Do you hesitate when presented with an opportunity? Do you have the courage to try something? All leaders take calculated risks in order to achieve success. When I came across this quote I had to write about it because it is one of the drivers behind my motivation in writing my latest book, “Opportunity Knocking”. I show you that while the book focuses on leaders in diverse industries, it unveils the seven strategies they all use to achieve success. And you know what? Those strategies are inside you!!!! Each went through the same critical decision-making process in building each layer of his or her Opportunity Pyramid. Here is a snippet of the genesis of the pyramid and the journey you will embark on in the book:
Remember there are seven layers in the opportunity pyramid:
• Fortify your foundation—know yourself
• Build your knowledge
• Define your opportunity strategy—and stick with it
• Fuel your passion
• Stay the course
• Execute—pay attention to the details
• Think ahead—world domination
Fortify Your Foundation—Know Yourself
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for success. To start the process of building your pyramid, you need to know yourself, so you can identify
your strengths and weaknesses and can decide if you have the competitive edge when assessing a certain opportunity. How can you distinguish
between a good opportunity and a bad one if you don’t know what you want to achieve or how you are going to go about it?
Define Your Opportunity Strategy—and Stick with It
The knowledge-building process leads directly into the next layer, defining your opportunity strategy. What does opportunity mean to you?
You may be at a crossroads in going to the next level of your business, career, or aspiring career, so defining a strategy may mean taking radical
steps to reset your course. You internalize whatever life lessons and experiences come your way, so garner from them the courage and the
conviction to define your opportunity strategy and stick with it.
Fuel Your Passion
Passion is the fuel that keeps you going and inspires you on your way, but being passionate is not the same as being impulsive. The thrill of
knowing you are on your way can become intoxicating. You must be sure that your execution is dead on. You can’t let the emotional highs
and lows cloud your judgment.
Stay the Course
When you set a course, there may be naysayers who doubt you. Hear them out if you respect their opinions, but if you don’t agree with them,
don’t be swayed. Remember, this is your life and you are accountable for the decisions you make. If you want to home in on your passion and
build a business, you need to be comfortable with the path you take. Who cares what the others think? You will see examples in this book
of people who went against those who disagreed with their plans, staying the course to come out on top. Remember that in the end, it’s your
blood, sweat, and tears that are woven into the fabric of your business or idea.
Execute—Pay Attention to the Details
If you want something bad enough, you have to make sure you execute effectively. If for some reason it becomes clear during the execution
process that a plan will not work, you have to make sure your backup plan is clear immediately. As Dagfinn Lunde, transport banking financier
extraordinaire and member of the board of managing directors for transportation lender DVB Bank, once said to me: “The backup plan has
to be clear immediately because, when you sit on that tipping point, you can’t wait. Sometimes you have to give up the first plan and go to
your alternative plans. You do not want to fail. You just have to find the right way to execute and work on those alternatives to prepare for such
Think Ahead—World Domination
All this preparation is fortifying you for what BlogHer founders Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort Page, and Jory Des Jardins call “world domination”—
whether that comes in the form of expanding your business, getting a job promotion, or leaving your job and embarking on a new
career or business. Your apex is what you want it to be. “World domination” could be considered a hefty description, but your definition of
world domination will definitely be different from mine. It’s just about being the absolute best you can be.
Building Blocks for Success
All of these levels fit together perfectly and erect a strong structure to guide you in your pilgrimage to success. Throughout the layers of the
opportunity pyramid, the cement that binds each pivotal step is honesty. All of the leaders in this book are brutally honest with themselves.
If you do not know yourself, including your strengths and weaknesses, how can you define opportunity? How can you distinguish between a
good opportunity and a bad one? All too often we let the fear of failing get a grip on us. We don’t want to try because we are afraid we will fall
short. Don’t let that fear immobilize you- embrace the fear to make those calculated risks. Soar to your potential and dreams. You deserve it!
For more inspiration, leadership strategies and lessons? Please order a hard copy or Kindle version of my book Opportunity Knocking Lessons from Business Leaders.