Searching for more of the right opportunities for your career, personal life, or business?

As you’ve probably discovered, sometimes it can be hard to sort through all the unattractive options or generate any good alternatives.

If you think you’ve explored everything that’s out there and come back disappointed, you’re not alone.   But there are some things you can do to boost your success.

Here are 7 strategies for creating more of the right opportunities for your work and life: 

1)  Clarify what opportunities you want and then tell others

You are more likely to attract the right type of opportunities if you have a clear idea of what you are looking for.   Write down the top 3-5 most important aspects of the work or life opportunity you want.   Review and refine your list over the next few days or weeks until it feels solid in your mind and stirs positive emotions (rather than fear or doubt).

The clearer you are, the easier it becomes to sort through options and to take specific actions that increase your exposure to these opportunities.  Then be sure to broadcast to those you know what types of opportunities you’re seeking.   Be assertive in getting the word out to family, friends, and acquaintances that you are motivated and actively looking.

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2)  Be curious, get out in the world, and network

Opportunities are more likely to come to you if you are out there meeting new people, reading different publications, and asking more questions.  Push yourself to vary your routine and try more new things.  Novelty is a great stimulator.  Expose yourself to new ideas, experiences, and people.

In particular, start consuming a wider variety of media (different television news stations, online apps, and magazines) to broaden your perspective and knowledge.   Don’t just stick with your favorite stations and publications, but really get yourself out of your normal habits.

Spend time with a variety of people from different backgrounds and professions.  Use everyday interactions or casual encounters as a possible source of information, ideas, or work-related leads.


3)  Keep an open mind and see more things as potential opportunities

The most innovative and successful people are ones that know how to see the possibilities in even the most challenging situations.   Think of the entrepreneur who takes some limiting factor about their product, and somehow markets it as a competitive advantage.

Start asking, “What else could I do with this?” or “What’s the hidden benefit in this?”   The more things you see as opportunities, the more choices you’ll have.  If you never see opportunity in anything, your options will be more limited.


4)  Evaluate opportunities against your highest values and principles

Ask, “Is this opportunity consistent with what’s important to me and the principles I believe in?”  Never take on an opportunity that may conflict with these.  No opportunity is worth it if you have to sacrifice your integrity, dignity, or beliefs.

For example, if you were divorced with two kids and met someone for a date that didn’t like children, would it really make sense to pursue that opportunity?  It might be fun in the short term, but if it goes against your values of being an attentive parent, it probably isn’t a good opportunity in the long run. 


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5)  Exercise discipline by evaluating based on your biggest priorities

Think about what else you have on your plate. Ask, “Will pursuing this opportunity distract me from my other more important goals? Or could this opportunity accelerate or add to my ability to reach these goals?”

For example, if you had a goal to pay off your student loans by the end of the year, would it make sense to buy a new car this year rather than in two years just because they were having a special sale?   While it might be tempting, would it help your reach your goal of paying off the student loans this year?   Probably not.


6)  Carefully consider the return on your investment

Even if an opportunity fits with your values, principles, and priorities doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good opportunity.  It just means that it’s met your initial screening.   Now it’s time to review opportunities based on the time or money you’ll have to invest versus the likely outcome.  What is the “return on my investment” likely to be?

Large time or money investments for uncertain returns are what you should try to avoid. Most successful investors and entrepreneurs are skilled at this, and always look to minimize risk and maximize the possible return.  If the risk is unclear or too high, have the discipline to walk away.


7)  Reach out to your trusted advisors

Sometimes it’s easy to lose perspective and clearly see the potential challenges or pitfalls if you have passion about an opportunity.  Getting input from those you trust and respect and who can be objective can sometimes save you from making a bad decision.

Avoid getting too attached to an opportunity until you’ve really considered it from all angles.   While intuition and heart can have a role in making good decisions, use your advisors to help you balance things out with sound consideration and judgment.

DIVE DEEPER:  Get full clarity about all of your skills, abilities, and talents here so you can identify a greater set of job or career opportunities.

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