Maximize Success by Creating Pockets of Opportunity
In my sessions with clients, or in talks I do from time to time, I always wanted to have a buzz word, an acronym, to convey that the more opportunities you create the better the chances you have of seeing one of them materialize. I decided to go for Pockets of Opportunities, or “pops” (I thought of going with POO, but shit, that didn’t sound too appealing).
So, what are pops you ask? Pops are avenues we open that will eventually lead to opportunity. They are different paths, leading the same way, that you may or may not take. The point is that you are building different ways to get to your destination.
Think about it like this. Let’s say that you are looking for your very first job. You apply to a couple of job posts and you receive an invite to an interview. This is an amazing company that you could’ve only dreamed to be a part of. You do your homework, prepare for it and you nail the interview. You leave feeling like you are at the top of the world and that you are guaranteed an offer. What do you do now? Do you stop looking for other opportunities and wait to hear from the hiring manager or do you continue on?
Some people would look at this situation and decide not to pursue other pops because they want to wait and see what happens. What if a better job, in a better company was just around the corner and you missed out because you decided to wait and see? Worst yet, what if you don’t get the job? I know you nailed the interview (in your mind), but there could be other candidates that resonated more with the hiring manager. What if they suddenly decide to put the opportunity on hold? You just wasted valuable time that could have been spent nurturing other pops.
Worst yet, you are probably going to be feeling a ton of disappointment and resentment because the opportunity you pursued did not work out. The problem with putting all your eggs in one basket is that if the basket breaks you have to find another basket. Now if you are prepared with a vast array of baskets you can easily transfer your focus to those.
The problem with opportunity seekers, whether it is a sales person looking for clients or a recent grad looking for their first job, is that we typically set our goals based on results and not on actions. If we do that we are signing up for disappointment because we can’t control our results, we can only control our actions. So instead of focusing on results, we should be focusing on working had to create multiple pops. Here is an example:
If you are a real estate professional and you set a goal of selling ten houses this month, how much control will you have on achieving that goal? You could work as hard as you possibly can but at the end of the day you need to have people agree to buy the house you are selling. You can’t control that. What you can control is how many pockets of opportunities you create and taking action to make them a reality. Instead of focusing on selling 10 houses, focus on setting up three open houses a week. Full control there. One pop in the bag. Set a goal to go to one networking event a week. Boom! Another pop. Reach out to clients you have worked in the past and ask them for referrals. Pop hat-trick baby!
The good thing about this approach is that you are diversifying the ways you are able to have opportunities come and find you. Even if they do not work out, you know you have taken a chance of generating momentum, and it may not payoff now, but it certainly can pay off in the future. I have clients reach out to me several months after seeing me in an event. At the time, I did not see a reward for opening a pop, but it manifested results a while later.
Finally, creating pockets of opportunity allows you to be more flexible in what you could explore. For example, recently I reached out to a company to see if they had any interest in my leadership development program. I had a conversation with their HR team and they already had an internal program in the works. However, this client was having a business development event and needed a speaker to talk about leadership. I was able to explore that opportunity even though it was not my primary objective. Being open, allows you to take advantage of whatever comes your way.
I will leave you with a quote that really wraps a nice bow around the whole subject of pops:
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant” – Robert Stewart Stephenson
No go out there and create some opportunity.
Andre Mello is a Certified Business Coach and fancies himself a true Johnny Appleseed. He has been in marketing and leadership for over 17 years. If you would like to connect with Andre please visit www.wysecoaching.com