"Take it as far as it can go" – Seizing the opportunities that come your way
"Opportunities come and go and it depends how far you can take them"
If business is a game of luck, you still need to be willing to roll the dice. It's one thing having the ability to spot a business opportunity, but it's quite another to take action and follow it.
Speaking on The Architects of Business, in partnership with EY Entrepreneur of The Year™, Gillian Maxwell and Niall Stringer spoke to host Patrick Haughey about grabbing life's opportunities. As the power couple who brought the popular Tiger stores to Ireland, they both share a willingness to grab them with both hands.
In Niall's own words, he said that while not every idea will come to fruition, you still need to see it the whole way through:
"Opportunities come and go and it depends how far you can take them and it’s really to follow it up. Some will die, some will end that you won’t be able to do a deal, you won’t be able to come to a conclusion, a satisfactory conclusion but you’ve got to take it as far as it can go."
"In the end it was done over lunch"
For any business partnership to work, there needs to be at least some level of synergy between both parties. Seeing as Niall and Gillian are husband and wife as well as business partners, they were always likely to be even more aligned than most.
Speaking about that initial stage where they had to take a leap of faith, Gillian said neither of them had any doubts over what needed doing:
"You hear so many entrepreneurs say 'Get on the plane.' You know, just go and do it.
"And I think the second thing is - we were lucky. We saw this brand, we liked it, we met with the team, they were interested in us. Niall said that Leonard was the last piece of the puzzle. And you know that expression, the Thomas Jefferson quote, 'I’m lucky but the harder I work the luckier I am.'"
Now looking to bring the same success they found in Ireland to the US, the 2016 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Finalists are still following through with their ideas. Having the experience they gained in Ireland will no doubt help them on their trip Stateside, and learning from their approach will help anyone else looking to grab whatever opportunities may come their way.
It often comes down to one make-or-break moment where everything comes together. As Gillian said herself:
"You’ve got to work for it. So we cleared the schedule. Niall went. We’d a pitch. We had expansion plans. We had all this sort of stuff and in the end it was done over lunch.
"Do the work. Work hard and make sure you’re ready to grab it with both hands."