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Are You Missing the Opportunities Available To You?

opportunities available

Do you feel like the number of opportunities being made available to you is starting to dwindle? Does it seem like there are fewer and fewer chances for personal and financial growth because things are contracting all around you?

Is that reality or just your perception?

What if I said that each of us is constantly surrounded by limitless opportunities, but that they often go unrecognized. Do you think that could be true in your case?

What kind of opportunities are you looking for? Do you want to expand your income, find a partner, start a new career, grow your consciousness, or establish some meaningful business or personal contacts? Ask yourself this:

What do opportunities actually look like?

That is an important question to ask, don’t you think? No matter what kinds of opportunities you are looking for, if you can’t identify them, then they are very likely to sneak past you unnoticed. When seeking new opportunities, most people’s search criteria is so narrow in focus that it can essentially blind them to opportunities that are right in front of their face. It’s the old “can’t see the forest for the trees” scenario.

At other times, opportunities might be hidden from plain view, but there are visible clues that we can follow. In cases like this, we need to recognize and follow the clues that will lead us to the opportunities we are seeking.  When looking for gold, miners don’t expect to find it just laying around on the surface of the ground. So how do they know where to look? They search for clues such as favorable rock formations, or deposits of certain metallic ores. When they find the right clues, then they take a closer look.

Uncovering hidden opportunities

Sometimes opportunities are disguised as something else. There’s an old saying that goes like this: “The reason most people fail to recognize opportunity is because it often comes disguised as hard work.”

Whatever the case, if we broaden our parameters a bit, and use a little imagination, we can train ourselves to see opportunities that were previously hidden from our view. Let’s consider where these opportunities are most likely to be found.

People are your greatest source of opportunity!

Regardless of what kind of opportunities you are looking for, there is someone, somewhere, who is in a position to help you. If you have a service to offer, there is someone who needs that service. If you have a product to sell, or an order to fill, It doesn’t matter what that product is or what you need to fill your order, somewhere out there are buyers and sellers that can help you.

The kind of opportunities you are seeking really makes no difference. Whether it is in the realm of products, services, guidance, assistance, or knowledge, your quest will end when you find the right person or group of people. People represent your greatest source of opportunities. Let’s take this concept and drill down a little bit more to make sure we understand how to use this resource.

What kind of questions are you asking?

Obviously, finding the right opportunities requires that we ask the right questions. Asking the right questions will ultimately lead us to the right people. This puts an entirely different spin on our search. Now, instead of looking for opportunities directly, we are looking for people. What kind of people? Well, it all depends on the kind of opportunities we are seeking.

If you are looking for employment, then start by looking for people with businesses that are still thriving in this economy. Don’t start out looking for the exact position that you would like to have, that’s too specific. If your search is too narrow, you may miss out on opportunities for a position that is even better than the one you had in mind. So find the people whose businesses are thriving and look for a way that you can add value to their business. Be creative, and when you come up with a presentable idea, run it by them. Even if they don’t buy into your idea, they are likely to be impressed enough to offer you something else.

Your goal should be to become a viable asset to your employer by adding value to their business. The more valuable you are to them, the more opportunities will open up for you. The same is true for service and support oriented businesses. The more reliable and valuable your service, the faster your business will grow. SunDoc Filings has built a stellar reputation by providing dependable, expedited document filing and retrieval Nationwide.

See yourself as a valuable asset

Your self-image will make a huge difference in the type of opportunities you attract to yourself. If you see yourself as a valuable asset, and you present yourself as such, others will see you that way as well. You never ever want to come across as needy or desperate. This is true whether you are looking for a job, a mate, or a business partner. Self-confidence encourages people to have confidence in you. Opportunities come to those who instill confidence.

It can be difficult to come across with self-confidence when you are in urgent need of new opportunities. For someone who has been out of work for a while, with bills piling up, they may feel desperate. It’s extremely difficult to project the right image while harboring feelings of desperation. This is one of those situations where learning some specific life skills can help to overcome the mentality of scarcity.

Focus on creating opportunities for others

Some of your best opportunities will be born from your desire to create opportunities for others. This has been the driving force of many successful web based businesses. Let’s say that you have written a content rich ebook of incredible value, and you want to share it with as many people as possible. In order to accomplish that, you decide to price it well below the value of its contents. So you have created an opportunity for others to benefit from your hard work very inexpensively. Could you take it a step further?

What if you offered your customers an opportunity to share your book with their friends and earn a 70% commission in the process? Now you have created value and opportunities on two different levels. There is no way to foresee what kind of future opportunities will grow from an arrangement like this. One thing I do know is that this very strategy has launched thousands of successful internet businesses. Creating new opportunities for others attracts even greater opportunities for you.

Always put people ahead of business

It is natural to want to help those that you like and respect. Work at building relationships with people and opportunities will follow. This is the principle behind the success of major social sites like twitter and facebook. It’s about relationships, and relationships are a give-and-take arrangement. Many business opportunities have come from these social sites, but the relationship came first.

