You’ve most likely heard the term ‘Carpe Diem’ – Seize the day. But, do you? Do you look for opportunities with your business? Do you find that glimmer of sunlight in an otherwise grey day? Let me explain further.

We’re told from a very early age that opportunities are everywhere. It’s up to you to identify and exploit them. I use the word exploit as that’s how you really need to see an opportunity. What do you get out of it? An opportunity is supposed to benefit you, be a gain. It’s a challenge though if you don’t see opportunities in that way, but they are there, waving their arms in front of you shouting ‘look at me’! How you approach the opportunity is key.

You need to develop an opportunistic mindset.

According to Sicinski, there are certain indispensable qualities that separate a successful person from others who struggle to take advantage of the opportunities that life throws their way. The following list was taken from Sicinski’s blog

  • Curiosity: Opportunity desires a curious mind that is always asking deeper and more insightful questions.
  • Generosity: Opportunity desires a generous heart that is willing to give opportunities to others.
  • Perseverance: Opportunity desires someone who has determination, who will keep persisting and persevering despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that stand in their way.
  • Confidence: Opportunity desires a confident demeanor — someone who never doubts their skills, strength, resources and abilities.
  • Optimism: Opportunity desires an optimistic attitude that doesn’t waver off-course if things don’t go as expected.
  • Playfulness: Opportunity desires a light-hearted approach that is willing to be a little creative; willing to think outside the box, and willing to break conventional rules.
  • Responsibility: Opportunity desires someone who is fully committed and responsible for their decisions, behavior and actions; someone who doesn’t make excuses or throw blame on others.
  • Hindsight: Opportunity desires someone with hindsight who can see beyond this fleeting moment into the future. This “someone” understands that what might look like a problem now, might actually be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
  • Gratitude: Opportunity desires a grateful spirit that is thankful for anything that life throws its way, no matter how dark or grim it might seem on the surface.

You must embrace the ‘people person’ approach.

People are the key to success in business – they need to get to know you, like you and ultimately trust you in order for you to be considered for their business. Getting a foot in the door is a success in itself, but then what you do is up to you. Your opportunities come from how you interpret people’s wants and needs, and you need to do this daily. It is the value you can bring to someone and how you interpret those opportunities.

You must get past obstacles – real or imagined.

Opportunities arise when obstacles are bypassed. You may not realise you are placing obstacles in front of you. Many are imagined and are perceived that stop you from proceeding with an opportunity. Some may be real obstacles that are foreseen or unforeseen, depending on the situation, but these can be turned into opportunities with a little initiative.

So, how do you capture opportunities?

The main point is be willing to accept an opportunity as it comes. Have you ever not followed an opportunity then kicked yourself? We all do from time to time. It’s our perception of choice that could make us miss opportunities.

Sometimes you don’t realise an opportunity has come until it has gone. Do you write your thoughts down? Do you give yourself time to think about your plans and direction? By having your thoughts clear you may see opportunities you’d not thought about previously.

Expand your reach. The more people you talk to, the more opportunities that may present themselves. It’s challenging to do, and it may be very uncomfortable to start, but with practice, persistence and positivity you will broaden your scope for new opportunities.

Fear is your enemy. Fear is the block that stops opportunities from happening. Fear creates obstacles – do not give into fear! If you’re afraid of an opportunity, talk it through and write it down.

I leave you with these few quotes for inspiration:

“If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade.” Tom Peters

“Decide what you want, and then act as if it were impossible to fail.” Brian Tracy

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Winston S. Churchill

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” Milton Berle

“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.” Bobby Unser