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One important question about opportunities
It is time to look at that ONE important question about Opportunities.
We established that the quality of your life is hugely inﬂuenced by the quality of opportunities that you are involved with and pursuing.
The more valuable you are to the marketplace, the more access you have to resources to pursue higher quality opportunities – meaning you can create signiﬁcant accomplishments in shorter timeframes as compared to those who are just starting out.
In other words, if you are just starting out, it simply means you have to have the motivation, foresight, tenacity to identify and engage on an opportunity for a long time before you create a signiﬁcant accomplishment.
This may seem complex. To make it simple, you can ask ONE question to determine the quality of opportunities you are engaged in. This is more of a shortcut and do not confuse this with framework.
You can ask yourself:
What is ONE Opportunity that I am involved in that will take more than ONE year to come to fruition?
It seems simple, but please stop reading right now and ask this question to yourself. Are you working on any opportunity that spans more than a year?
If you are thinking too hard, you are NOT working on anything that will span more than a year.
Now, why is this question important?
For multiple reasons.
First, if you want to accomplish something signiﬁcant, it takes time, energy, money, your mindshare and mindshare of others. The bigger the opportunity, the more time and resources it takes (at least the ﬁrst few times). In fact, the size of your accomplishments are directly proportional to the size of the problems that you are solving.
Second, a typical startup is a ﬁve to seven year journey before a signiﬁcant event (acquisition, IPO etc.) takes place. If you are not engaged in pursuing an opportunity that is a year or longer, how can you expect to participate in a journey that takes 5-7 years?
Third, don’t take the question literally. It’s a proxy that will force you to think more about yourself, the level of your commitment. It is a test for how far you can go.
By thinking (and reﬂecting) on the question above, you will notice whether you are on the path to creating signiﬁcant accomplishments or not.
TH!NKtweet #131 from my TH!NKtweet book, sums this up nicely – “Greater the challenge, sweeter the victory.”
Honestly, you cannot work on a month-long project and expect to have the rewards of succeeding on an year-long project.
This is your time to review what projects (opportunities) you are engaged in and see if they are the ones that will move you towards your ambition.
Also remember that every MOMENT you are NOT engaged in the right opportunities, you are incurring a huge “opportunity cost” for your life.
It is YOUR choice that matters. Smart people like you will ALWAYS have the luxury of entertaining multiple opportunities and oﬀers. People want you to be part of your team, companies want to hire you and you are in one sense, overwhelmed with a good problem— having to make the choice about which opportunity to pursue.
The best approach came to me from an entrepreneur and investor David Burwen.
Let’s look at that next.
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