Throughout my career I’ve landed myself some pretty cushy numbers. There was the free one year round-the-world trip ticket and digital camera gig I scored from a travel agency in London, all because I decided to do a pitch to them. I didn’t work for them. They didn’t know me from a bar of soap. But I gave them a pitch and they went for it!!
Then there was the regular gig writing restaurant reviews for a major travel magazine in London. It wasn’t exactly ‘objective’ because of the fact the restaurant in question knew you were coming and so literally waited on you ‘hand and foot’. But if you could ignore the staff’s inclination to over-do the tentativeness, there was always a free three course meal and bottle of wine thrown in so you could evaluate the experience, and these were all in restaurants that I could never have otherwise afforded to dine in.
And now there’s my home based business. Ugg boots on underneath the desk, as many coffee breaks as I feel like and if I want to turn of the phones and head to the beach, or it’s time to get the kids from day care on the three days a week they go, so be it.
Often people have asked me ‘how I do it?’ How do I snitch these seemingly golden opportunities, jobs, contacts while they struggle along, just hoping, wishing something good will come along for them too.
I’ll let you in on one of my biggest life secrets that can see things change for you in a positive way: Follow Every Lead, Every Connection and Every Offer That Comes Your Way. Sounds simple but do you actually live by this?
How many times have you received a phone call and written down the number of a scrap of paper and lost it? Or met someone at an event you really ‘clicked with’ made every promise under the sun about ‘doing stuff together’, none of which eventuated. What you need to remind yourself is that although it can be a juggle to get everything done in any given business day, week, month or year, that one item you overlook, that one person you forget to ring back or that one business card you file and never do connect with, could be have been your opportunity of a lifetime.
Now I’m a big believer the ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ comes along regularly too, so don’t despair if you think yours may have already been and gone and it’s all doom and gloom from here. But even with this philosophy, I’ve almost missed the boat before on some biggies.
Only a few months ago, I was feeling like I was fairly on top of my inbox, when a quick retrace of my steps just to double check (a practice I encourage at least once a week) revealed an email I had previously overlooked. The contents of it? Only the opportunity to feature on a new business show being produced for Sky Business channel international – that’s all!
As you can imagine, boy did I ‘jump to’ but I couldn’t help but thinking afterwards, ‘what if I hadn’t done that back track?’ ‘what if I had only stumbled over it after too much time had passed?’ The opportunity may very well have been lost.
The other key to being presented these opportunities is to position yourself as best you can to receive them, to believe they really can happen AND to be proactive about putting yourself forward for them too.
Don’t just wait for them to happen – make them happen!
Just think how many other twenty-somethings in London would have fantasized about travelling full time like I did on a free round the world ticket, but how many actually had the iniatiive to put some kind of proposal together and quite simply…ask!
Ask and you shall receive might be an old and well used adage, but there’s a lot of truth in it too. Take some time out to consider what opportunities would be just perfect at this point in time, be it for your career, business, love life, family or living arrangement and once you’ve dreamed it, write it down and commit to making the time to make it happen. You’ll be amazed at what comes to you once you make clear exactly what it is you want in your life.
When the opportunities do start rolling in (and they will!) be open minded enough to recognize the various disguises they sometimes come in to keep you on your toes, open minded enough to morph them into something that suits you better than the initial offering and pounce!
Follow Every Lead, Every Connection, Every Offer That Comes Your Way and you’ll be glad you did.
Yvette Adams is the director of the Creative Collective http://www.thecreativecollective.com.au, a creative services company based in Queensland, Australia offering the full range of creative services including PR, awards applications, websites, internet marketing, seo, graphic design, print production, photography and more. They won the 2008 Queensland Small Business Champions Specialised Small Business award and Yvette won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year and has been a finalist in numerous other local, state, national and international business awards.