Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

October 1, 2009

Opportunity knocks but once.  A cliché that will go on for generations.  I normally hate phrases like this, but this statement proves true for me everyday in my business and home life.  I think it is true for you too.

Think about the phrase opportunity.  I believe when most people hear the term opportunity knocks they think of a job that comes along, or a promotion.  I think of it as a general chance.  A chance to do the right thing, and make the right choice – one time.  Maybe it is a job offer that comes along – in today’s world you better act fast!  Perhaps it is a promotion. But maybe it is something more.

Think about it in terms of customer service.  Have you ever gotten a call from a dissatisfied customer?  We all have.  It sucks to get those calls, but I look at it as opportunity knocking.  It is the chance to take a sticky situation and actually use it to your advantage.  Instead of running from the situation (and a lot of us do), stare it down and address it… immediately!  Quickly move through the steps to find the solution.  Our natural instinct is to escape uncomfortable situations, but when we do that in business we are leaving our customers out to dry.  Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, and you’d better think about them as nothing less.  Have that uncomfortable conversation and tackle the situation.  Your customer will appreciate it and your business will thrive because of it.

This one chance holds true at home too.  A good example is my own situation.  My wife and I are both exhausted by the time she gets home.  I have had the baby all day and tried my best to be productive in business, and she is tired from her long day at work.  When she gets home, that is opportunity knocking for me.  It is my chance to happily greet her and set the tone for the rest of our evening.  If I’m pissed off when she gets home… than she’s gonna pissed off too.  If I’m happy and upbeat (even if I don’t want to be), that is going to set a positive mood and we’ll enjoy our evening.

Take a look around you.  Are you missing opportunities?  Are you making the most of them?  In both business and life, we only have so many chances to be effective.  So take everything that comes your way and do the best you can with it… it might be your only chance.

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