When Opportunity Knocks Will You Recognize It?


You’ve probably heard the term Opportunity Knocks.

This is a compelling statement because it implies that opportunities will show up at your door, knock, and you will graciously let them in.

I suppose for a few people life might throw itself in your face in this regard, however, for the majority of the population this just isn’t the case. Opportunities can and do present themselves, but not without some groundwork, planning, and good old fashioned hard work.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. ~Thomas A. Edison

Let’s say for instance that you are trying to get a new job or find some new clients: you’re out there pounding that pavement, posting on social media, networking your tail off…how will you recognize opportunity when you see it? And more importantly, how will you determine if it’s the right opportunity for you?

Will bells and whistles go off? Probably not.

Will Morgan Freeman suddenly start narrating your life? I doubt it. So, let’s go over a few realistic approaches for recognizing a good opportunity when it does knock!

First of all…keep it real.

In other words, your life is not a Hollywood movie where the plot turns and suddenly all is right with the world, leading you to a perfect happy ending (though that would be cool). Sorry to burst the bubble. But, it’s the truth. Chances are when an opportunity arrives, it will not be perfect. There will probably be lots of hurdles and a ton of obstacles throughout the process.

The key thing to remember is: will this opportunity lead you in the direction you want your life to go, without compromising your integrity, your morals or at the expense of those that mean the most to you? It can be a diamond in the rough, you just have to be willing to give it a good polish!

Secondly, take a good long look at all the facets of the opportunity.

Is it relevant and true to who you really are? Is it part of your vision? Does it speak to you and make you feel energized? These are all great clues as to whether or not this opportunity will drive you to succeed, because trust me, there will be times when you feel self doubt, or wonder why on earth you decided this was a good idea in the first place. However, if you remember the excitement and vision you had at the start of your journey, it won’t be as difficult to pull up your socks and keep moving towards your goals.

Thirdly, recognize that previous failures don’t necessarily make this opportunity a bad one.

Great ideas are more often than not an evolutionary process, sometimes attempted and failed many times before becoming a success. Remember what Thomas Edison said about the lightbulb…“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” All failure is just opportunity in disguise; in other words, there is no such thing as a true failure.

Ultimately, when it comes to opportunity and recognizing when it’s knocking, it’s important to stay open…because when it truly does come to knock, you don’t want to ignore it or slam the door in its face before hearing what it has to say.

You can always walk away from an opportunity if it isn’t the right fit for you at this time, but you can only do that if you invite it in for a coffee and a chat first. Otherwise, you’ll never know if it was right for you or not.

About the Author

Heather WIlsonHeather E. Wilson is the founder and CEO of The Canadian Coach, a directory and membership platform designed to unite, support and promote Canadian coaches. She's a successful business coach, speaker, author (Your Life According to You!), warrior, change-maker, risk-taker, and adventurer all rolled into one dynamic package.