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Creating Your Own Opportunities

In thinking about all the people who have impacted my life throughout the years and all the lessons I have learned from them, I realize how truly fortunate I am. The first of life’s lessons have come from my family. The lessons that I learned from them helped me be open to learn lessons from others who I have encountered. This month I would like to focus on the lessons that I have learned from the people that I have worked with. We spend so much time with people at work, that sometimes we don’t realize how much we can actually learn from each other.

This week I would like to focus on a lesson I learned from a former co-worker named Corrie. I remember having an early morning conversation with Corrie in the Winter of 2010 about our careers, what we were looking for, what were our next steps, etc. I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I knew that I needed a change. I started to think out loud about all the positions that were available in the company that we both worked for and she said to me “just because a position doesn’t exist doesn’t mean there isn’t a need for that position.” She went on to talk about how the key to being successful is seeing a need and discovering how you, and only you, can fill that need.

This is a lesson that I have taken with me throughout my career. I don’t look at opportunities as something that someone or a something, like a company, creates and defines. it is something that I create for myself. We are responsible for creating our own success and that means creating our own opportunities. We can’t sit by and wait for an opportunity to drop in our laps or for someone to help us grow our career. We need to look within ourselves to see what we have to offer and how that can be used to grow ourselves, create our own opportunities, and in turn create our success. Be an active participant in creating the life you want. Don’t be a spectator waiting for the show to start.  Be the show.

I have grown in my career using this advice, I have grown my business by using this advice, and I have grown in my thinking by using this advice. Every situation I am in, both professionally and personally,  I look for opportunities of how I can use my strengths to challenge the status quo, to make things better, to support an organization, to grow businesses, to improve experiences, and to make myself and those around me more successful.

Seth Godin stated “Please stop waiting for a map. We reward those that draw maps, not those who follow them.” If you are feeling like it is time for a change, don’t wait for change to happen to you, discover your talents, know what you were meant to share with the world, and create a map that will showcase all that you have to offer. Don’t look to others for opportunities, look within yourself, and the opportunities will appear.

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