Recently I am meeting more and younger professionals for whom I can give a tip or two, but what worries me most is that many expect opportunities to come their way and are adamant that good thing only happen to “the selected few” either because of their family tree or their alma mater. I have had all the opportunities, which I took while also relying on my gut feelings, I also missed ones either because of something in my selling process or when my overselling went wrong.
I have also had to make my own opportunities, particularly when they were not present and learn from the experience or because my plans sometimes simply did not work.
There are a modest number of things to proud off and nothing was ever given on sale.
I am certain there are many life lessons still to come and that’s why they are lessons and not definite outcomes from one’s life. The best you can do is to take a deep breath, put a smile on your face and keep going. In this article I will share five takes on opportunity and what you should you do when you do or don’t you get it.
Channel your fear into opportunity
As I was a small child I was kind of nerdy and weak, I was never allowed to play team sport and just because the most advanced theatre director in my hometown was my mother’s childhood friend I end up in a drama club to keep me busy. For a brief moment I was even considering study theatre, but artists don’t make money so that idea was scrapped fast.
From this experience I could not call myself a novice public speaker; however for a long time fear conquered my thoughts and for a period fear highly affected the quality of my presentations. However, seeing others having even more difficult in presenting I quickly realized that with some work (by some work I mean 3-5 years) I could actually be good at it. I found fear that is shared by many can be conquered and in doing this I realized that it is possible to create an opportunity out of something others don’t really want to do.
Opportunity to Help Others
Now I am partially lucky to have people in my network, who are helping me to grow, because I am firstly a bit more motivated when it comes to actually exploring different networks and secondly sometime blunt enough to ask for something I need.
On the other hand I also have a natural quality to help others; sometimes it comes as advice; sometimes it comes in a form of good conversation and a listening ear so person could offload their worries. A little bit of motivation can also be an answer, but most of the time it is just positive energy you give another person. If I really can’t find anyone to help me, I will then look for opportunities to stay positive about, i.e. let’s say a new shop front (we humans are social animals and need camp fires to gather around because of our tribal instincts).
Option VS Opportunity
I recently read short article by Bill McDermott where he shares his own experience in waiting for right opportunity and how rewarding it can be when decision is made for the right reasons. Sometimes what seems to be opportunity is just a mere option, and choosing that option won’t necessarily give the desired result. Opportunity is something that comes and you probably know about it. No logical explanation, you would just know. Lately I was having a client meeting with gentleman in his late 60s, out of small talk conversation lead to how his met his partner. What he said was that the moment I saw this young lady, I just knew I had to meet her. From my own experience I can tell that it is very similar feeling then you get the right opportunity.
Your Dreams have to scare you
One summer I spent my time travelling around Ireland by train. The reason I like train travel is that I can read on trains and also while waiting at stations for connections. One idea I got from a session I attended with Chris Howard was to read short and somewhat philosophical book by Paulo Coelho the alchemist. Long story short version is that the main character sets himself a number of goals on his journey. The plan is that these goals do not necessarily succeeded because goals were set high. Achieving higher results would mean that the goals set were average. Often our reality is determined by decisions we have to make; these are sometimes are out of our control and often are down to earth. But dreams on the other hand are ways for us to visualize events as we would want them to be
Persistence, Persistence, Persistence
Do you know why magic lubrication spray is called WD-40? It stands for Water Displacement 40th attempt. If engineers decided to quit on the 39th time, there would be no WD-40; or flight to the moon; sport mavericks; word records or many other inventions. There is a big possibility that opportunities might never come, but failing to continue is worse than failure itself
Wisdom won’t just come miraculously with age; it will also need to come with experience.
I met an ex UL classmate last week, a man in his 50’s who after completing his first year got promoted to a Master’s programme. He was pursuing the same business concept which he had tried previously but this time from a different angle, he admitted that he learned from his mistakes and that he would pursue this venture
We are makers of our own destiny; sometimes we can rely on the help of others and should always ask for help. The worst that we can hear is no. Learning more about myself and my fears helped me to grow; you should too treat it like quality testing of yourself. Once faults are found they can be fixed, or situations which could potentially lead to similar outcomes can be eliminated. Helping others is the best thing one can do, helping friend or talking to others in need can be as rewarding as a €10 charity donation. Sometimes men or women have got to do what they have got to do, but if you learn how to distinguish between options and opportunities, benefits (often long term) can be reaped for years to come. If you dream about doing something, dream so it scares you, half of the million is more than full hundred thousand. Taking a break from the goal is ok, even changing and adjusting the goal is ok, just as long as dreams and ambitions are not squashed.
Thank you for taking the time to read my article, if it’s not the first time you checked my scribbles you see that sometimes my content is meant to be educational and sometimes it is just an expression of thoughts created to entertain or challenge your thinking. Maybe it sounds familiar to your own thoughts and ideas. Please share this article with your network to spread the message or better write something yourself, if something in this article gives you inspiration to make it better.
At the moment I am looking for public speaking opportunities. It can be one of the topics I am passionate about, or we could come up with a topic to suit your event. Full transcript and slides would be submitted for review prior to the event.