There are a lot of profound theories and quotes about being ready for when opportunities strike, but how can everyday people like you and me take advantage of more once a lifetime opportunities?
Here are a few rules that have proven to do wonders for me!
Rule #1: Be Prepared
How could you possibly prepare for opportunities you don’t know will strike? The short answer is: Look at the common denominator.
In the area of life you want to take advantage of more opportunities, what are they all tied to? What would you need to take advantage of that dream opportunity if it was here today? In other words: what is the one thing you can do today to take advantage of rare opportunities tomorrow?In the world of making money, this often times means having our finances sorted and having some savings set aside that allow us to jump on opportunities quickly when they present themselves.
In the world of relationships, this might mean becoming more confident, letting go of the emotional hurt of past relationships, or getting out of your comfort zone more by going places, etc. Main thing is: find out what would open you up to that ideal relationship opportunity.
In the world of business, if you want to land that perfect six-figure-a-month client, get your business into a position where it can quickly scale to handle such client. Or if you’re looking to increase your business drastically in volume, get into a position where you can quickly scale to handle large volumes.
There are plenty of opportunities. The question simply is: What kind of an opportunity are you looking for exactly? Once you figure that out, prepare to get into a position where you can handle such an opportunity should it present itself.
Let me give you a current example:
Have you ever heard of a social network known as Parlor? They have for a long time been trying to become a world recognized social media platform, yet were ill prepared when the opportunity of a lifetime presented itself.
A world renowned internet security expert (with a TON of relevant experience and a huge following) explained to his audience his reasons for not joining Parlor. Basically stating that Parlor had let someone impersonate him for months despite his continuous complaints to the company, that they were extremely vulnerable and unsafe due to the hosting they were using, etc.
Instead if appreciating his insights and acting on them, one of the founders of Parlor took to twitter with name-calling. It was definitely something you would expect from an arrogant teenager, but not from a grown-up business man.
The security expert responded with something like “hey, give me an hour and I will walk through your system with you and show how you can future proof the network” etc, etc, but the Parlor representative once again took to name calling instead of taking him up on his offer.
Now, I get that none of us like unsolicited advice. Unless asked for, advice is rarely welcomed. But this constructive criticism should have been welcomed with opened arms. Especially seeing who it was coming from.
Imagine Warren Buffet personally offering to show me how I can invest my retirement savings so I retire ultra wealthy instead of broke and poor. Instead of taking him up on his offer, imagine me resorting to name-calling him a “Coke drinking hog” instead.
Pretty dumb right? Yet that is exactly what was happening here!
Fast forward a month, and Facebook and Twitter both starting their censorship charade. Parlor starts to blow up. Hundreds of thousands of people started joining them. All was well for a couple days, until Amazon (Parlor’s hosting company) joins the censorship-train and – almost exactly as predicted by the security expert a month prior – banned Parlor from using them.
So not only was Parlor banned from the Android marketplace (by Google) and banned from the Apple app store (by Apple), but was basically erased from the internet by Amazon. And just like that Parlor was dead. OUCH!
Had Parlor listened to the security expert and migrated their hosting to a non-politicized host (among other things), they could have blown up to – eventually – replace Twitter. Whether they ever would have done so is debatable, but they had a really good shot at it, but alas… the opportunity of a lifetime struck and found them ill-prepared.
Gab.com (Facebook competitor) on the other hand took all these precautions ahead of time and look at them now: blowing up like there is no tomorrow. Thanks to Andrew Torba (Gab.com CEO) having the foresight to prepare for the opportunity of a lifetime, he was ready to “cash in” when the opportunity struck.
Moral of these examples:
- Always listen intently to wise council
- Always assume your dream opportunity will eventually strike, and do everything in your power to prepare for it.
In the words of Sir Winston Churchill:
To every man there comes in his lifetime that special moment when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered a chance to do a very special thing, unique to him and fitted to his talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for the work which would be his finest hour.
Rule #2: Think Quick
Many pride themselves in foreseeing events, and yet fail to cash in when those events play out. Thus ultimately making their predictions worthless.
On the other hand, those who are able to think on their feet and see opportunities behind a changing tide – tend to get lucky.A story is told of a mute accountant who was hired by a big-time drug-lord. The drug-lord figured that since the accountant couldn’t speak, chances of him blowing his illegal operation wide open would be slim.
Things went well until one day the drug-lord noticed hundreds of thousands of dollars had gone missing.
He had the accountant brought before him and started questioning him, but the accountant pretended to not understand what the drug-lord was saying. The drug-lord figured he’d give him a chance, so he brought in a translator who was going to be translating between the two using sign-language.
The lord once again asked the accountant where the missing money went, and the accountant again played innocent and told the translator “I don’t know what he is talking about”.
This went back and forth until the drug-lord got so fed up that he pulled his pistol and held it to the accountants head and told the translator “Tell him I will pull the trigger if he doesn’t tell me where my money is!”
The translator signs to the accountant exactly what the drug-lord had said and he signs back “Okay okay, I hid the money under my bed. It’s all there, I promise. Just let me live!”
The drug-lord is getting impatient and asks the translator what the accountant had said. The translator – seeing his once in a lifetime opportunity for an easy fortune – says “He said, he doesn’t think you have the guts to pull that trigger!”
Brutal story, I know, but still a great example of what it means to be quick thinking when rare once in a lifetime opportunities present themselves.
Rule #3: Act Quicker
Jumping on opportunities is like trying to surf that perfect incoming wave. Act quick and you catch it. Hesitate too long and you’ll miss it.Did you ever see the Youtube video where a dad shot a few rounds through his daughter’s laptop to teach her a lesson? I remember watching it back in 2012 when it had about half a million views.
I was thinking to myself “he should monetize that video… that way he would get at least some money from this viral video of his.”
A week after he uploaded it, he had over 24,000,000 views on that video and guess what? Still not monetized!
UPDATE: He has done some monetizing since (created a blog, etc) and the video has since gone on to generate over 42 million views. Just CRAZY!
I won’t comment on the content of the video, but I’ll say this: An opportunity struck, and he missed out by not – immediately – jumping in with both feet.
I don’t care much for Adsense and as such I am not a heavy earner with them but I do make a few bucks off of my monetized videos every month and just taking my average Adsense earnings (from my videos) and spreading the formula over 24 million views, I conservatively estimate he should have easily earned at LEAST $50,000 in Adsense revenues alone (just in the first week alone).
Now of course, there are different ways of monetizing a video (like links to relevant products-for-sale in the description box, etc.) but he wasn’t doing ANY monetizing at all. I think it is safe to say that he missed out on roughly $100,000 USD just by not immediately seizing the opportunity that he was presented with.
Moral of the story? When a clear winning opportunity presents itself to you, don’t hesitate. Jump in all the way with both feet!
We are all presented with “once in a lifetime” opportunities and the more open minded and prepared we are, the more often such opportunities will cross our paths. The trick is to:
- get ready
- think quick
- act quicker.
Only when we do those three things can we embrace more once in a lifetime opportunities because we quite literally set ourselves up to see and act on them.
It is that very process that allowed me to recently acquire a tremendously undervalued piece of property for 16% below sellers minimum price. The best part? I got them to throw a second property in on the deal – for FREE!
To do that, I had to get my finances in order, keep an eye on the market to see if my ideal property would get listed, think quick when it arrived, and act even quicker to secure it.
What type of opportunities are you hoping to attract? What can you do today to be ready to act on them when they show up?