Sometimes It Is Hard To Believe

Opportunity. It is everywhere, all of the time. Yet, with how people talk much of the time, you would think that opportunity has vanished from the planet, or that when times are really good there is opportunity, but when the economy slows down the opportunities slow down with it. Wrong. It's not logical--it's inventive--because the way you are able to see opportunities is to think in a different way.

Many people I've met (including myself many years ago) feel that opportunities wane with economic downward trends. Perhaps you see people being laid off, businesses going out of business, houses not selling, whatever. It would be easy to think that there are fewer opportunities when you look at those effects. Take the automobile business right now. Talk to anyone you like on the dealer level and almost all of them will be telling you how much fewer the opportunities are now compared to a year ago. So, with all of this, here is my first point:
  • Fewer sales, less business, fewer businesses, tighter credit, dire news reports, fearful workers or fearful consumers does not mean that there are fewer opportunities. Those things are effects of stimuli and have nothing whatsoever to do with opportunities being there or not being there.

Some would say that I am out of my mind, over the edge, stuck in positive thinking la-la land and generally misdirected and out of touch with reality. Oh, I do love that last one. It is the one I hear the most: Out of touch with reality. Yes, I am. Thank goodness.

When I was a child, I used to hear things like, in every cloud, there is a silver lining. I didn't understand it, but that has led me to, with every negative, there is a positive. It is never all bad, nor all good. In the best of economic times, the newspaper still focuses on what could go wrong and other newspaper selling predictions--just go look at past issues front pages during great times. But this is not normal right now and what a world it would be if it were! What is normal is fear. Normal is reality to most, but even with that, the opportunities are everywhere. It is all in how you choose to look at it.

A dealership goes out of business and closes its doors. Is there any opportunities there? They are endless. If you can't see them, ask it in a different way: If there could be an opportunity from this event, what might one be? Then, you'll just be playing a game and its okay to step outside of reality to play a game. Here's some thoughts of what could be an opportunity from this kind of event:

  • This makes more business for the other dealerships in the region.
  • There might have been several employees there who didn't really like their job much, and now they have the opportunity to find one they do like. (Kind of a forced awakening. It requires courage to stop what you are doing and try something else. Now is an opportunity to do that with less courage since it is being partially done for you.)
  • An ex-employee decides to start their own business. (Businesses are started at every different kind of economic time, including depressions. Economic times do not predict success or failure of an enterprise.)
  • For the owners, there may be lessons learned from this experience that will have them be stronger, more focused and more successful in the next. (Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame failed countless times prior to succeeding with KFC and that also required him to bring in help).
  • Many may get into a more lucrative or interesting type of business. (I left the car business for the body business and it was a huge and wonderful change. I stopped going to work at a place every day and worked out of my home. It was a very positive change.)

These are just a few of the opportunities and you could come up with a lot more by just letting your mind flow on that idea for a while. So, that leads me to the next and final point:

  • Limited thinking will keep you limited no matter the economic times. Expanded thinking will always give you more opportunities no matter the economic times. Once you start thinking in possibilities and opportunities, you will begin to see more of them. As you see more of them, you will see even more of them. It is that simple. Open your mind to the possibility of seeing opportunity and you will see it. Open it further and you will see more. You get to choose how you want to look at events and circumstances.

Start today in seeing opportunities. You can be really safe at first and keep your job and just look at what the opportunities might be for other people who are in a position of change. As you read that the big store at the mall is closing, think of what the opportunities might be surrounding this event. Play with it, practice it and when change comes, you will know how to look at it: There are endless opportunities all of the time.

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