If a wonderful opportunity came your way today, how prepared would you be?
I was prompted to write about this after speaking with a friend. Amy told me that she had been invited to appear on a national radio show. She’s an architect and the show was a perfect fit for her. As I was about to congratulate her, she explained that she refused the offer.
“I couldn’t do it Jim. I’d be too nervous”.
I’m sure most of us have, at some point, refused an opportunity because it took us a little too far from our comfort zone. I know I have. The thing is, everything is difficult, before it becomes easy. To get to the point where things are easy, we need to push through the difficult part.
The problem with avoiding opportunities like that, is that we fail to give ourselves the experience required, to overcome the fear. We need that experience in order, for example, to become comfortable and confident on radio, TV or public speaking. Then, when an opportunity comes our way we can eagerly snap it up.
Justin Timberlake and 200 million viewers
I’ve literally just watched a recording of Justin Timberlake’s performance at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.
Before he performed, he was asked by the show’s presenter if he knew how many viewers were about to watch his performance. Timberlake replied, “No”. The presenter said, “Around 200 million people”. Timberlake replied, “Ha. That’s cool”. He then got on stage and sang as if he were performing in front of a dozen close friends, rather than almost twice as many TV viewers as the Super Bowl!
It turns out that Justin Timberlake has been performing to millions on TV since he was just 11 years old. So, he pushed through the hard part years ago. Little wonder he’s so comfortable and confident with the TV cameras, the audience at the venue and the thought of millions of viewers tuning in. His performance was fantastic.
When opportunity knocks, be prepared
Opportunities come in different sizes. Smaller opportunities come with very little upside, but they’re usually within our reach. However, the best opportunities almost always require us to stretch. To push ourselves.
Every time we embrace a great, challenging opportunity, we become more prepared for the next one. The more prepared we are, the easier it gets. The more opportunities we accept, the more opportunities we attract.
This sets a cycle in motion that leads us to an increasing number of bigger and better opportunities.