There are going to be hundreds of opportunities knocking on our door, chasing after us, calling our name, and generally trying to get our attention in the coming year. We need to be ready to follow the truly helpful ones, and turn our back on most of them.
Opportunities abound. Just look at the number of infomercials on TV. Each one is an opportunity for us – or so they want us to think. We are supposed to feel that our lives will be better with their product or system and that we will continue to be less well off by ignoring whatever they are claiming to do for us.
They promise to take off weight, add years to our life, make us look better, cook better, entertain more successfully, protect our money, make passive income, and more. They show us how we can roll back the clock on our appearance, increase our bank balance, or eliminate various conditions or limitations we might have.
They are long on what they propose to do for us, but we must be careful. Some really can help us, but most of them intentionally show how easy something seems to be when that really is not the case. Worthwhile opportunities – even if they are not for financial enrichment – take dedication and effort to work.
We have heard from an early age that we should be on the lookout for opportunities to knock at our door and to be ready to embrace them. Otherwise, we might miss out on something really important. That can be true, but what about the times when opportunities may have been at the wrong address and knocked on our door by mistake? Not every opportunity is worthwhile or worth pursuing – it may not be for us at all.
Sometimes we don’t know or can’t tell right away if something is worth pursuing. It may sound great. It may capture our attention. It may get our imagination running wild. Opportunities have a way of doing that initially.
However, there often are little clues or signals that indicate the opportunity isn’t as good for us as it might seem at first.
Someone might call for us to do a proposal for them or a renovation. It seems like a lucrative opportunity – one that will definitely help our cash flow – but it’s outside our business model or comfort level. Against our instinct that this isn’t really something we should be pursuing even though the scope suggests that there could be good money involved, we might invest a couple of days entertaining the idea that we can make it work and that this opportunity was just what we had been waiting to happen. We were so excited about the prospects of this opportunity (and the financial upside) that we dropped our guard and didn’t ask enough questions up front before starting to walk down that path.
The point is this. Not everything that looks or sounds attractive is worth pursuing. We have to evaluate the time it will take, the financial return, how well we might like to do it, and what we might be giving up in terms of other more appropriate business to pursue that particular opportunity. We have to choose wisely.