San Diego, August 2024

Barrel O’Monkeyz is hosting an AI “experts” panel in early August in San Diego. We are looking for 2 to 3 AI experts to engage in a one-hour fireside chat about how AI can be used in the world of finance.

We plan to have 15 high profile CFOs from the San Diego area exchanging ideas, plus other CEOs, company presidents, and entrepreneurs in attendance.

Interested? If so, reach out to me, Paul June, at (310) 503-1149 or [email protected] .

Perusing the Web the other day, I found this quote: “…Opportunities! Every life is full of them. Every newspaper article is an opportunity. Every client is an opportunity. Every sermon is an opportunity. Every business transaction.”

Now that’s music to my ears!

The quote comes from Orison Swett Marden. Maybe you’ve heard of him. Born in New Hampshire, he lived from 1850 to 1924. He is considered by many to be the “grandfather” of inspirational, self-help literature. In his lifetime, he composed dozens of books and pamphlets on self-development, ambition, and success. He also founded Success magazine.

How does opportunity show up in your life? Do you create opportunity, or do you wait for it to come your way? Are you able to recognize opportunity when it’s right in front of you? What do you do when it comes calling?

The Many Faces of Opportunity

When we’re young, it seems as though everything is an opportunity. Everything is new, untested, unknown, just a lot of low hanging bananas ripe for the picking. We have few personal and professional ties. With seemingly nothing to lose, and everything to gain, it’s easy for us to drop everything and pull up stakes to take advantage of whatever comes our way: going to college far from home, taking that always-talked-about cross country road trip, diving into your first real job with gusto, or just going out for drinks with friends after work (who knows who you might meet?).

As we get older, though, it’s as though we start to put blinders on, slowly shielding us from opportunities. Maybe it’s because we start being more cautious. After all, the more we have, the more there is to lose, right? Spontaneity gives way to deliberateness. The opportunities have to be more obvious than ever for us even to recognize them, and then they need to be nearly a sure bet before we even consider acting on them.

As for those opportunities that don’t seem to fit into the neat little plan each of us has for how we want our lives to unfold, we just shrug our shoulders and carry on, ignoring them. We keep our heads down and our noses to the grindstone.

Opportunity Blinders

I wonder how many opportunities each of us has missed along the way. I wonder how many have missed (and I like to think I keep my eyes pretty wide open all the time!).

Here are some red flags that you might have opportunity blinders on:

  • Do you often wonder, “Why does that person have all the luck? What about me?” Chances are, that other person is more open to possibility and not afraid to “go for it” on occasion. That’s how some guy in his garage comes up with a better mousetrap, or the nerdy girl you went to high school with ends up being the top actress on your favorite TV show. They looked for opportunity, recognized it, and went for it. They did not sit back and wait.
  • Does your job feel like it’s at a dead end, as though you’ve hit the ceiling and there’s nowhere for you to go? Maybe the Universe is trying to tell you a change of scenery is in order. Maybe it’s time to take a class, learn a new skill, ask your boss about professional development opportunities, or simply find a new job.
  • Does your social life feel stagnant? Friends and familiarity are nice, but do you frequent the same places all the time and do the same things? You probably even order the same 1 or 2 things off the menu, too. Spice it up. New social settings can open up a whole world of opportunities, from making new friends to enjoying new favorite foods
    and activities.
  • Do you often wonder, “What if?” If so, that means you’ve probably recognized plenty of opportunities over the years, but for whatever reason failed to act on them. Maybe it was fear of the unknown or fear of failure (or even success), or maybe you simply lacked the ambition or drive to try something new. Go out on a limb every now and then. I’m not suggested doing anything reckless, but the old saying “Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” still carries a lot of weight with me.

In the Opportunity Zone

Look back over the past 5, 10, 15, or more years. Think about those obvious opportunities, such as meeting your spouse or significant other, your job, building or buying your home, having kids, etc. You get the picture. Where would you be now if you had not taken those chances when they presented themselves?

Now dig deeper.

What other opportunities aren’t quite so obvious, but there nonetheless—a colleague at work who wants to be friends, following up on a business lead, joining a networking group, attending a church social, taking that cooking class you always wanted to take, getting up the nerve to ask the girl (or guy) of your dreams out?

Don’t let life pass you by so that one day you wake up and wonder where it all went and what it all meant. It’s time to take the opportunity blinders off. The possibilities—just like the opportunities—are endless.

“At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets.” (Steve MaraboliLife, the Truth, and Being Free)

Let’s Get Creative

Barrel O’Monkeyz can help you and your team explore opportunities for your brand, from a new website or refresh, to a new image or brand message. Contact us today to discuss the possibilities.