What To Do With “Opportunities”
It’s often been stated that when you begin your journey you need a lot, so you say yes to whatever comes your way. This usually works at the beginning because saying yes to opportunity can lead to all sorts of changes in life. As you start to get more successful, something very interesting happens. Your opportunities split into two camps: Opportunities and Coincidences
So what do I mean by this?
All of the sudden more than one thing is presented to you as a chance to grow and your prior thinking has told you that saying yes is what got you to this place, so you want to keep saying yes to everything. It’s at this exact moment that many people start the quick path to a little place called the land of burnout. There are some people though who choose a different path and continue to grow and build and have more and more come their way. So this begs the question: What is it that these super successful people know that the others don’t?
They know the difference between opportunities and coincidences. They see that if something comes their way that is not for them or that they can’t take full advantage of, it’s not really an opportunity. It’s a cool thing that they happened upon. When I got my first Broadway credit, my inbox exploded. I was invited to tons of readings and shows, sent offering papers for almost every show that season (except Book of Mormon ), and asked to co-produce other projects. My initial thought was to try and raise money on anything that came my way. I of course, failed miserably because I was so unfocused, I couldn’t even tell you the operating cost of what show I was “selling”. I had to learn quickly to become much more discerning and how to say no. That was when I discovered the tool that has brought me more legitimate opportunities than I could hope for in business and in life:
I stopped taking things on and started passing things on.
If a show wasn’t for me, I sent it to at least five other people who I knew wanted to raise money and who needed credits. If I saw a show and thought that the writer was talented, I introduced them to someone who could option their script. The list went on and on and my workload dropped. I only started working on things that mattered to me. I figured that if I really didn’t want to do it, it wasn’t an opportunity it was a coincidence.
I realized that I could take any COINCIDENCE and turn it into a GIFT and my life has never been the same.
At this very moment, sitting in your inbox are probably invites to things you can’t attend, requests that you feel are not a fit for you, meetings that you may take, but would be more important for someone else to take.
What if you took a few minutes right now, to find those things and turn them into gifts? What if right now, you looked at everything that you can’t go to and thought for a second about someone who could and sent it their way?
You’d notice that the overwhelm in your life would start to melt away, that people would be proactively asking you about what would be most helpful, and you’d find yourself growing.
Give it a shot.
Stop taking. Start passing.