Although we all want to win new business, in truth, we are often valuing something very different when it comes to the way we are spending our time. Woody Allen famously said that 80% of success is just showing up. What he really meant was that 80% of success is doing the work, and then “showing up” well prepared, in the right place and ready to pitch to the right people.
“People used to always say to me that they wanted to write a play, they wanted to write a movie, they wanted to write a novel, and the couple of people that did it were 80 percent of the way to having something happen,” Allen has said. “All the others struck out without ever getting that (far). They couldn’t do it, that’s why they don’t accomplish a thing, they don’t DO the thing. Once you do it, you are more than half way towards something good happening.”
He’s right — success starts with commitment and intention.
Something I have noticed in my Persuasive Tender and Proposal Writing Master Class— through which I’ve trained several hundred people — is that the students who are highly committed, keep promises to themselves, and do the work get huge value from the program. Students who lack commitment, or become distracted, don’t end up achieving as much as they could have. Their success has little to do with how smart they are, or what they have to offer. It’s all about how they show up.
Likewise, if you have a growth agenda, and are pursuing new business through formal bids and tenders, don’t get distracted by other things while you’re waiting for the RFT. Successful pursuits are the result of intentional positioning, and being clear about your personal commitment to the outcome. To start with, ask yourself these questions:
- What will it mean for my business if we win, or do not win?
- What do I personally stand to gain from this?
- Have I really committed to this outcome?
- Do I know what it will take, and do I have a clear plan to get there?
- Is there space in my life and calendar?
- Do I have mentors around me who can accelerate my success and keep me accountable?
- Do I have supporters who can help me get the work done?