“It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than it is to have an opportunity and not be prepared for it.” ~ Les Brown
How many times have you heard someone say, or maybe even said yourself, “When opportunity came knocking, I couldn’t get to the door!” or perhaps this variation; “When my ship finally came in, I was standing on the wrong pier.” We often jokingly chalk up missed opportunities as bad timing or even bad luck and that may be true is some situations, but more often than not, missed opportunities are more the result of bad preparation.
I will readily admit great opportunities can sometimes be like a Texas drought; the dry spell can seem to last forever. This makes it even more critical that during the drought, we prepare for the day the rains finally do come.
Not only should we prepare for opportunity, but good preparation repels adversity. Here’s a good example. Have you ever wondered why no one has ever invaded Switzerland? With a huge cache of the world’s gold supply tucked away in Swiss banks, there’s certainly motive, but the Swiss are very well prepared, not for opportunity, but for the avoidance and deterrence of adversity. They’ve done that by having compulsory universal military training for physically fit males at age 18. Once training is complete, males age 19 to 35 are conscripted to service in the militia and militia issued weapons are kept in the home. Talk about a well armed citizenry. Still wonder why other countries are reluctant to invade little Old Switzerland?
This happens all to often; people find a rare opportunity – their ship has finally come in – but they soon find themselves lost at sea. They realize too late just how unprepared they really are. They don’t know how to tie the right knots or how to properly set the sail and even if they did, they don’t know how to navigate. They can’t even locate the north star to gain their bearings and soon find themselves adrift on a very stormy sea, leaving their fate to chance.
Preparation is so important. Life isn’t going to just miraculously “get better” – you have to do something to make it better. My daughter-in-law has a very solid career as a fleet manager for a major corporation, but she decided that’s not what she wanted to do for the rest of her working life, so at the age of 35, she went back to college and will earn her degree next year. Now that’s what I call not only preparing for an opportunity – but greatly increasing the chances that opportunity will come knocking on her door.
The next time opportunity comes knocking on your door, will you be prepared to answer that door and invite opportunity in? The next time your ship does come in, will you have taken the time to learn how to sail and how to navigate? DO IT NOW! Get ready! You never know when a great opportunity will come around that can change your life.
Monty Rainey is a District Manager working in the self storage industry since 1996 and currently overseeing 21 stores in the Austin & San Antonio, TX area. He is also a leadership coach and public speaker. For a free consultation, please contact Monty at 830-743-2139 or visit his website at http://www.montyrainey.com .
- Opportunity is knocking! (ppinkparis.com)