The Opportunity Deception

As entrepreneurs,  you and I have a built in need to seek out opportunities.

Sometimes we even feel that we have a gift or heightened ability for being able to recognize opportunity.

That is really where the deception begins

If you think back to when you first discovered that entrepreneurial spirit, you probably felt pretty strongly that the real key to success was your ability to recognize opportunity.Deception of Opportunity

Well. If you’re like me, you probably spent A LOT of time recognizing opportunity. Be honest with yourself. How many “million dollar” ideas have you had? A few, I bet.

How many of those million dollar ideas have actually turned into a million dollars? Not so many, if I had to guess.

What is the biggest obstacle or reason they didn’t turn into a million dollars? I’d be willing to bet it’s because you had another million dollar idea that took its place.

The ability to recognize opportunity is certainly not the key to success

We get smarter. We soon discover that in order to be successful we can’t just recognize the opportunity,  we also have to act on opportunity.

Take Action! Right? 

Well, I found myself taking action several times a week in the form of pulling out my credit card to buy the latest whiz-bang-secret-Ninja-loophole easy button secret strategy.

Sound familiar?

Sometimes we think that we are pushing our business forward, towards success, but in reality we are following the next shiny object.

So recognizing opportunity and then taking action on that opportunity a very common trap that we fall into.

So what is the real key to success?

That’s the million dollar question for sure, but  I will tell you that my success, my business and personal life, really changed and began to grow exponentially when I learned how to ignore opportunity.

Yep. Ignore it, stop reacting to it.

That was the real key, at least to MY success – when I discovered the ability to recognize an opportunity but not take action on it or to recognize an opportunity and maybe even tell the person who brought me that opportunity that it was a great idea with a great chance of success but ‘I just don’t have the bandwidth to take it on.’

When I learned how to do that … things started really exploding rapidly.

The fact is, a lot of people can recognize opportunity. How many times  a week do we see that next big ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity come around. More importantly, how many times do we take action on that opportunity at the expense of the previous opportunity?

Think about this for just a minute. How many projects do you have about 80% finished? Right now. How about 90-95% finished?

What would happen if you ignored some seemingly incredible opportunities so you can get that one thing finished?  I would guess from experience that if you can get that one piece of your business finished, really focus on completion… That’s when you’re really going to start seeing growth and rapid success in your business.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts on the Deception of Opportunity and how it can be avoided.

5 Replies to “The Opportunity Deception”

  1. Jack – you hit the nail on the head here.

    I think also, that one of the primary reasons why entrepreneurial people tend to chase opportunity is that people of our ‘nature’ find it easy to allow the rationalization of wanting to get everything “just right”… or sometimes we even seek the ‘Perfect’ value offering – prior to allowing ourselves to move forward towards facing that ultimate challenge – taking our product or service to the market place.

    Also – this is the unquestionable ‘rationalization’ reasoning that is dropped into the brains of people who are afraid to deal with that one day where they have to go out and meet customers and talk to them. This is a fear that is very real – but that few who are caught up in it ever fully realize. Because as long as we have a ‘justifiable’ reason why we can’t go out the door today.. or tomorrow, our brain tells us it’s okay to ‘keep working on making the project become as good as it can’ – and that way the end-customer is going to want what we have.
    But reality conclusively tells us that until we put it in their hands to try out, we haven’t the slightest chance of making a sale.

    So I think it might also be useful – particularly for those reading this thread – to note that Microsoft didn’t keep moving towards ‘perfection’ when they had Windows developed at it’s first level of introduction (Windows286). They took their concept and product to that point of offering a real concrete value to the public. They VASTLY improved the operating environment for computer users from the ancient DOS-based programs some of us can remember.. into the first windows environment. And the rest is history. Even now.. with the emergence of Windows 8, you can be sure they’re not going to quit pushing the envelope for performance. The thought that I think is intrinsically tied to your article is that we also need to identify and curb our inclination to add something else to add on to our offering that would make it better. That can all come another day. Not completing what we’re supposed to be focused on prevents us from income we are entitled to, since (like you said.. ) the act of completing that project that is 80-to-95% complete already, will indeed offer outstanding value to our potential clients. Once that’s done, then we can look at what the best opportunities of the day might be.

    Focusing on the original goal keeps the end game within sight – whereas seeking out new opportunities and ways to improve things only serves to produce multiple new goals — which, in turn, keeps the delivery (and profitability) date well beyond our reach.

    Entrepreneurs need to identify, in the beginning, what our project’s delivery objectives are, and work towards completing THOSE. Deliver that, and then move to the next stage… rather than allowing one’s entire life to become one solitary ongoing project.

    1. Footnote:

      Isn’t it interesting how the word rationalize..
      …can be broken down into ‘rational lies’ !

  2. How many projects right now do I have 90% completed?
    I have a few.

    Memory Panic!
    If I backtrack, I don’t think I finished one completion of one project.
    Everything I tried, ended up as something else or was abandoned.

    Come Hither~~~
    Just before I read your article, I was contemplating another shiny thing put before me. Then I remembered a similar thing that I forgot about from last month.

    How many PDFs I signed up for only to lose them in some folder that I have no interest in any more. To this day, never read.

    You have described me
    I never got to be what I wanted to be when I grew up.
    There was always “this other thing” that interrupted me.

    Right On Jack
    Thanks for the insight,
    Gene Petty

  3. You be Gene. Love seeing it make folks think about what they are actually doing. I think many of us have that library of “gonna get back to this” reports and pdf folder on our computers.

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