Opportunity Aplenty, Readiness Zero
The best opportunities for jobs, careers and growth are often the ones we fail to grab. The two main reasons for that are in the title.
Opportunity doesn’t knock at your door only once. If you probe the Internet and look for the statement’s origins, it’s going to be as vague as the existence of the Loch Ness Monster. Even ChatGPT had no answers.
The exact origin of the phrase "opportunity knocks on your door once" is unclear, but it is commonly attributed* to various authors and speakers throughout history, including Mark Twain, Paulo Coelho, and Anthony Robbins. —ChatGPT
*that’s as vague as it gets.
My belief is simple and quite provable. Today, there exist opportunities aplenty. They’re on every turn in a meandering road. They’re in such an abundance that they not only knock, they barge in at times. However, they’re not always right for you and even if they are, they’re not the ones that help you in the bigger scheme of things.
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Today, it’s about grabbing the right opportunities rather than hoarding all of them because they will burn you out if they’re not exactly what you were looking for. We’ve instilled the notion that every opportunity is good and yes, sometimes, they might be, but how do they fit in your game plan?
If you’re en route to becoming an investment banking guru (your larger goal) and someone comes up to you saying, “I’d hire you for my real estate business without an ounce of thought, you’re that good,” guaranteeing you a commission of over $200,000 a year, would you take it up? It sounds enticing, it may even be better than what you’re currently earning and you might see yourself going nowhere in the investment banking route. Intrusive thoughts start populating your brain. The question, ‘What if?’ starts looming over you while you rethink important life decisions.
That’s when you seriously consider foregoing a long-term game plan for a short-term advantage.
But, if you’re really focused on what you want to achieve i.e. your larger goal, you wouldn’t give up what you already have to become something that you might excel at. Sticking to ONE THING and becoming unbeatable at that, takes time and we might feel like we’re running out of it. We fail to realize that we must be packed with failures to become a success.
Being loaded with options is confusing. There’s so much to look at on the internet, so many people making it big in different fields that switching jobs or goals has become the single biggest reason for mediocrity. We’re victims and culprits of giving up at the wrong time.
And even if we’re steadfast on our path, with an unwavering commitment to excel at whatever it is we want to achieve, we’re not ready when the big opportunity comes by.
Opportunities are like wildcards, they come in different flavors and sizes, making it a bit tricky to spot the ones worth pursuing. Some of these opportunities might be small, yet with a quick payoff, while others are larger and have more long-term benefits.
So, before taking on any opportunities, it's crucial to take a step back and examine your goals and priorities. Ask yourself what you wish to accomplish in both the short and long term. After that, evaluate each opportunity and assess how it aligns with your objectives.
Consider the potential risks, rewards, and any compromises you might need to make. It's also wise to seek advice from trusted mentors or peers who have a wealth of experience in your industry.
Above all, when selecting an opportunity, stay true to your values and beliefs, and pick the path that feels most authentic and fulfilling.
Remember, to prepare yourself for the big opportunities that come your way, keep munching on the smaller opportunities. There's no shortage of opportunities today, but readiness is what's lacking in most people. Don't get caught off guard when the big opportunity presents itself. That's the kind of hurt you don't want to feel.
For instance, a small opportunity might be a chance to attend a networking event in your industry. Although it may seem like a minor occurrence, it could lead to valuable connections, and you might even land a new job or business partnership. Similarly, taking on a small freelance project might help you build your portfolio and gain experience in a new area.
On the other hand, a big opportunity might be an offer to join a prestigious company or organization in your field. Although it might require significant effort and time, it could lead to substantial career advancement and financial rewards.
Regardless, BE READY. Prep, work hard, burn the midnight oil but don’t hesitate when the big dog knocks on the door.
Let’s go back to that first statement.Opportunity doesn’t knock at your door only once.
While that maybe entirely true for the smaller ones, I can’t say with absolute certainty, that it applies to the bigger opportunities too—sometimes, they come only once a lifetime.