Deb Sofield

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Opportunity is Everywhere

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Opportunity is everywhere if you know where to look….

Funny thing about opportunity, it seems to follow other people and not those who seem to need it…or does it? I have been pondering that thought for some time now.

  • Why does it seem that some people just seem to luck into the best jobs, the best relationships, the best opportunities more than others?
  • Or, do those who come across opportunity seize hold of it and make more out of it, so it seems effortless and looks as if they tend to win over and over in life?

I don’t know what the answer is for you, but I do know this, the old saying is right—the harder I work, the luckier I get, because as Louis Pasteur is famous for saying, “Chance favors a prepared mind.”

Ah, friends, are you prepared for success? If you’ll remember my thought from last week, for the month of April we are going to focus on saying, yes, to any opportunity that comes along, however big or small.

Why? Because so many people today are watching life pass them by and they’re not actively engaging in the opportunities that present themselves every minute, every hour, every day. And every day you’re losing all 1,440 minutes that you could have used to begin the change for the opportunity that you say you’ve been waiting for.

The reason I say, “you’ve been waiting for,” is because I hear it all the time. Ah, Deb, I’m just waiting for the right offer; Deb, I’m waiting for the right time in my life; Deb, I’m waiting for the person. In other words, we’re comfortable waiting, and not so comfortable doing, because doing takes work. Now I know that many of you are not afraid of hard work, in fact, you’re where you are today because you worked hard and have achieved great things, so for those who get it and have done well, congratulations! Now, what is the next step?

I’m thrilled that you’ve beat the odds and are doing so well, and I want to encourage you to keep going, keep moving, keep working smarter (not harder) because you’re on the right path for success. I think that is great and should be celebrated.

For years, when I went to a weight-lifting gym, we didn’t spend hours on repetition of the same weight, no. My trainer would push me to do the 10 lifts and then add another 5 pounds to each lift until I could not lift it at all, or he’d have me do a half-lift with a lot of moaning and groaning. Then we’d stop and refresh and try again. Three times was the magic number, and then we’d move on to another skill.

Over time I was lifting more and heavier weight, moving to the next level, not content to stay stagnant and keep doing repetitions. Frankly, once you can lift 100 pounds 10, 20, 30 times, you’ve evened out, so, now, to be stronger you’ve got keep pushing to the next level. That is such a great reminder for those who are looking, seeking, working for more opportunity, because what we have today will get stagnant, and we need to push through for the next breakthrough, and that is when we win. Sometimes we win big, sometimes we win small, but we’re always moving forward and not settling for where we are.

I talk a lot about opportunity because I want to remind you that it is everywhere, if you’ll just look. Don’t think it is all complete—there is still much work left to be done—there are still more mountains to climb, so to speak. You just need to figure out what mountain has your name on it, and get going, because opportunity is everywhere if you know where to look.

I was really happy when I posted the quote from Sir Richard Branson,

 If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!

 So many people wrote in and said that was how they found their job, or how they (years ago) decided how to live their life or some even wrote in to say thanks for the reminder that you don’t have to know it all to do it all, you just need to have faith in yourself and your abilities and get moving in the direction of your dreams.

I have found through life that, if you will enhance the skills and knowledge you already have, finding opportunity to use your gifts will be overflowing for you.

My friend Phil gave me a book a while back called Strength Finder 2.0 , and in it I came across the equation of

“Talent x Investment = Strength”

  • Talent (a natural way of thinking, feeling or behaving)
  • Investment (time spent practicing, developing your skills and building your knowledge base)
  • Strength (the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance)

What a perfect way to describe your opportunity for success! The key is not to go and constantly work to learn something completely new, but to use what you have and then build on that for success. Another quote in the book I like is this, “Far too many people spend a lifetime headed in the wrong direction.  They go not only from the cradle to the cubicle, but then to the casket, without uncovering their greatest talents and potential.”

Ah friend for your success we need to uncover your greatest talent and potential and, believe it or not, it’s easy to do, because it is what you’re doing right now. We just need to kick up to the power of 10 so you’ll be recognized for your work and ideas and ability to get things done…because opportunity is everywhere.

If you’re like me, the trouble comes in the waiting. I don’t like to wait—I want to jump in and get going. As I found out the hard way, that is not always the best idea—the weight bar will be too heavy and cause strain on my poor weak muscles, the workload that seemed easy is now overwhelming if I don’t take it in bite sized pieces and the sheer force of competition is too strong, if I am not prepared for the fight. You and I have the talent (for many of us it is natural), now we have to make sure that we are prepared with the investment we have. Or, do we need to do a bit more refining so we’ll be able to have the full-on force of strength that is needed to accomplish the task?

Let’s be smart about our options for success. There is no need to waste any of our 1,440 minutes today not doing our best to the best of our ability. We’ll take our Talent X Investment to equal our Strength for the long-term, because that is where wealth is made, where true lifelong friendship is made and where we can map out a plan for success in a timeframe that meets our needs.

I also want to remind you (and me) that we don’t need to bemoan or be sad when a door of opportunity seems to close. There will always be another door. Always, and, like Alexander Graham Bell once said, “When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

Opportunity is everywhere if you know where to look…and staring down a closed door is not getting you where you need to go…so move on. I’m all for rattling the door handle and pushing against the door, but if it is locked shut and closed tight I have to assume there is a reason, and being a person of faith I will just have to trust that God knows what door I need to open and walk through without my breaking down a perfectly good closed door that was closed for my higher purpose.

I want to add one more thought for today. I see many people who spend years and years building talent thinking they need just a little bit more, when in reality what they need to do is believe enough in themselves to make the bold move that is needed.

I see this a lot in the world of politics. Someone wants to run for office (and they would be great), but they say, I need to take a class on budgets, or I should go to this campaign school or that party-sanctioned program to learn more. And what happens is that they aim, aim, aim and never shoot, and then when they feel that they really are ready (in their mind), the opportunity has passed. Not saying you can’t try again, but the optimum time has now passed you by, and you’ll be playing catch-up, when you could have won the seat, the race, the job, the prize had you just trusted in your ability.

Sometimes there is never a right time, according to your peeps, pundits and pollsters but I have found that the right time is when you’re ready or almost ready—that is the time you can take the plunge and not worry. I have no doubt that, when you feel like your falling, that is when you’ll find your wings to fly.

The quote from Erin Hanson comes to mind. She says,

“What if I fall? Oh, but darling, what if you fly?”

 Opportunity is everywhere. Ah, friend, let’s fly!

Deb Sofield

Deb Sofield is a Keynote Speaker, Author of the book, Speak without Fear – Rock Star Presentation Skills to get People to Hear What You Say and Encouragement For Your Life ~ Tough Love Memos to Help You Fight Your Battles and Change the World, Radio Talk Show Host in the Salem Network, Podcaster and President of her own Executive Speech Coaching Co., which trains women and men for success in speaking, crisis communications, presentation skills, media and message development in the U.S. and abroad.

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