"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity"
- Albert Einstein
Open your eyes, open your ears, opportunity is all around us.
Often times we just don't recognize an opportunity because we are
too focused on the doors that have closed so we can't see when a new
one has opened.
We all know hindsight is 20/20 but if you dwell on the
opportunities that got away you will be blinded to the new ones that
occur tomorrow. Sometimes you just can't think too clearly to
recognize a good opportunity when it's right in front of you. This
doesn't mean to jump at everything that seems like a good idea at
the time. However, sometimes you have to be willing to take a risk.
My friend Jessica had been searching for a job for many
months. She was looking for the perfect fit. The one that had the
perfect pay, perfect benefits package, perfect hours, perfect
duties. Each job she was offered had some of the perfect attributes
but none had all the requirements she was seeking. So she passed up
each and every offer. After awhile her savings were dwindling
rapidly. However, she still didn't want to just take any job offer.
I ran into Jessica at the bookstore the other day. I asked
her how her job search was going. She told me she had accepted a job
offer and was actually extremely excited. I asked her if her new job
met all her criteria for the perfect job. Jessica explained to me
that she had changed her attitude about what that perfect job would
look like. She finally accepted a job that offered her the best
opportunity to open doors that would expose her to the perfect job
in the future...not perfect right this second.
Jessica realized that as one door opens and we walk through
it you meet new people, learn new skills and as a result you are
exposed to new opportunities.
"Success doesn't come to you, you go to it"
- Marva Collins
Once in awhile you look at an opportunity and think, this is
a good opportunity. Only to find out later that you made a mistake.
We are all human and we all make mistakes. The important thing to
remember is to get out of the situation as quickly as possible and
keep looking for new opportunities. Don't let one bad error in
judgment cloud all future decisions.
My family has owned a business for many years. We have had
four generations of family members participate in the daily
activities of the business from time to time. During a particular
turbulent summer storm season our facility was totally destroyed by
a tornado followed by hurricane rains the very next day. Rather than
close our business we decided to remain open. We hired a retired
industry executive to become our consultant. The consultant was
hired to help us develop new markets and grow the business.
During this consulting period it became evident that the
consultant was not carrying out his job duties according to our
instructions. In fact, the consultant had a hidden agenda and had
not been totally honest with us. We had to fire the consultant but
the consultant was in a position to cause serious damage to our
firm. This consultant made it clear he has going to attempt to cause
serious hardships to our staff and family.
Knowing it had been my decision to hire the consultant in the
first place, I blamed myself for the failure of hiring correctly and
causing unnecessary hardship to my family.
This failed attempt to retain an honorable consultant could have
caused me to shut my eyes to all other opportunities that would
arise. Rather than become defeated I found an international program
from our Chamber of Commerce called Athena Powerlink. This was a
prestigious mentorship program that you apply to become selected. We
were selected as a recipient. We were assigned 8 volunteer
consultants that were to be our advisors for the next year. Their
entire agenda was to help us become a stronger company by teaching
us whatever skills we needed to thrive.
Now, instead of one paid consultant that did not help us achieve our
goals we were assigned eight non paid, multi- industry advisors that
were incredible and generous of their time.
The first experience with an advisor was a miserable failure
but because of that failure we actually had a far more reaching
success. We did not turn our backs to the possibility of finding a
better opportunity. Keeping my options open and continuing to look
for an opportunity to grow the company led us to growing it into a
healthier and stronger business. We all know two head are better
than one and we had eight!
Difficult times will arise. They may be about a career or
lack of finances or perhaps you are going through a rough
relationship. There are many things that can go wrong in life. You
have to maintain a positive attitude. Staying positive will help you
recognize a new opportunity when it appears. Write out all the pros
and cons and determine if this is the right time and opportunity for
you. You may stumble a little but get back up and keep moving.
Should you determine you made a mistake get out of the situation
quickly. Quick equals less pain. Last, sometimes you must take a
leap of faith and risk it in order to gain the most.
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