NCET explores business and technology
An important truth I’ve learned is that business is as much an internal game as an external one – sometimes more so.
Which brings me to my question: What do you do when opportunity knocks? Most of us like to think we go for it. But if we’re truthful, there are probably times we procrastinate, or even let it slip by. Why?
I’m fascinated with how people who are talented, educated, and have much to offer, will shrink from their gifts, and literally fight for their limitations. Here are five insights for taking advantage of more opportunities:
1. Stop waiting for perfect conditions. Sometimes we think everything needs to be perfect before we start. Action trumps fear. We may experience difficulties. Learn, adjust, and take action again. You’ll never get out of your driveway if you think all the lights must be green on the way to your destination.
2. Stop thinking you need to know more. When I left my corporate job to start my coaching business, I experienced this. During my first coaching class, the instructor asked if we were coaching clients yet. No one said yes. When asked why, the common answer was, “I’m still training. I don’t know enough yet.” Our instructor said, “No one ever thinks they’re ready. Sometimes the only way to know for sure is to start.”
3. Stop asking for permission. That sounds risky! I’m not talking about overstepping boundaries. Many times we find ourselves in a situation where we know there is an action we can take that will move our project forward or make a difference in our organization, but we stop because we’re afraid of stepping on someone’s toes. What’s more important, making a decision that can make a real difference, or being politically correct?
4. Stop fearing risks. We cannot succeed in anything meaningful when we are looking for an absence of risk. Taking action toward opportunities is inherently risky. Failure is an option. So is success. New experiences usually feel a little scary. Every time you face a risk or fear and do it anyway, you build confidence, and make it easier to step into new opportunities when they arise.
5. Stop waiting for instructions. So many times I’ve waited for someone to tell me what to do next. Whenever that happened, I would realize later that I hadn’t learned much.
Since starting my business, I’ve had many times when I was uncertain of next steps. But if I were always waiting for instructions, I’d never get anything done. I have developed a bias for action, and that has allowed me to respond to more opportunities.
The bottom line is this; you’re ready now. Take action and see how many more opportunities present themselves.
Kevin Ciccotti, Certified Professional Coach, is President of Human Factor Formula, Inc. and NCET’s VP of Membership, Tech Cafe. NCET is a member-supported nonprofit that produces educational and networking events to help individuals and businesses explore and use technology. This column first appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal.