A Dozen ways you can become a luckier Cosmetic Chemist

I played some poker last night and it is always a reminder to me that being lucky is a much bigger factor than anything else in the game.  Sure, good players will win in the long run but during any given game, the lucky person wins.

What does this have to do with cosmetic formulating?  Well, to succeed in business you can develop all the skills you can (and you should work hard at it) but you are still going to need to be lucky.  And while you can’t magically make luck appear, there are some things you can do to improve your chances.

Here are a dozen ways you can improve your chances of getting lucky and coming up with the idea or suggestion that leads to business success.

A dozen ways to get lucky in business

1.  Come up with a lot of ideas.  The best way to ensure that you come up with a lucky idea is to come up with a ton of ideas.  The more you have, the better your chances that one will hit it big.

2.  Do something with your ideas.  Ideas in a notebook or in your head are worthless.  Do some work to move your idea forward.

3.  Ready, fire, aim.  Don’t worry about making the perfect execution of your idea.  Once you get an idea, create a crude prototype and show it off.  You can fix it later.

4.  Read old stuff.  Everyone is reading the latest stuff but there are some great ideas that are sitting in old books forgotten.  Dig up old reading material and see if it inspires some “new” unique idea.

5.  Make friends with odd people.  When you surround yourself with people who are just like you (and who doesn’t) you end up hearing ideas that are just like the ones that you would come up with.  Make friends and interact with people who are vastly different than you.  This will help you develop or discover ideas that you never would have had on your own.

6.  Take up odd, useless hobbies.  You should have some hobby that is completely different than your job.  This opens up a whole new avenue of thought for you and could lead to cross-over ideas.  I’ve got a few odd hobbies, for example I take pictures of the number 44 whenever I see it.  And of course, I’m a  joggler.

7. Fail a lot.  If you’re not creating a lot of formulas that are failing, you’re not being innovative enough.

8.  “Borrow” ideas from anyone.  In truth, the ancients came up with almost any idea that is worth doing.  Everything else is just derivative.  That doesn’t mean derivative ideas can’t be innovative and impressive.  Don’t be afraid to get ideas from people who are younger than you or those that don’t know as much as you.

9.  Ask for ideas.  Sure you might be a prolific idea generator but you can create even more, unique ideas if you ask other people for input.

10. Go to a trade show outside your industry.  The SCC meetings are great but consider going to a Food industry trade show or a knitting expo.  You might find an idea that you would never have found at a cosmetic industry show.

11.  Share everything.  I believe ideas should be free and the more you talk about them, the better they can develop.  Don’t worry if someone steals your idea.  There is no way they are going to have more passion for the idea than you.  And if they do, they deserve to make a success of it more than you do.  Ideas aren’t worth anything.  It’s what you do with the ideas that has value.

12.  Forget moderation when it comes to ideas.  While moderation might be good for living your life, it’s an awful way to come up with lucky ideas.  Go to extremes with your ideas.  Water-free shampoo?  Lotion that lasts 24 days rather than just 24 hours?

There you have it.  While the luckiest people will have the most success in business and innovation, that doesn’t mean you can’t do things to help luck along.

Good luck!

Got any ideas to help improve your chances of getting lucky?  Leave a comment below.

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