Does opportunity only knock once?

I think it was my grandmother who first told me that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. I was going to her church for Easter Sunday, and, of course, I had to look my best. I was representing my family, I was showing up for God, and (probably most important to Grandma) her reputation was at stake.

It only made sense to put my best foot forward. I had to be well dressed, well groomed, AND well behaved. No pressure.

Then, maybe a year or two later, I heard it again, in a shampoo commercial.

So it's no wonder that those words strike fear into the hearts of many creative entrepreneurs when they attempt to bring their Great Work into the world (especially for the first time).  One wrong move, one slip, and it's all down the tubes. Everything's over. Cash it in. We're done. Between that sentiment and the old saw about opportunity only knocking once, it feels like the stakes are incredibly high.

But are they really?

Is Eminem right about opportunity?

Do you really only get "one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted, in one moment"?

Well, yes and no. Mostly no. Sir Richard Branson says that "opportunities are like buses; there's always another one coming." But there are things you can do to prepare yourself for the moments when opportunity comes a knock-knock-knockin' on your door. This week's episode explains.

How to be ready for your next opportunity

Here's the "quick and dirty" summary from this week's episode:

  1. Say no to distractions - whether they are time distractions like email and social media, or commitments that pull your focus from what really matters, offloading those distractions ASAP will go a long way toward opportunity readiness.
  2. Have a clear end goal - saying "no" by itself will just feel like depravation. What are you trying to move toward? Make sure that when you're saying "no" it gives you spaciousness to be able to say "yes" to what really matters.
    Remember: The best opportunities aren't always about fame & fortune. It's the ones that move you closer to your ultimate goal. (Tweet this)
  3. Practice and hone your craft - Seems obvious, I know, but so many people reach a level of competence and then just assume they can "wing it" when opportunity comes knocking. Actors do "pick up" rehearsals between performances to maintain momentum and stay fresh. Musicians do "sound checks". There's always an opportunity to rehearse or practice some element of your craft. Deliberate practice pays dividends.

Where's your next opportunity?

Mike Michalowicz, a friend and author of the book Surge, explains that surfers can't ride every wave. They have to be able to get in front of it and be ready to stand up and ride. If the wave is too far away (or even too close up), they can't get in a good position to get up and ride. And if they chase every wave, they'd spend all day paddling and never get the chance to hang ten.

Waves are plentiful, so it's less about hitting every wave (or even finding the perfect wave), and more about being selective in the opportunities you take so that you can spend less time paddling and more time riding. Will you wipe out sometimes? Sure. But that's part of what keeps everyone from surfing: you have to be willing to wipe out a few times in order to catch the big wave.

How are you preparing for when opportunity knocks?

What do you need to say "no" to, so that you can say "yes" to what really matters? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments and be part of our Rising Tide.

If you need support, encouragement, and help bringing your vision to the world and preparing for your next opportunity, Accountability Club is now open for enrollment. Only a few seats remain, and I'd love to see you inside this community of doers. Our next training call is Feb 25!


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