Opportunity is sneaky.
We're told to watch for it. We're told that success happens when preparation and opportunity meet.
This is true.
But the thing no one ever tells you is how to spot opportunity when it arrives.
Maybe it's our culture. Maybe it's short-term thinking, or shrinking attention spans, or a poverty mindset. Maybe it's the looming threat of real – or imagined – scarcity.
Whatever it is, when we look for opportunity, we're often looking for money. Dead presidents. Dolla dolla bills, yo.
But this is not opportunity. This is a payday.
Opportunity is the precursor to payday. It doesn't look like money. It looks like work. It looks like risk. It looks like a bunch of stuff you don't want to do. It looks like time limits and deadlines. It looks like expectations and constraints.
Which is why most people miss it.
Opportunity is scary. It's cumbersome. It's an unwieldy load that shifts as you carry it. Often you have to set it down a second to adjust your grip.
Opportunity smells like sweat and discomfort and hurt feelings and potential embarrassment. It makes a sound like childhood ridicule as it approaches.
What if you're not good enough?
What if you fail?
What if you, my God, get a bad review?
I don't know how many times I missed opportunity before I learned to spot it. Dozens? Hundreds? But once I knew what to look for, I began inviting it in, welcoming it to my table, dining with it. . .
and learning from it.