A customer needed help. They wanted someone to fly in to resolve their software issues. I volunteered.
Two weeks later, I flew to Sweden. I was new in the company, without much experience. It was stressful.
But at the same time, rewarding. This adventure ended well. It hasn’t always been the case.
I have a tendency to jump in front of opportunities. Yes, literally.
I’ve pursued opportunities without doing my due diligence. This has led to failures. But sometimes also to great success.
The engagement in Sweden helped cement a closer relationship with the customer. Which later led to more business. A couple of years later, I got a promotion.
It happened only because I had taken a leap of faith with this one customer. I had jumped and figured things out on the way down. I had taken the lead and it paid off.
When you see an opportunity in your life, what do you do?
- You go for it
- You wait and see before deciding if you should seize it
- You run away
Now, think about where your attitude has led you.
You will find that your approach to risk will dictate the size of your successes and failures.
The more you seize opportunities, the bigger your success. If you adopt a “wait and see” attitude, you’ll lower your risk of failure. But you will also miss the best opportunities.
Success won’t chase you. If you wait for a golden opportunity to present itself, you might be waiting for a long time.
To create great success in your life, you need to take risks. You have to take the lead. You can’t be waiting for others to show you the way and give you a shove.
Wherever you are in life, now is the time to be a leader. It’s time to stand up and become an inspiration to others.
But how do you decide what a good opportunity is? And how do you become a leader?
Follow the 3-step process below if you want to lead your way to success.
Step 1: Find your destination
Do you know what you want in life? In details?
As Yogi Berra said: If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.
If you don’t know your destination, you won’t know whether an opportunity is going to steer you in the right direction.
This is why you first need to create your vision.
Your vision must include:
- The lifestyle you want
- Your values
- What excites you: your mission
The first step is to create your vision. It will take time, but it’s mandatory.
Step 2: Take the lead
You’ve written down your vision? Good.
Now, every time you see an opportunity, you need to weigh it against your vision. Ask yourself:
- Is this opportunity going to bring me closer to my vision?
- Is it going to help me achieve my goals?
If the answer is yes, seize the opportunity. Otherwise, let it go.
Always keep your eyes open for opportunities. Make it a habit.
When you seek out opportunities that are a good match for you, you’ll attract more opportunities. And that means more chances for success.
Don’t wait for others to tell you what you should do. Be a leader and build your future.
Step 3: Become an example
When you start seizing opportunities, you will encounter resistance.
First, within yourself: you will be scared. You will have to overcome your fear. Channel it as energy to move forward.
But then, also from without. People around you will want to keep you at their level. They’ll try to discourage you from taking leaps.
Your friends perceive you in a specific way. Over time, they have built a model of who you are.
When you decide you’re going to pursue your vision, they won’t believe you can do it.
People will say: “Why do you want to do this? Yes, others are successful doing this, but it’s not you. You are not that kind of person. Your are different”.
Or something along those lines. They fail to see you can grow to become the person you need to be to achieve success.
I have experienced it first-hand. I had been warned people would try to stop. So I ignored their advice at that time.
I’m glad I did.
Once you overcome the first hurdles and get some success, people will rally to your cause. When they see proof, they will believe in you.
And they will start getting inspired by your example. They will want to seize opportunities and be leaders as well.
Are you happy to just sit and watch others lead their life to success?
Take the lead. Do it first. Do it now.