As we begin a new year many of us will be looking for and assessing new opportunities, I know from experience that when a new opportunity crops up, excitement kicks in and sound judgement and wisdom can sometimes fly out the window. There are a few things I’ve learnt on the matter along the way (sometimes the hard way) that I thought I’d share with you.
When I was just starting out in my career I used to grasp at every opportunity that came my way with zeal, I was beginning at ground zero and felt that I needed to take and make the best of every opportunity that came my way. A few years later, I’m equally as grateful for the opportunities I’m given, just a lot more cautious about those I pursue. As the saying goes I’ve gotten a little older and wiser, and I’ve come to realise the following:
1. Not every opportunity is a legitimate opportunity
There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death
- Proverbs 14:12 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Some opportunities sound great on the surface but if you dig a little deeper you’ll soon fnd out that they’re not quite the opportunities they’re made out to be. Here are a few examples that come to mind;
- Ponzi schemes that are often presented as a great way to get rich quick
- 100% mortgages that were all the rage in the early 2000′s
- That job that looked so great on paper but turned out to be a living nightmare
2. A good opportunity may not be good for you
Sometimes good opportunities may come your way that sound great and really are great, but they’re just not right for you. Perhaps the timing is wrong e.g. maybe you get a great job offer just as you decide to start a family. Or a great investment comes your way, but as good as it is, raisng the capital would put your family under a great deal of pressure.
3. Not every opportunity will come to fruition
People will offer you opportunities sometimes with the best of intentions but for one reason or another they just dont happen. Perhaps people pull out, circumstances change or the opportunity just disappears, so best not to count those chickens before they hatch.
Like I said in a previous post, I think 2015 will be a year of amazing opportunities that will be worth pursuing, but I also believe wisdom and prudence are always necessary. So here are some tips I’ve found useful when it comes to assessing opportunities wisely:
1. Assess the opportunity objectively
Make sure you know all the facts and that you have a complete picture of the opportunity at hand. Ask as many questions as possible, some that come to mind include:
- Who are the people / who is the organisation behind the opportunity? Are they credible?
- What is required of you – e.g. time, money?
- What are they offerring you (in detail)?
- How will it impact your image, reputation and credibility?
Always be sure to request information in writing so that there is a paper trail of some kind.
2. Consider how it fit’s into your own vision
Too often we let opportunities dictate the vision and we go wherever the wind blows. In fact you should already have a vision for your life and sense of the direction you want your life to take. That vision should be the benchmark upon which you assess the opportunities that come your way. This is linked to my third point above.
3. Seek advice and counsel
Where no wise guidance is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
- Proverbs 11:14 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Before making an important decision it’s always wise to seek advice from those you trust and or have more experience than you do. They often have a more objective perspective and often have experience to pull from that you may not.
As a Christian, for me assessing opportunities wisely also means prayer and delving into the Bible, as it is most definitely my guide book for life.
I hope you find these tips useful and here’s to pursuing some great opportunities this year, with wisdom and sound judgement.