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Opportunity Never "Knocks"

Being that I have a background in sports, a lot of athletes ask me about making it somewhere. Being involved in sports, in a paid or an unpaid position, is a coveted job.

How can I get an opportunity?

I just need somebody to give me a chance.

Please give me a shot.

I just need an opportunity and I’ll handle the rest.

I don't know how it is in your industry, but in team sports, not everyone can have a job. For one person to win, someone else must lose. In many fields, opportunities are scarce.

Or so we think.

Looking for an opportunity.

Finding someone who can put you on.

Angling to get your foot in the door.

All good answers to the question, “how can I get some help with this?”

It's the question that’s faulty.

When a chance is presented to a person, the saying is, “opportunity knocks.” This is inaccurate information.

Here’s the truth: opportunity never knocks.

Opportunity never approaches you; it’s shy in this way. Opportunity walks around, in plain sight and available to anyone, waiting to be approached. For the most part, opportunity minds its own business. It doesn't strike up conversation. It wears dark sunglasses, so you can't tell if it’s looking at you or looking past you. It doesn't give off any signals that make you more comfortable with shooting your shot.

Opportunity bends only to those who are bold enough to approach it and confident enough to be assertive with it.

Then, after that, maybe you'll have something.

Everything out there is an opportunity. At the same time, nothing is an opportunity.

Opportunity is not hiding from you. You don't have to look for opportunity.

It’s always around, always available, waiting for someone, anyone, to take advantage of it. Waiting for someone who’s bold enough and confident enough to try.

Many people are very indecisive by nature; we suffer bouts of severe indecision when indecision is the last thing we need. We feel a need to calculate every possibility before moving.

What if I do this?

What if I do that?

Would that work?

Then we go and poll the audience, just to make sure.

If I do this, do you think it would work?

What do you think will happen if I do things this way?

We don't need this information. It’s our indecision speaking.

All the while we’re calculating and perfecting our “plan,” someone else is building a relationship with the opportunity that would have been ours.

The indecisive person, if they should ever come to a decision, finally does so —only to realize that the opportunity they planned and calculated for no longer exists.

Napoleon Hill wrote one of my favorite books, called The Law Of Success (his lectures from fifty years ago can be found on your streaming music services). One of the leading causes of human failure Hill cited was people’s inability to make decisions and act on them. Another was over-caution.

What if I fail?

What if I do all this work and I still don't make it?

What if I piss someone off?

I consulted with a salesperson once. Asked him why he wasn't making more calls during business hours to sell his services.

They're working during the day; they might be upset because I'm interrupting them at work.  

OK, I said. Call them after business hours, when they're at home.

Well, they might be spending time with their family then.

Call them while they're commuting between home and work.

They're driving; that might be the only quiet time they have in their day.

So, how are you going to sell your goods?

… I’d rather the clients come to me rather than me going to them -- that way, at least, I know they really want what I’m selling.

What a revelation (<— sarcasm).

The above example sounds like silly rationalization, something that you yourself would never do.

But we all do it. All the time.

Many of us spend our whole lives worried about what might go wrong, where we might fail, or how our actions might piss somebody off. We’re good at finding answers to these inquiries, and thusly also good at convincing ourselves to do nothing, to maintain the status quo. The status quo is safe.

But there’s no opportunity in the status quo.

If you're waiting for opportunity, you're already failing.

If you're looking for an opportunity, you've probably been having trouble finding it.

If you are hoping for or asking for an opportunity you're not going to get it.

Opportunity is not given, found, granted. Opportunity is created.

How are things created? By someone's decision to create them.

Your smartphone. Your home. Your job.

Created by someone who decided to do so.

But it’s not that simple, you say.


Here’s the crux of creating opportunity: sometimes you're going to be wrong.

Sometimes it will turn out to not be an opportunity (at least not for you).

You'll create a product that doesn't sell.

Go on a date that's a waste of time and money.

Hire an employee who was a bad choice.

Invest in getting your name out there and receive zero ROI.

This truth of this experience (or the thought of it happening) sends most people back to indecision hell, back to the status quo. And there, they stay.

You must decide on your opportunities. This is my chance.

Go for it. It might work. It might not.

If you want something that’s different from what you currently have, you've got to put yourself out there how I talk about every day: boldly and authentically, then continue to do so even if/when it didn't work the last time.

If you expect to see something, you'll start seeing it everywhere. The question is not if it exists; the question is, what are you going to do when you see it?

Opportunity is what you want. It’s waiting to be approached.

Also See:
Meet The Challenge Audio Course
#1041: There’s MUCH More Opportunity Out There Than You Think
#404: Personal Initiative: 3 Ways To Have it
#309: Don’t Ask For It – Take It


PS - I’m giving a FREE, live event at Books And Books Coral Gables (Miami) on June 22: It Takes More Than Hard Work. I’ll be discussing my book Work On Your Game, autographing any books purchased on-site, taking photos and answering questions in a live Q&A. Register for the free event here.

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