One thing I never learned as an English major or as a seminary student was to keep my eyes open for opportunities.
You’d think I’d pick this skill up while studying to be a pastor, but I have a hard head.
Nope. It’s taken five years of pounding my brain with a steady stream of sales, leadership, and, yes, personal growth content to help me realize two things about keeping my eyes open.
- There are opportunities everywhere.
- There are people who could use a hand everywhere.
Usually, the two go hand in hand.
Since I’m currently (through March 1), working through what I’ve called the Dan Miller Challenge, I’ve had to be even more observant… on the lookout for opportunities to act on what I’m reading and listening to which, in turn, keeps me on the lookout for problems to solve, people to serve, and potential to stretch.
If the quality of our life depends on our ability, willingness, and availability to create value for others, then keeping eyes open for opportunities is nearly identical with giving people a hand (and being willing to accept some value in return in the form of money – since we’re talking business and sales).
Opportunities that popped up today
I’m currently in the middle of attending a conference, so I went with the goal of finding new opportunities.
Here are a few that I stumbled upon. Most of the opportunities were seed-planting opportunities, but I wouldn’t have noticed them 6 months ago.
- I met a vendor at the conference whom I thought could benefit from one of my prospect’s products (a software to help mental health professionals who specialize in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). I’d met with this prospect just yesterday, so I approached the vendor and mentioned my prospective client’s software. She immediately recognized the creator’s name and let me in on a secret. My prospect, apparently, is a groundbreaker in the field of behavioral therapy for children with autism spectrum disorders. I never would have known.
- Many of the vendors at the conference are national child-serving organizations. I’ve normally considered those who work solely within my state as potential clients. This time through, I’m considering the possibility of serving these national organizations. Why not?
- I had the opportunity to help encourage a colleague in her sales efforts, uncovering niche opportunities and focuses (at least I was giving it a shot).
Those three items might not seem like a huge deal. But the biggest takeaway for me is the fact that I was being much more intentional than I’ve been in the past.
If I want to 10X my business or if I want to exceed expectations or double revenue in just over 4 months from now, then I must learn how to help and serve more people.
I must be a value creator.
The same goes for you, incidentally. I know this sounds more like a journal entry than a blog post, but you do know that I’m just guinea pigging myself, right?
You, too, should keep your eyes open. Look for opportunities. They’re there. You might not make bags of cash each time, but you’ll be exercising the right muscles.
Let me know what opportunities your ran into today. Leave a note in the comments.
Reading and Listening Today
48 Days Podcast: October 17-Nov 7, 2014
Much of the content above comes from an overflow of power-listening to Dan Miller’s stellar podcast. It’s a special experience listening to 4 or 5 in one day (I had a long commute today). The concepts and Dan’s creative way of viewing opportunities and shedding our self-imposed limitations make for some powerful car time.
Networking Is Not Working: Stop Collecting Business Cards and Start Making Meaningful Connections – Derek Coburn
My approach at this conference is being informed by Coburn’s book. His is a wonderfully fresh approach to networking.
See You at the Top – Zig Ziglar
I’m still making my way through Zig’s book. Today, I got into the chapter around marriage, that if you’re marriage is rough, then everything else will follow suit. My wife thanks you, Mr. Ziglar.