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Paul is Zonata's founder and MD. He has a true passion for business and is massively excited by the opportunities that Zonata provides for its clients and partners. He loves helping owner-managed businesses be exceptionally successful, and enjoys the phenomenal quality of the people who work with him.

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