Becoming An Opportunity Seeker
What amazing opportunities we are all blessed with in this day and age. If we want to do something, then in most cases we can. If we want to travel the world, then it is far more accessible today than it was in our parent’s time. If we want to start up a business and follow our dreams, then we can. There are very few things that we cannot do if we are willing to believe and act.
Twenty-five years ago, when I first commenced Proteus Leadership there was no internet, no mobile phones and connecting to the world the way we do now was just a fairy tale.
We would send all of our marketing materials out by facsimile machine and print our flyers on coloured paper from the stationery store. We would sit around a table and put stamps on to thousands of envelopes and then cart them to the Post Office and wait for most of them to be returned because people and businesses had changed their addresses.
Please keep in mind, this was less than twenty years ago.
I have to admit that I love technology and our ability to connect, but there is a little part of me that misses the thrill of working hard to make something happen and actually have that human interaction that is so important to creating great teams and productive cultures.
Not a day goes by that I am not grateful for the fact that I have had the privilege to create Proteus Leadership and have experienced literally thousands of leaders’ lives be enhanced because of what we do.
But I am equally motivated about the possibility of creating new initiatives and that my spirit of discovery is more active than it has ever been.
Over a period of twelve months I meet literally thousands of Australian leaders. Many inspire me and teach me new things, but many simply make me sad.
Where has their spark gone? Where is that spirit of discovery gone? Why have they become so critical and negative and believe that everyone else was put on earth to pander to them? Do you know someone like this?
They used to make me angry until I realised how much I was allowing their negativity to impact me. Now I am just sad for them. Not because they are a hopeless cause, but because they have blocked their minds off to what could be.
You see, opportunities come knocking at our door every day of our life, but if we don’t open the door and invite them in then they simply move on to someone who will.
Just imagine how many opportunities we have missed out on in our life time. Maybe one of them could have changed the world or had a major impact on the lives of those around you.
The fact is that those opportunities have moved on. However, that does not mean that we cannot open the door to the next one. The problem is that unless we have our eyes wide open and have a mindset that wants to take something and make it better and see changed behaviours, then we probably won’t even know that the opportunity has arrived.
Becoming an Opportunity Seeker
So how do we start the process of becoming an opportunity seeker?
1.Adopt a parent mentality
When an opportunity is put in your path and you accept the responsibility to bring it to life then your life as a parent begins. Just like a small child needs to fed, educated and loved, so does our opportunity. We must take it on board believing that no-one else in the world could do as good a job as you bringing it to fruition. It was designed especially for you to foster and care for and be instrumental in its growth. So, give yourself a break, you were meant to do this. What a privilege!
2. Reflect on what you have already achieved
When was the last time you stopped and reflected on the amazing things that you have achieved in your life – the things that you are really proud of. This is where your confidence will come from.
3. Make time in your day to let your mind loose
Did you know that even when you retreat to think that the majority of our thoughts are on what has gone wrong and what we need to fix. People only ever see real success in their lives when they recognise the importance of scheduling thinking time into each day. Time where we allow our minds to do their own brainstorming activities. If you can’t do this then you limit the possibilities and scope of the opportunity that is now in your charge.
4. Make a decision – even if it’s wrong
Once we have given our minds the time to play and discover then we must make decisions otherwise we have great ideas that will go nowhere. Your first decision will usually not be the right decision, but it will be the foundation that brings other decisions into play.
So, you made a mistake! So what! Get up and learn from it. Your opportunity is relying on you.
5. Take the first step – be brave
The fact is that realised opportunity only occurs when we are prepared to take the first step. Therein lies the problem for most people. The opportunity came to you because it did not have the ability to act on its own behalf – so, over to you!
This is the point where reality sets in and your opportunity will determine how serious you are and if it wants new parents or not. If you do not act, then it will move on to someone else who will.
This is why so many people have lives that are filled with unfulfilled dreams;
they just couldn’t bring themselves
to act. Then they get all upset when they see their idea rolled out by someone else.
The first step is the hardest but if you take it then a whole new world opens up for you.
6. Create Habits
For anything to truly change it must become a part of who we are. In other words, it must become something we do automatically – a habit. The only way that habits are formed is to do the thing over and over again. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, get up and go again, because if you are looking for shortcuts to success you won’t find them. Success simply comes from developing our mind and working hard.
Now stop for a minute – look at what you have already achieved and celebrate because if you are looking for a final result before you celebrate then it will never happen. That is the whole concept behind opportunities, open one door and it will lead you to another door. It is a never-ending discovery tour but as we take it we experience so much growth, not just in the opportunity but also within ourselves.
Now repeat steps 1-7.
So, what will you do? Lament the opportunities that have moved on to someone else, or will you create the necessary patterns to ensure that what happens in the future is full of opportunities and results?
There is no greater thrill than opening the door to an opportunity, bringing it to life and then watching the positive impact that it has on others.
This is when we truly begin to understand our purpose and what we were put here to do.
Become an opportunity seeker because the alternative is not very attractive!
Des Penny – CEO and Founder
Proteus Enterprises Pty Ltd
Proteus Leadership is one of Australia’s premier leadership training and development companies. Proteus Leadership provides leadership courses and management training to a range of industries and assists organisations to build positive workplace cultures, implement change and Create Great Leaders. Proteus also facilitates a range of world-class management courses, workshops, conferences and events across Australia and beyond with the sole purpose of bringing leaders together to connect and grow.
“Our core purpose is to Create Great Leaders that will in turn build Great companies and develop Great teams.”