A couple of months ago, I was talking to a squash player named Karen for an hour or more about her life. I know what you’re thinking, me talking to someone – strange and unusual behaviour.
After talking to Karen that evening, I was completely inspired by the stories she was telling me about her childhood and what she has done in her lifetime. Originally from the Solomon Islands, she was an orphan, became the United Nations representative for the Solomon Islands, moved to Australia, started a law firm, later in life became a lawyer, has an amazing array of commercial and residential property to her name and much more.
With all of the incredible things she has done in her life and amazing success, I asked her if she thought she could do it all over again if given the opportunity and her answer was no.
Puzzled by that response, given the success she has achieved in her life, I asked her why and she felt it wasn’t possible as a lot of her success has come from opportunities and good fortune. Karen said that in her life, every time an opportunity has presented itself – she has gone after it with full force, never leaving anything on the table.
That got me thinking more about my life and the opportunities that I’ve never acted on. I’ve been asked to speak at Australia’s biggest internet marketing conference twice and never done anything about, have been asked to apply for jobs with two separate international airlines, a large Australian based retailer, internet marketing agencies and each time I’ve never done anything about it.
In hindsight, I think I wasn’t acting on it because I was happy in my job at Mantra Group and probably scared about the prospect of change. I’d been at Mantra Group for more than seven years by the time the above started happening regularly and the prospect of leaving a great employer and a familiar work place behind was daunting.
After speaking with Karen, I said to myself that if another opportunity presented itself, that I was going to do something about it – whatever that something might be. This seemingly small change has already lead me to speak at my first conference on search engine marketing and more recently apply for a new job.
Opportunity is about a particular set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something. Opportunity without action or participation is an opportunity gone begging which might not present itself again in the same format or at all.
Take them when you can.