For those of us that are over 40 years old, I’m sure you don’t have to think too long to remember some sort of opportunity you had that you either missed, didn’t recognize right away, or just plain passed up. Maybe you even blew it a few times on those opportunities that you did see coming and took action on, but…it just didn’t work out for some reason or another.
But sometimes, it happens, where we see something staring at us right in the face and we don’t act on it for some reason. That happened to me back around 2001 where I had someone offer me my dream job and I turned it down. Why? I wanted to be in business for myself. And I can remember hanging up the phone when I turned down that job offer thinking to myself ‘what did I just do?’
I quit my IT job in 2001 that went sour after 4 Company buyouts and the Management was terrible. I was tired of being in that Corporate environment where the culture was ‘just do it or your fired’. I really needed to see what I could make happen for myself in my own business. To make money for myself instead of making it for someone else.
But as we got on in life and hit closer to 50 or 60, it can be easy for us to think that it may be too late to act on that dream, or that offer that someone gave to us about starting a business or to partner up with someone else in their business venture.
And we can sort of have this feeling that that opportunity disappeared forever and there’s no chance of getting it back. It’s too late. We missed out on something really wonderful. And that may be true, but ALL opportunity isn’t lost forever.
Looking for other, possibly better, opportunities is one of the best ways to overcome the regret that comes with missed business chances from the past.
We can look in the mirror and have that sense of loss, or regret. But, everyone has missed opportunities in their lives somewhere, right? It’s not just me…or you, I think everybody deals with this in one way or another
You can’t turn back time, but you can reset the clock.
Yes, that opportunity will only knock once. But, there are many other opportunities lined up to take its place. So if you aren’t ready for that one, just take the next, or the next. And as you take some of those opportunities that present themselves, you expand who you are and as that happens, more opportunities open up that weren’t even available a few years ago.
When you expand and your comfort zone expands, your opportunities grow as you do, they expand because of who you are and you’ll connect with them when you’re ready.
But where does opportunity come from anyway? We can sit around and fantasize on what we think are good ideas and wonder if they should be turned into a business all day long. I had one of those moments just this morning.
I started searching for website domain names to see what was available and then it didn’t take long to see that after a little research and thinking about the idea for a little while, that it wasn’t something that I could have really been passionate about and sink my teeth into. It was just an idea that I had.
So sometimes, ‘opportunity’ is really just our imagination going on a little vacation.
These big opportunities originate from our dreams. Most of the time, it’s own dreams and desires that create opportunity to begin with, so it isn’t likely that you’ll never have another big opportunity again.
So where did this whole idea about opportunity only knocking once come from anyway?
People have been saying this for ages. “Opportunity only knocks once” and it’s this thinking that you only have ONE chance to make it big, or to make the money you’ve dreamed of. If you don’t take this opportunity now, then don’t ever think that you’ll be able to do it in the future.
And for the most part, that can be easy to believe, right? Because we can’t see the future, we can only see the present and the past. But the future is coming. And it comes, everyday, like it or not.
So we do have plenty of chances to make good on past ‘missed opportunities’. Maybe not in the exact same way, but we can work that idea a little differently. And who’s to say that the original idea was better to begin with after all?
It may be that the original missed opportunity set you up for more time to think about it so that you’d have a better chance to succeed when you really do act on it later on.
But the question that’s important to me is “How can I to be ready for the opportunities that come my way?”
Being ‘ready’ is more of a mindset issue, isn’t it? Now you can be financially ready, or spiritually ready, but acting on those situations that come our way is more of our perspective on life and if we’re optimistic about the possibilities for our future.
For someone that looks in the mirror and thinks about the things that are possible, even after passing up on a number of opportunities, that person can and will achieve some great things eventually.
But for someone that looks in the mirror with regret and disappointment, dwelling on the past, that person will have a much harder time to make a better future for themselves.
Now, am I saying that we should take advantage of EVERY opportunity because we have a positive outlook on the future? No. Every opportunity is not a good one. There are many, many bad opportunities that can and will come our way.
It may be possible to tell ahead of time. And that may be either a ‘gut’ feeling or someone telling you to be careful or for some reason, you’re seeing a red flag flying in your head about the situation. If there’s risk involved…and there usually is, what kind of risk is it?
