7 Tips For Making The Best Of Every Opportunity

How to make sure you hit a six when your chance comes.

“Opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.”- Richard Branson

Most of your life’s success depends on identifying the right opportunities, arranging resources to address them and pursuing them till you get the sweet fruits of its success.

It’s somewhere along these three lines of work that people receive failure or success depending on the effort that they have put in.

This article is about how to get the third (and probably the most important thing) right.

As evident from my Facebook profile, there have been a good number of opportunities that have come my way and I have been involved in working on most of them.

But that is not to say that I’ve exploited the full potential of each of these opportunities.

In today’s extremely networked world, it’s not hard to get more opportunities to get to do what you want. The gatekeepers have vanished and more of the industries are now open for the average individual to take advantage of- something which wasn’t possible ten-fifteen years ago.

For example, not everyone could hope to publish a book unless a reputed publisher said ‘Yes’ to it and committed significant resources to publish it, market it and distribute it.

Today, it is very easy to self-publish a book for the print and even easier for online consumption.

In the past years of experimenting with so many things, I have learnt a lot of things. The most important among all of the being this.

In a time wherein so much depends on what you ‘do’ with the opportunity, your responsibility to make it succeed increases exponentially.

Here are seven ways to make sure you make the most of each opportunity that you pursue-

  1. Timeline

In a timeline of two years, I had done three jobs and in another timeline of two years, I have done just one job. I have learnt that giving enough time to one opportunity is just the most important investment you’ll make. It’s easier to grow companies these days provided the power of networks that we all have at our fingertips, still you’ll need to invest at least a few years to reap the full benefits of your efforts.

2. Use of resources (aka Planning)

Significant resources are required for the success of any opportunity. Resources might include your skills, your team’s skills, capital, place of doing business amongst others. It is of critical importance that you plan for your resources a few months in advance and invest your time and efforts accordingly.

Your planning needs to address questions such as-

A) Do I have the skills required to chase this opportunity?

B) Do I have other people who can fill in the missing skills?

C) Have I considered the ‘opportunity cost’ of choosing this path?

3. Self-Discipline (aka Following the Plan):

This is where the grind comes in. This is the part I love and and the part that I am personally trying to master. No matter what happens, you should, wake up, dress up and show up and work.

Remember, quantity always precedes quality, so you must aim to do a lot of work at first and with incremental improvements your work quality will also improve.

4. Personal Growth:

Most of the opportunities require that you become a certain-self; you become a version of yourself best suited for the work at hand. It’s only your personal growth that will let you see things from a unique personal lens. Your personal growth will define your takeaway from the opportunity. If there’s just one trait I want you to focus on, it would be this because it is the key habit which will drive all other habits in your life.

5. Initiative: People who want to make the most of opportunities are pro-action, always plan ahead and make things happen.

Of course, there’s a central plan that most people derive their daily actions out of- but a little something extra always gives you brownie points. An initiative to plan days better for everyone in your team or an idea to share information more democratically, will give you an edge that normal people won’t have. Your mind will need to constantly think of things it can improve or change.

It doesn’t even necessarily have to be from your line of work. An initiative to start a new Toastmasters chapter at work or an initiative to start a yoga class for ten minutes every morning at work will project you as the leader you are.

6. Networking:

Surely you can be a star and achieve massive feats alone, but today more than ever, your success depends on how many people know you and what do they think of your work.

Opportunities can double or half, depending on if you’re actively engaging with people or not. Don’t confuse networking for mindless engaging with people and knowing everybody in the room- it’s a way to add value to people around you and to seek more people you can provide value to.

So, always invest a little time every day to network actively. An introduction for two people you think should connect, sending people to the best resource related to what they’re working on, keeping in touch with your friends to know what’s happening with them are things that will help you succeed faster.

7. Content Creation: No matter what industry you work in, your knowledge is no longer evident to your potential employers, potential clients and potential partners without you writing about it online and pushing it to your network.

Degrees are not enough- people are only looking for proofs that skills exist and that you can drive results. So writing an article or making a video or starting a podcast to talk about your industry will go a long way in establishing your credibility as an authentic source.

You don’t need to be a pro writer to write about the opportunities that you’re working on, the skills you’re developing and how can people benefit from it. If you add value through your content, you will definitely get the value back in return.

All of the points mentioned above come from my personal experience of last three years’ of working on different opportunities and strike a very personal chord with me. I wish I had known all of these points when I was just passing college.

I’ll be very happy to hear what tips and tricks do you use to make the best of an opportunity.

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Special thanks to Shreya Dalela for helping with making this article look good.