Opportunity exists all around us. How though, do we know when it is knocking just for us? Then there is the question of where does wishful thinking end and true opportunity begin?
To be honest, I am a fairly risk averse individual. However, I am a vivid dreamer and truly believe in the dreaming, doing, achieving process. So how is someone to know when an opportunity is a good match for their skill set, their place in life, and their future? The key is in the questions you ask of both yourself and the opportunity.
Opportunity Knocking Question #1
Is the opportunity in line with both my short term and long term goals?
Our goals, like an onion, have many layers. The first step in evaluating a potential opportunity is to get clear on our goals. Paper and pencil clear! So set aside 15 - 30 minutes and commit your goals to paper. I find it easiest to start with a long term goal or a helicopter view of the end result I am seeking. From there, narrowing the goals down into shorter time frames will help you to map out a plan.
Before evaluating the opportunity against your goals, take a few minutes to center yourself. Clear your head, take a walk, or just breathe to allow your goals to permeate your being and also to put some separation between your desired outcome and the opportunity.
On a fresh sheet of paper ask yourself if the opportunity is in line with your long term goals. Write as much description as you feel is necessary. Keep an open mind for this journey. Just because you want something doesn't mean it is best for you.
Next ask yourself if the opportunity is in line with each short term goal. Go through them one by one and answer with a simple "yes" or "no". If you feel the need to elaborate for your own clarity, then go ahead but try to keep it to a couple of sentences.
Opportunity Knocking Question #2
Does the opportunity fit within my current lifestyle?
In other words, can I fit all the tasks that will come with the opportunity into my daily calendar? Seldom does growth occur without the need to add or change a daily habit. Be honest with yourself. Can you alter your day to day schedule to allow for this new experience? How much are you willing to sacrifice in order to see this through?
Don't forget about the others in your life and in your household. Can they or are they willing to support this opportunity in terms of time, money, and sacrifice? One person's journey is never solely theirs alone. We are a world of villages and if the opportunity comes with a hefty price tag that will affect the rest of your village, they need to be included in the discussion.
Opportunity Knocking Question #3
Are you as informed as you can be with regards to the opportunity?
With opportunity comes risk. We could waste our time or give up something we love doing. Worse yet, we could spend money like it is going out of style if we do not approach the opportunity with an investigative mindset.
Create a list of questions that you currently do not know the answer to and go about discovering the answers. If the opportunity involves a third party, ask for references and details. Examine all available options in depth for both your own knowledge and your risk reduction.
Don't drag your feet on a decision but just as importantly, don't rush into anything you do not have solid information on either. Any opportunity worth embracing will allow you at the very least, a small amount of time to consider all your options.
One last thing to consider...
If at first you don't jump at an opportunity, don't fret. A solid investment of your time and money will withstand the test of time. If you pass it by at first, don't be surprised if you see it again, a little farther down the road.
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