I’ve never really liked the phrase, ‘good luck’.
I get the idea behind it. I also know people say it with the very best intentions. But to me, especially when related to business, it really isn’t particularly useful. That’s because it places things totally outside the person’s control.
My wife speaks, reads and writes in French. When we first met, she taught me a French alternative to good luck: Bon courage! I find bon courage far more relevant and useful than good luck. Especially when it comes to business. And that’s what this brief post is about.
There are a couple of ways to interpret bon courage. One of them is that you want the person to have the strength or courage required for (whatever).
Here’s how bon courage stacks up against good luck:
- Bon courage is internal: You summon the courage.
- Good luck is external: You wait for good luck to appear.
It’s impossible to achieve meaningful success in business, or anything else for that matter, without courage. Courage is required to stand out, when it’s easier to blend in. Courage is required to zig when your competitors zag. Courage is required to launch a new idea, when it feels safer to just do more of the same.
In fact courage is required for every major move we make; renting / buying our first home, falling in love, starting a family, starting a business, etc.
The next time you want a friend to succeed, try wishing them bon courage. If they ask you what you mean, explain it to them.
And next time you notice yourself wishing for better luck, find a way to summon bon courage instead. It really is hard to overstate what you can achieve, when you have a great plan and the courage to see it through.
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