The Trouble with Opportunity

We live in the land of opportunity.  As Americans, we have more freedom to pursue opportunities.  Our country was built by all the men and women who had an idea and pursued it because they could. Doing so created opportunities for others.

As I write this, we are in the middle of very unusual times due to the Covid 19 pandemic. It is changing people’s habits and the way many people do business. Some things are temporary but there is no doubt it will change much of the way business is done.

While this does hurt many businesses and industries, it also creates new problems for people to solve which means opportunity.  There will continue to be new opportunities for people in our great country.

There is a challenge with opportunities though especially for us entrepreneurial minded people.  We have to be open-minded.  We have to be willing to take risks and pursue new opportunities, but we should remember that the “new car” smell on the new opportunity doesn’t last forever.

I have observed this with people when they pursue a new opportunity.  They start a new business or take a new job.  It is new and fresh. It is full of endless potential.  They see themselves hitting levels they never thought possible because of this new opportunity.  There is no flaws in this business. All we see is the potential.  It has the smell of a new car and then…

At some point, the new opportunity we were once so excited about has the odor of a 12 year boy and last weeks take out.  Suddenly, the new business is not so new any more. Maybe it is leaking a bit of oil.  That wasn’t supposed to happen.  The plans were fool-proof yet the business is now leaking a bit of oil.  It can be fixed of course, but maybe it would be better to just go get a new car that smells perfect. Maybe we should pursue a new opportunity.

This is the trouble with opportunity.  There is always more opportunity. This requires wisdom. Just because something is good doesn’t mean it is always good to pursue it. After all, if we pursue everything, we pursue nothing.

There are times when we must pursue something new especially in today’s fast changing world. But we should take caution.  Too many people have a pattern of pursuing the next thing as soon as the “new car” smell is gone and they never get any where. It is always the next idea that will be the breakthrough.

Every great idea eventually gets dirty. It may be a great opportunity, but we will always have to push through the times when it may not look that great. It takes wisdom to know when to push through and when to move on. That is the trouble with opportunity.

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