The Merriam Webster dictionary cites the definition of the term ‘when opportunity knocks’ as ‘when a person gets the chance to do something he or she wants to do.’ An interesting thought I have contemplated on many occasions. How will you know when opportunity knocks? Does opportunity knock at all or is it your responsibility to knock on opportunity’s door?

As we are now well into the second half of 2020, I have been working with clients to review, reframe, and refocus the rest of the year and beyond. Likewise, I too have made time to reflect on my personal and business experiences to date in 2020. One key theme I have noticed is that of opportunity and opportunities, faced, lost, or won. Among my clients, there have been various trains of thought and actions carried out to be rewarded by opportunity. Most have sought opportunities, instead of waiting for them to be presented. For myself, the path to opportunity is one I must choose to activate. It is my responsibility to seek the doors to knock, not to wait for opportunity.

How do I know this approach works?

Let me rewind to late 2019. Networking plays a leading role in the way I market my business. Faced with the task to build my business and connections in a new region, I focused on seeking events to attend to get to know likeminded people. A wellbeing and coaching event caught my attention. I checked out the presenters and their topics, making a list of the talks to join. After one of the talks, I engaged in conversation with the presenter. We decided to further explore the connection following the event. The synergy grew and we created opportunities. A lucrative and rewarding opportunity presented itself. This opportunity continues and more opportunities abound.

Interestingly, the opportunity was (and is) indeed a chance to do something I aspired to do. However, without making the choice to be opportunistic in approach, to travel to attend the event, and speak to the presenter, the door would never have been knocked upon, let alone opened, and the opportunity not realised. I had to be the one to set the wheels in motion. The momentum continues to build as I take the same approach each time. Opportunity answered when I knocked.

What does it take to adopt a mindset which enables you to knock on and open the doors you seek?

Think about a time when an opportunity presented itself, but you did not win it. What was going on? Was the timing wrong, or did you follow your gut and as a result, choose not to pursue it? Or, did you back away because you lacked the confidence to step up and knock on the door? Next time you are faced with an opportunity to do something you want to do, focus on being opportunistic.

Do not wait for an opportunity to knock. Knock first.