Put Your Luck Charm to Work for Your Business

Mysticism is something we scarcely associate with business.  However, I believe that some part of us wants to be optimistic even if it takes ‘something’ to remind us of the magic that is inside us.

I was wearing a pin the other day that was of a gold pig flying over very tall buildings.  A client questioned me about it Hey Angel, what’s that pin all about?” I replied It reminds me that if pigs can fly –so can IIt’s a good luck charm that I use when I have to remind myself to find the power inside me to accomplish whatever I need to accomplish. A two time CEO of successful startups, she replied “I have one of those too.  I wear this multi-colored pearl necklace every time I have to do a pitch to a VC.”

The blue eyed amulet is a very common souvenir that one finds in Turkey.  It however is not unusual to find this in front of stores, buildings and hanging from cars.  Yesterday, visiting with my web designer, I noticed that she too had one of this blue eyed amulets hanging right next to her desk from where she created all her work.  She proudly displayed it as her own ‘good luck’ charm.

As a coach, I often have my clients find a picture or an item that reminds them of something they wish to be reminded about.  It can be a rock that they carry in their pockets that remind them to be firm and assertive, or a fake $1,000.000 bill that reminds them of their financial goals.   There is actually a coaching term for this; it’s called a ‘Structure’.

A structure is something outward that reminds us of what we need to be reminded of -inward.  Now, you might consider this as unscientific.  But in fact, a study was developed by Dr. Gerald Zaltman in 1990 at the Harvard Business School.  As Zaltman described it “A lot goes on in our minds that we’re not aware of. Most of what influences what we say and do occurs below the level of awareness. That’s why we need new techniques: to get at hidden knowledge-to get at what people don’t know they know.”

The technique that evolved from this is sometimes referred to as “Metaphor Elicitation”.  Metaphor Elicitation is used in many businesses like marketing and advertising.  It uses a technique of leveraging pictures to define things that might be difficult for us to explain or verbalize. So if you were testing your logo.  You might show your logo to different people and ask this question:

What thoughts might you have about my business when you see my logo?

You may get responses like:
– I would think that your business might deal with getting people together or that collaboration is a result of the work you do.

– This logo reminds me of a parable about 5 engineers who were sitting at the table that had to figure out a very complicated problem.  Perhaps your business is about working with these engineers.

As you can see – the one logo or visual elicits several different perceptions and stories.

So, if you need to keep being reminded of the story that you wish to tell yourself; either I know I can do it because you see this pig is able to accomplish an impossible feat; or the blue eye wards off all evil clients and brings only the good ones; or the strand of pearls helps me to bring forth those pearls of wisdom I need when I am being drilled by a VC. -then find that item or picture that you need to elicit positive energy or thoughts.

Sir Richard Branson, Founder and President of the Virgin Group shares what he calls is his good luck charm. “Well, my office is my good luck charm. I work from a hammock on a lovely island, and my hammock is where most of my good ideas come from. I really believe in working from home rather than working in the office, so if I have a good luck charm, I’d call it my hammock”. Virgin Group created more than 300 branded companies worldwide ranging from mobile telephony to transportation, travel, financial services, media, music and fitness.

Last Saturday, I got a chance to hear Actress/Humanitarian Whoopi Goldberg at the San Jose Civic Auditorium.  In an interview she was asked on how she made it out from the public housing project in Manhattan compared to the other children that were there with her.  Was it talent? To paraphrase, she replied “No, not talent.  There are many talented people out there.  I believe it was luck!”

What’s your good luck charm?  Or do you believe that luck is part of your formula for success?

angel.rampy@coachangel.com' About Angel Rampy

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