I have some news. I was invited to do a TEDx talk. 8th October at TEDx Patras. I am so excited!
The organizers read my book and decided to reach out.
My reaction was what Jana Kingston calls “Oh My God And Of Course.” Surprise and not surprise at the same time.
I realize that this has been a pattern in my journey.
People ask me:
- How did you land a publishing contract with Penguin? I do not know; a Penguin editor asked me to write a book for them.
- How did you get to become a coach for INSEAD? Not sure, they wrote to me and asked me.
- How do you find your clients? I don’t know. They find me.
I do not want to answer ‘I don’t know” anymore.
I heard a mantra recently from Amy Porterfield:
“I do not chase; I attract.” And it resonated.
But why do some people attract opportunities while others keep chasing them without success?
I sat down and reverse-engineered how I attracted my most significant opportunities. And also, what I learnt from when things did not work out.
I wanted to take what looks like magic, put it in a bottle (or in this article, for that matter), and share it with you.
Here they are, my steps to the magic of attracting what you want.
1. Clarify what you want
I have talked extensively about how important vision is, so I will not discuss it in-depth here.
Unfortunately, very few people take the time to sit with themselves and be honest about what they want.
Whenever I was stuck or not succeeding it often came down to one key mistake: I was trying to pursue non-aligned goals. The non-aligned goals were usually driven by ego rather than joy. For example trying to get promoted or hit a revenue milestone in my business driven by pride rather than desire.
If you do not know what you want, when the opportunity knocks your door you won’t recognise it. You will probably feel fear rather than excitement.
To learn more about the principles of creating an inspiring life vision, you can watch this webinar I ran for INSEAD Business School.
2. Let go of unaligned work, places, and people
Before you attract the thing you desire, you need to make space.
One of the best exercises to do regularly is an energy audit. How can we let go of work, people, and places that drain our energy?
I had to quit my job to do an MBA and finally land a job at Google.
I had to quit Google before INSEAD reached out and asked me to collaborate.
I had to fire that contractor before I found my dream team member.
Every time I kept non-aligned work longer than I should, I ended up burnt out.
I wrote a post on LinkedIn about this:
“When we give up the last crutch of unaligned work that we kept way too long for the sake of safety and stability…
We think that it is the time to sink or swim.
But, we often find out it is time to fly.
The crutch that we were holding for the sake of safety…
Was holding us down.”
3. Make investments aligned with your future self
Benjamin Hardy found in his Ph.D. research the key difference between people who wanted to become entrepreneurs and those who actually did it.
The latter had a point of no return in their journey. Maybe it was quitting their job. Perhaps it was investing in their business.
I used to make €25K/year when I invested €75K for an MBA at INSEAD. It did not make sense on paper. Many people would prefer to spend this amount of money buying a house, in the stock market, or on years of luxurious holidays.
By investing in my future self, I changed how I showed up in the world. I raised my standards about what jobs I was willing to take. After the MBA, I was hired at Google and made my money back within a year.
A similar pattern followed all my other seemingly “magical” opportunities.
I had a huge aha moment this week. I remembered that right when Penguin reached out, I had invested £8K in the Dent KPI accelerator. It is a year-long program for entrepreneurs who want to publish their books.
I was going to write a book and self-publish it. I had put my hands deep into my pocket and made a big move in that direction.
You can believe that Penguin “coincidentally” stumbled upon one of my articles that same month and reached out to ask me to write a book. I think that I attracted precisely what I was an energetic match for.
Education is not the only big move you can make. It might be hiring a team. Investing in real estate. Anything that feels big, scary, and aligned to your future self.
Big moves, especially big investments, signal to your subconscious and the world that you believe in your vision. Otherwise, you would not bet your money on it.
4. Take inspired action
When I was at Google, I volunteered to coach some entrepreneurs at Google’s incubator called Campus. This experience later attracted INSEAD to hire me. They were looking for an entrepreneur coach for their students and alumni, and they saw that experience in my bio.
In 2019, I decided to reach out to the best women coaches globally, interview them and publish an article about our interview. It was the article I wrote about my interview with Brenda Bence that the Penguin editor found.
I took some inspired action that felt fun for me in both those cases. I didn’t even get paid to coach at Google campus or interview Brenda Bence. I could never have predicted the ripple effect of those actions, but I knew they were steps in the right direction.
You will often have sparks of inspiration. I suggest you learn to listen to them and act on them quickly.
It might be reaching out to that old colleague you have lost touch with.
It might be publishing this social media post.
Giving that presentation.
Success is not about the hustle. But, it is about inspired action.
How do you know if an action is inspired? It will feel like fun! You will find it hard to contain your excitement. You will want to act on it right away!
5. Live your best life
After I come back from holiday, I often notice that my inbox is full of new business opportunities.
One explanation is that my social media content while on holiday is a lot more inspired. I am having fun, and I also have more space to reflect and come up with fresh insights.
I have booked 12 weeks of holidays this year, and my business is doing better than ever.
If you have a wonderful life, you will naturally attract people.
It is like looking at the inside of a pub from the window and seeing people having a great time. You will want to join the party.
You do not need to take holidays to live your best life. Practice gratitude everyday. Have a walk in nature. Hug your loved ones tight.
Potential clients, investors and employees can tell if you have embodied what you are selling.
Once you have an insight, you will attract the people who need to hear it.
Once you crack a code, whether balance, wealth, impact, leadership, or relationships, you won’t need to chase people. They will be lining up your door to figure out how you did it.
My mentor Melanie Ann Layer says, “You will wonder how to do it until you wonder how you did it.”
And it is true; it is hard to dissect success in hindsight as so much of it feels like magic.
That’s why people default to the standard answer of “hard work” when they are asked the secret behind their success.
Well, it is not about “hard” work. Some of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful people have a surprisingly empty calendar. It is about doing work that feels fun and being in flow.
It is worth noting here that the strategies above are not the only things at play when attracting opportunities. Not everyone starts from the same place. The definition of privilege is attracting more opportunities because of your race, gender, sexual orientation, body type and more. And white privilege definitely played a role in my journey.
While we cannot do much about our physical characteristics that may help or hinder us in attracting opportunities, I focused here on the things we can do:
- Have a clear vision
- Let go of unaligned work, spaces and people
- Make investments towards your future self
- Take inspired action
- Live your best life
Which one of those resonated with you? Just hit comment and let me know.
This whole theme did! I recently came to this answer in my own mind after chasing for long but couldn’t articulate it as well as you have here. But now I see the value of attraction. And will add – not only does the opportunity come with less effort, but also it is likely to be a stronger enduring lead. I’m in progress with 1,2,3 – looking forward to ‘flying’.