When Opportunity comes to your door, you must raise your hand and say, "Si Por Favor!"
Opportunities are all around us. Some people make billions just knowing how to spot and seize them. There is a reason there are not billions of Billionaires. Not everyone is as keen to this. Many people actually avoid or miss opportunities for a myriad of excuses. The actual reason is Fear.
Have you ever turned down an opportunity for fear of not being good enough, ready enough or (fill-in-the-blank) enough? If so, did you regret it later? Would you have regretted stepping in and failing more than not knowing?
Failure is not the enemy. The "Not-Knowing" is the enemy.
I have jumped into many an adventure with some fear, but in faith, because I just couldn't live with the question, "What if?" As a result, I never really failed. I just learned what I was good at or not, what I liked or didn't like. Along the way, I acquired many skills, life-experience, life-long friends and even a soulmate.
Adventures not taken yield nothing. As Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton put it,
"Oh, you get love for it, you get hate for it. But you get Nothing if you wait for it, wait for it,"
So how do you blast past the waiting game, past the fear, and take flight?
First, you have to get clear on what it is you want. Have a well-defined Vision for yourself, your family, every aspect of your life. Write it down. Make it as descriptive as you can. Include not just what you want to receive, but what you want to contribute. Does your life now look exactly like you envision? If not, what will it take to make it so? If yes, can it be even better? What would that look like? If you don’t know where you are going, you may never arrive.
Second, you have to get clear on your resources and your skills. Write them down. The act of writing takes an intangible thing like an idea and turns it into something visible and real. The more details, the more real.
When listing your skills, don't just think of education, a diploma or certification. Think of the things you have learned along the way. Some things you were taught in doing and some you learned by failing and then figuring it out.
For example, when I first started as a restaurant manager, I had to deal with client upsets as one of the main activities of my job. I was the manager that got called upon most to handle angry guests. I did not have a Hospitality degree like some of my fellow managers. For the most part, I was pretty good at this just based on prior years of experience in the industry. What bartender or server has never had to cut someone off, even a very rich and entitled someone, and gotten an irate verbal smack-down a few times? Eventually you grow a thick skin and you learn to handle all types of people. Still, as a new manager there were those table calls that I did not handle well. They left me feeling totally defeated in the moment. However, I turned those moments of defeat into learning opportunities - learned what to do better next time - and that just added notches to my experience belt. Eventually, I was training emerging managers how to handle the toughest conversations.
The skill – Conflict Resolution. The school – Doing It University.
What have you learned from having to figure things out? If you learned your lessons well, these are now skills you have in your toolbox. Write them down! Then, note how they are applicable in various roles and situations.
Third, Positive Visualization. I know, it sounds hokey, but it works! Just ask some of the top Olympic coaches.
Now that you have a clear vision and you know your strengths and skills, how would you like to see it play out in the movie of your life? If you feel apprehensive, visualize how you would totally rock the opportunity at your door. SEE yourself taking it on, mastering it and then perhaps even stretch your horizon and go beyond - what would be the next step up from there? And the next?
See yourself doing it, winning at it, and feeling the emotions of success, of accomplishment and especially Gratitude - why not? It is totally o.k. to be grateful for gifts yet to come!
Fourth, and often missed - Once you have said, "Si Por Favor!" to your opportunity,
Get Busy Getting Wise.
Read everything you can get your hands on, take online classes, take some workshops, get coaching - do everything you can to continually acquire wisdom and further your knowledge and strengths.
Currently I have seen colleagues hit their heads on the wall of inflexibility. Something like a planetary pandemic changes the way the game is played, and instead of rapidly soaking up everything they can to learn something new in the "new normal", they have dug their heels in and crossed their arms like stubborn children, "I don't know how to do that." What they really are saying is, "I am unwilling to learn a new way." This stubborn stance leads to dead ends.
On the other hand, I have colleagues who have been doing what they do for a very long time and yet have faced the challenge of the unexpected pivot by investing in new certifications, signing up for classes, and taking workshops to learn new methods of doing business. These are the resilient survivors. The constant seekers of wisdom.
In our world, things change and evolve so quickly. The winners constantly work on their skills, their knowledge of the game and their blind spots. What are your blind spots? How can you fill them in? How can you advance what you already know? The best athletes are always working out, getting coached and improving their game.
Seizing opportunity is only part of the journey. Excelling in it and then stretching beyond that horizon is the bigger game. Start by doing the internal work to bust past the self-imposed roadblocks. Work on your wisdom and your confidence so that when opportunity comes to your door, you will raise your hand and say, "Si Por Favor!"
Mitch Savoie Hill
Certified Professional Coach, CEO SavHill Consulting LLC
If you would like help busting past your roadblocks, defining your vision and mapping out the strategy to stretch beyond your horizons, schedule an introductory coaching call with Mitch at www.savhillconsulting.com