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Answering the Door When Opportunity Knocks

“Those who don’t jump will never fly.” – Leena Ahmad Almashat

There’s a knock at the door, and you wonder, who can that be at this hour? You’re not expecting anyone, so you check your camera to see who’s knocking to decide if you should open the door; you aren’t prepared for guests right now.

How many times has an opportunity knocked, and we decided not to answer the door without knowing what good fortune awaits our response on the other side? It may be an email, text or phone call that goes unanswered or deliberately ignored; either way, we may never know for good or bad what we passed on.

Opportunities Passed

James Altucher, a venture capitalist who took a pass on Google early on, was informed by a junior partner of an opportunity to buy 20% of Google for approximately $1 million. Altucher wasn’t interested in another start-up search engine, so his partner tells Google, “The opportunity is too small for us.”Altucher would later say, “I made the worst venture capital decision in history late in 2000.”

As a teenager, being offered an opportunity to run a business, the owner, an elderly gentleman, was getting too old for the physical demands of the daily responsibilities. He offered to train me and teach me how to run the business, in the hopes of leaving it to me when he passes.

The physical labor included inspecting, repairing, and replacing waste tanks for residential occupancies in the rural areas of Pennsylvania, where I lived at the time. I respectfully declined his offer without asking questions or thinking it through.

Some years later, I learned of the elderly gentleman’s passing, and leaving his company to a young man he trained. The young man, still in his twenties, was now worth multi-millions of dollars, …one of the poorest decisions I ever made.

Timing is Everything

“Recognizing an opportunity is important; understanding the timing is priceless.” -JSP

Knowing what to do and how to do it will have you prepared for the opportunity. Knowing when to do something you’re well prepared to do makes all the difference in the world.

Opening a door too soon can stem from being impatient or presumptuous. Opening a door too late can stem from indecision, procrastination, or a lack of information. Forcing a door to open can invite disaster; either way, it’s attempting to walk through a door of opportunity that isn’t opening for you. Mandy Hale says, “Realize that if a door closed, it’s because what was behind it wasn’t meant for you.”

Being Prepared to Answer the Door When Opportunity Knocks

Abraham Lincoln said, “I will prepare, and someday my chance will come.” Here are four questions to ask before opening the door.

1. Is the Opportunity Aligned with Your Values? Always travel roads aligned with your values, compromising your values to take advantage of an opportunity usually ends badly. Lifelong learning travels the path of your values, keep building consistent with your gifting, talents, and values; you’ll be ready to answer the door with confidence.

2. Does it Entail Doing What You Do Best? Being prepared for opportunities begins with knowing who you are and what your life’s purpose is. You should only be opening doors that make room for your gifts and talents that you’ve been improving on and will continue to do so. One of the best indicators of a good opportunity is when it presents itself; it’s in your lane of effectiveness.

3. Does it Motivate and Inspire You? When an opportunity is right for you, almost immediately, your intuition and creativity begin to kick in. If you’ve been learning new skills while perfecting the ones you have, to up your game, your motivation and personality traits will generate all the drive you need to put your new skills to work.

4. Does it Resonate with Numerous Possibilities? Good opportunities awaken the possibilities for greater productivity. Some years ago, I walked through an open door with great uncertainty and a thousand questions, I only “knew” I had to do this, and now was the time, everything about it resonated with me. That opportunity nearly overwhelmed me with information overload, life changing as it was, it continues to provide its momentum, still opening new doors of opportunities with endless possibilities.

“Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can, there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.” – Sarah Caldwell

*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co.***

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