The same principles apply to almost every aspect of life. If you are looking for opportunities, focus on establishing relationships and creating value first. Stay open to mutual opportunities and don’t be afraid to be generous. When you look for ways to help others you become a magnet for increased personal opportunities.

So look around, opportunity is knocking – are you willing to open the door and let it in?

Did you discover any hidden opportunities available to you?
Are there untapped resources that came to mind?
The lines are open!

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22 Comments

  1. Jeff December 22, 2008 Reply

    I work with a lot of high-powered salespeople and I can assure you that they focus on relationships. It is how they have built their books of business. It is how they pay the mortgage! Great advice.

    • Jonathan February 17, 2011 Reply

      Thanks Jeff, even in internet marketing they say the money is in the list. In other words, the money (or positive feedback of any kind) is in the people you’ve formed some kind of relationship with.

  2. Joe Wilner February 15, 2011 Reply

    Looking for opportunity is always easier when things are going well and we’re feeling good about ourselves, though learning to see opportunity and stay optimistic when things aren’t going so well is the key to perpetual good fortune. Viewing life through a lens of opportunity is a habit that can be developed. I think a big part of this is focusing on how we can personally add value and recognize that opportunity could be anywhere and come from anyone. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Jonathan February 17, 2011 Reply

      Nicely said Joe. I like to think that creating value attracts opportunity and being selfish repels it.

  3. Priya February 16, 2011 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,

    You’re quite right here. You should always give primary focus to people and then try to enlarge your business area as you can’t succeed in your business without customers/clients.

    • Jonathan February 17, 2011 Reply

      Hi Priya, I feel like the whole internet thing along with social media has helped put relationships and value at the forefront where they belong.

  4. Steve February 16, 2011 Reply

    Jonathan, thanks for the great post regarding opportunity. Such great points: asking the right questions, seeing the value we personally have to offer, and always focusing on value for the other person. I like Chris Brogan as an example of an entrepreneur who gives a ton of value, but is also not afraid to ‘ask for the sale’, since he has laid a foundation of value.

    • Jonathan February 17, 2011 Reply

      Hey Steve, Chris has hit the perfect balance and we can all take a lesson. He gives, but he is not shy about receiving value in return.

  5. The Exception February 16, 2011 Reply

    I posted on this on Wednesday kind of – and I would love your response. You are talking about seeing yourself as a valuable asset – my question is, how do I energize or infuse my résumé to reflect my belief in myself but also my energy and innovation that I can bring to the company?

    • Jonathan February 17, 2011 Reply

      What a great question. I think forward thinking, creative employers appreciate the qualities you mentioned. To bring those qualities out in a résumé will require a certain amount of bold confidence. Perhaps it could be expressed in a sort of mission statement declaring what you feel you can bring to any company that hires you. This kind of initiative will get you noticed and will likely lead to a more in depth interview.

  6. Jo February 22, 2011 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,
    Thanks for this inspiring reminder, particularly when things are not going as we would have liked or we wonder why business is so slow when our competitors are flourishing. It reminds me of the great saying by Francis of Assisi: “… it is in giving that we receive…” Great post, keep it coming and thanks.
    Jo

  7. Jonathan February 22, 2011 Reply

    Hi Jo, that’s a great quote. I have a feeling that you might enjoy another article on the subject of giving called Are You Giving Without Expectation?

  8. Susan February 22, 2011 Reply

    The actual quote from Thomas Edison was, “Opportunity is often missed by people because it is dress in overalls and looks like work.” Ann Landers is quoted saying something similar.

    • Jonathan February 24, 2011 Reply

      Hi Susan, thanks for putting a name on that quote. Even though I didn’t remember the exact wording, those words have stayed with me for many years and greatly influenced my view of work. Edison was an amazing guy!

  9. Sandra Hendricks February 23, 2011 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,

    I do agree that opportunities are disguised as work! Often a string of opportunities is what produces the overall goal.

    • Jonathan February 24, 2011 Reply

      Greetings Sandra, you are so right and yet human nature always seems to be drawn to the quick fix, minimum effort, pie in the sky version of opportunity. Go figure!

  10. Anne July 14, 2012 Reply

    A great post. My best friend and I were talking about this just the other day. We were encouraging each other to pray for God to open our eyes to opportunities. The problem is not lack of success. The problem for a lot of people is not being able to see when the opportunities they’ve been looking for all their lives are right in front of their eyes.

    They’re so accustomed to looking for them packaged in the way they imagined, that they miss them if they look different. Thank you for an encouraging and eye-opening post.

    • Jonathan July 18, 2012 Reply

      Greetings Anne, there are actually certain perception skills we can hone to enhance our ability to see opportunities that others don’t notice. One of the keys, as you mentioned, is to get past or predetermined concept of what opportunity looks like and fully accept the fact that it has many faces and comes in a wide assortment of packages.

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