Luck: Where Preparation Meets Opportunity

by Law Week Contributor

By: Alison Johnson and Chuck Cotter

“Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.” This quote from the famous philosopher Seneca is one I think every entrepreneur should live by. The question is, are you and your company prepared so that when the opportunity arrives at your door, you’ll be able to capitalize on it?

There is nothing better than seeing companies and entrepreneurs complete successful deals and become the emblematic hit it out of the ball-park type of success story. Was it luck and glitter and unicorns that allowed these companies and entrepreneurs to succeed? Certainly not if you view luck through its traditional definition: the force that causes things, especially good things, to happen to you by chance and not as a result of your own efforts or abilities. However, if one views luck as the chance to capitalize on all your preparation when that opportunity presents itself, the way I do, then absolutely it has a lot to do with it. Companies that successfully fundraise and have profitable exits achieve positive results because they are prepared to capitalize on an opportunity.

There is no doubt a company has already done much of the prep work and heavy lifting at the operational level before it considers a financing or a sale event. Founders often spend years and devote significant sweat equity into building a business that will attract prospective investors and customers. But, those same people often fail to exercise equal diligence and preparation when actually undergoing a corporate financing or sale event. Failure to prepare for and do home-work on various financing options and terms can result in negative economic and cultural consequences, quickly diminishing all the effort that went into building the business. Here are three tips on how to prepare yourself for that financing opportunity so that at the end of a deal you too can look back and say, “I was one of the lucky ones.”

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the June 19, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.