Is it ‘jump off the cliff’ sort of risk where you’re all in or else? Or is it the kind of risk that you can recover from more easily? Hey, we all go through those situations where we try/fail and try again. That’s just normal.
So is it important to take the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that come our way? Well you get to make that decision. This means there is no right or wrong answer. Just make a decision then choose to feel good about it, no matter what your decision is. There may be many reasons why you would turn down an opportunity. Of course, it won’t come again in the same form, but there will always be another and another and another.
Why does it seem that sometimes there are no opportunities? Well, you might be looking in the wrong direction. For example: You’re focusing on looking in only one direction when the opportunity is behind you or beside you.. it’s just not in front of you.
You have a pre-conceived notion of what it will look like when the opportunity arrives. It may be that you have to tweak a certain situation to turn it into an opportunity. Or, it’s just not obvious enough to get your attention.
If you are looking in only one direction, then you are probably over eager. Your expectations are that when something happens in a certain way, then you’ll feel good about it. The solution is to chill and choose to feel good anyway. When you feel good for the sake of just feeling great, then you will be aware of all directions at the same time.
When you have a pre-conceived notion of what the opportunity will look like, then remember to understand that this vision you carry is just for the purpose of feeling good. Unless you are psychic, life doesn’t unfold the way you imagine it. Be open for lots of scenarios from many directions and you will notice when the opportunity arises, no matter from which direction it comes.
You expect opportunity to be big and grand, that’s why, through the centuries it has been documented as happening on a seldom basis. However, often opportunity is insignificant and comes in the form of a meeting or a greeting. Simply from being in the right place at the right time. Opportunities aren’t always grand, monumental or in your face, so make sure you are aligned with source, by feeling good, to ensure you take the next step forward.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Just take heart in knowing that if you don’t notice an opportunity then you weren’t ready for it. You can never, ever miss out on anything that is yours as you created it in the first place. There are never, nor will there ever be, any lack of opportunities for you, ever. They are constantly on their way.
You can still be on track, living a great life and not even noticing opportunities. They may be small and just help you refine your path or your relationship, even your health. It’s merely a pivot point. Not all opportunities are neon lights that turn your life around. Even though, when you look back, most have a changing effect, albeit seemingly insignificant in the beginning.
Opportunities are the crucial stepping stones to get to the next levels in our businesses and lives. And we should always focus on keeping an eye out for opportunities and making the most of them when they arrive. But often opportunities slip by without us even noticing them, and we are not paying attention to what’s causing us to miss them.
1. Wasting time
The quickest and most regular way to miss an opportunity is to waste your time. This could be in the form of spending hours watching TV, partying too hard or procrastinating on social media. Life moves on with or without you, and if you are spending your time on fruitless activities, opportunities are flying past but you probably can’t see them.
2. Mixing with the wrong people
Don’t expect to find open doors and make high-quality connections if you are mixing with the wrong people — both personally and professionally. You are the company you keep. If you spend your time around people who are negative or constantly want to distract you from your big goal, then you are going to not only miss opportunities that come close, but also not find them anywhere in a 100 mile radius.
Choose the people you surround yourself with very carefully. They can make or break you.
3. Not focusing
This is a common problem for the creative entrepreneur. Coming up with a new idea every day sounds exciting, but it will result in opportunities missed. You need to remain focused on your core business or core purpose. Only then will opportunities relevant to that goal come your way. If you are always changing your mind and your focus, you will end up spinning around on the spot and go nowhere, fast.
4. Not taking risks
Opportunities are often disguised as risks. Well, what the world calls risks. It is, in fact, just something out of the ordinary, something that hasn’t been done before. Only when you are willing to break the mold and take a risk will you see more and more opportunities. Now I touched on this in a prior episode about expanding your comfort zone, in episode 41.
A classic reason both men and women miss opportunities is the fear of the unknown, fear of failure and fear of success. What you need to realise is that men feel the same fear — although they also know that if they listen to that fear, they will miss opportunities for ultimate success.
But think about the times when you made the most progress in life and a situation worked out very well and you were able to accomplish something huge. Was fear the reason for your success, or was it the lack of fear? I’m guessing that your biggest accomplishments are based on the lack of fear and confidence in yourself and a positive outlook on life.
Fear will always hold you back. Letting fear stop you, will kill your opportunities and your chances of success and a better life.
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