One of my favourite quotes is, ‘Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.’ Some opportunities are obvious but in some situations it is more difficult to see the opportunity. Sometimes if you look at a ‘challenge’ from another perspective you will see an opportunity. At other times it is only when you look back you realise a challenging time gave you an opportunity.
What is the definition of ‘opportunity’? The Heinemann Australian Dictionary says, ‘a) a favourable or suitable time. b) a chance’
Somebody in your network offers you a job. That’s easy to identify as an opportunity. It may not be a job you want. There may be disadvantages to it but it is an opportunity nevertheless. Now it is up to you to accept or decline.
You get a sizeable tax return. This can be seen as an opportunity to get some repairs done on the house. You may see the money as the opportunity to go on a holiday or you may decide to put it aside for a rainy day.
Other times opportunities are not so easy to recognise, unless you are in the habit of looking for opportunities or listening carefully for that soft ‘tap, tap’ at the door. A challenging situation may open up a world of possibilities if you let it.
In some situations there is an opportunity, even though it may not look like it at first. In a scenario where someone has lost their job and is having difficulty finding another one there may be an opportunity.
Perhaps this person is now eligible for free training, including how to set up a small business. While the person was employed they felt it was sensible to stay with the safe option. They did not have time to do a course and couldn’t justify the financial outlay to study.
That person now feels they have nothing to lose. They are not throwing away a secure job. They have spare time. There is the opportunity to learn about running a small business. While doing the course the person may make new friends who are a benefit either socially or in their enterprise, or both. The business may be a success and the person gets to fulfil a dream.
On the internet there are numerous affirmations for hearing that knock of opportunity at the door. I also came across this quote from the inspirational writer, H. Jackson Brown, ‘When opportunity knocks, invite it to stay for dinner.’