Woody Allen is often quoted as saying that “80% of success is showing up.” It’s a great phrase and there certainly is some truth to it (you may be able to guess what’s coming next . . .); however, is it completely accurate? I don’t believe so.
I believe showing up is, indeed, the first step toward success yet there’s a lot more which must be done after simply showing up in order to achieve any degree of significant success. I bring this up because a year ago I had a conversation with a man about his participation in a networking group and he used this quote from Allen to argue that he should be experiencing significantly more success from his networking efforts than he currently was, simply due to his dedication to showing up and maintaining perfect attendance at networking functions. I asked if he was doing some specific things which I feel are very important in order to succeed in a networking group and he said “no.”
I told him that I firmly believe taking action (beyond simply showing up) is key in order to achieve real results and, to put it mildly, that did not make him happy; he was beside himself with agitation in response to my suggestion. He felt that just being there regularly at meetings and functions should yield the results he wanted from his network. Well, based on the results he was getting, he was absolutely mistaken.
Years ago, I was filmed by Rhonda Byrne for the film – The Secret (about the law of attraction). If you saw The Secret and don’t recall seeing me in it, that’s because the segment of film I was featured in ultimately ended up being cut during the editing process. However, what I talked about in that never-aired segment was that one of the things I love most about the law of attraction is that it’s a great starting point for success (in my opinion). I’d like to take a second though to clearly point out that the word “action” is part of the word “attraction.” I believe we must first attract what we want in life but that’s not where things end . . . we must then do our part taking the appropriate action in order to achieve what we desire. Unlike a portion of the film which talks about having a personal genie who will do your bidding upon your command, I believe WE are our own “genie” and that we must take action to attract and achieve what it is that we want. Attraction without action is basically wishful thinking. Wishful thinking alone does not allow you to achieve success.
Going back to Allen’s assertion that “80% of success is showing up”–showing up is indeed taking action and this is certainly the first step toward success, which is why I think what Allen says has some truth to it. However, just showing up is in no way enough. I believe you actually have to do something when you show up in order to really obtain success, no matter what it is your aiming for in life (what a notion).
What you have to do depends on what you are trying to accomplish. For the man I was talking to last year, he wanted more results from his network. Some of the actions I told him he needed to take were to:
- Create an introduction that changed every time and focused on a small element of his business. I told him it was important to train a sales team, not try to make a sale at each meeting.
- Schedule one-to-one meetings with a different person from the group each week to build deeper connections and learn more about his fellow networkers (as well as them learning more about him).
- Take a leadership role of some kind within the group. This would help him stand out among the crowd.
- Bring referrals (legitimate ones) for other members. If you want to get business, you have to be willing to give business.
- Immerse in referral education. Read books, blogs (I suggested this blog as a start), articles–anything to help him learn how to engage in the networking process more effectively.
There is so much more he could have done but the list above is a good start for any networking action plan. I am pleased to say that, to his credit, he actually took my advice (especially the bit about immersing himself in referral education). Not long ago, I spoke with the man again and he shared with me that his referrals have gone up dramatically over the last year. Interestingly enough, we ended that last conversation with him stating, “Woody Allen only got it partially right . . . 80% of success BEGINS with showing up.” Needless to say, I agreed.
I’d love to get your feedback on what I’ve talked about in this post. What are your ideas about the law of attraction in relation to success? Are there specific action steps you’ve taken which have made a dramatic difference for you on your path to success in one or more of your networking, career, or life endeavors? Please leave your thoughts in the comment forum below–I’d love to hear from you!