I don’t pretend to know it all. In fact, I’m probably more aware of my own ignorance than the majority. If you came by my house you would most likely think I spend my days stealing books. At any given time I’ll have about seven on the go. It’s an addiction.
Do I like reading? Not really, as it takes up a huge amount of time. But I HATE not knowing things. It drives me crazy. I take every opportunity I can to calm my anxiety by absorbing whatever information is needed in my life at the time. If I see a void, I fill it.
Success, as they say, is where preparation meets opportunity. I like being mentally prepared just in case.
Opportunity, however, is not as controllable as my ability to prepare for it. It can come at any time, and in an unlimited number of forms which may only exist in my life for a very minuscule amount of time.
It is up to me to quickly be able to recognize what these opportunities may do for me and how I can navigate them. I can either embrace them, ignore them, or slam the door in their face. The latter happened to me this week which is what prompted this post.
Another sunny day, cold calling prospective clients (which I hate…ugh) over… and over… and over. It always seems to be the nicest out when you have the worst work to do. I generally close the blinds in my office so I don’t zone out in the middle of a call while staring at the water glistening down at the beach. As far as I’m concerned there’s twelve feet of snow outside.
Most calls are generally about the same. Some people I call are great and other people are just kinda crabby and preoccupied with whatever they’re doing. I flip a coin, dial the phone, and pray I get the former. Then I ran into a prospect that made me want to crawl into a hole and die… more than once if I could.
I made this call just as I had every other, and before I could even introduce myself I was cut off and reprimanded for even making the phone ring. I got told to call back in three or four weeks and then got hung up on. I almost threw up.
It felt as though this miserable human being had reached through the phone and literally ripped my soul out. I couldn’t even blink (though the quad shot of espresso may have had a little to do with this).
That experience haunted me for hours. When the smoke finally cleared, a calming effect came over me as I realized that I had done nothing to cause this reaction. I also realized that I would definitely not be calling back in three or four weeks. Just not going to happen.
This individual had no idea why I was calling. Not a clue. I could have been calling with a million dollar referral for all he knew. We work in adjacent businesses and that scenario is more than possible.
Whatever he was all worked up about, was it worth a million dollars? Not likely. He slammed that door in opportunity’s face before it could even say hello. Which brings me to the ultimate rule of rules, which is this:
Every situation possesses opportunity… but you must open your eyes and look for it.
Six degrees of separation indicates that anything you want from anybody on the planet is a mere six relationships away. The key word is “relationship”. This is where the opportunities which can fulfill your dreams truly lie dormant.
That regular you’ve been serving at the bar for the past two years could be the brother of the biggest client your struggling little business could ever ask for. But unless you open yourself up to the opportunity and form that relationship, you will continue to struggle.
Everything you want in life will be delivered to you, but it’s up to you to open the right doors in order to get the delivery.