Look around your office, see any missed opportunities? Every sticky note, article, and invitation represents an opportunity. The sheer number can knock you senseless. How many opportunities or (dare I ask) piles of opportunities do you have? Is it invigorating to thumb through each slip of paper and cocktail napkin or is it dispiriting, being reminded of the missed connections and potential ventures? Most of us become discouraged, especially if the opportunities are past their prime.
Opportunities are like grapes, they get a little dull and wrinkly with age. They start out ripened to perfection: sweet and juicy. But when ignored, they shrink and get soft. Compared to brand new opportunities, obsolete opportunities take more energy and time to convert (if they can be converted at all). New opportunities are more fun to tackle and give you a greater sense of accomplishment when pursued in a timely manner.
Are you drained by old grapes, dried-up ideas, or expired connections? Would you rather spend your time working with the fresh fruit of rewarding concepts and relationships? Then it is time to make some choices about your grapes, er, opportunities:
- Ignore them! Or, pretend to ignore them! Continue feeling guilty because you haven’t harvested the opportunities. Be reminded of disappointment every time they catch your eye. Allow opportunities to knock you senseless, rather than just calling them ‘gone’ and moving on.
- Dump them! What if your current mission is new or your passion further refined since you discovered that old yellowed newspaper clipping? If it gives you relief to even consider throwing something out, that is a big clue!
- Pursue them! Determine the core reasons for not tackling these items earlier. Missing skill set? Neglected partnership? Mismanaged time? Fear of ___? If you are willing, address these core reasons! It’s not going to be easy, if it were, you wouldn’t be reading about grapes! (By the way, this is a perfect topic for your Mastermind Group or Executive Coach.)
I challenge you to go through your bushels of grapes and discard the ones that are expired. Give yourself permission to be available and creative for the fresh, sweet, and shining fruit in your business. It is time to experience the hope of doing the most important things now, rather than being overwhelmed or distracted by decaying and less rewarding opportunities.
|ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Sugerman, an Executive Business Consultant with Leading Synergies, helps high-performing executives refine strategy, inspire teams, and delight clients (specializing in information technology, project management, consulting, and franchise management). She also leads Synergy Groups, weekly 55-minute case study conference calls for REALLY BUSY Christians in leadership. Michelle lives in Colorado where she hikes fourteeners and enjoys gourmet meals with her loving husband of 20 years.|