Scott’s Thoughts: Opportunity Overload

“The secret of success is to be ready when your opportunity comes.”

-Benjamin Disraeli – British statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Opportunity overload in progress.

More and more, we’ve become trained to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to information. This gives way to a type of confirmation bias, where our perceived quality of the information we’ve chosen to acknowledge goes up. When this happens, we start to see a rise in the number of “good opportunities” out there.

In fact, with each day we see the iteration of great ideas and the appearance of possible partnerships, greener pastures, and more things “we have to jump on.” If you’re feeling the crush of a wealth of options, take a breath.

There are two things we need to recognize with Opportunity Overload:

First, new opportunities always seem more attractive than present realities. A new opportunity exists in an unsullied state of idealization. It seems more elegant and attractive than the mess we’re up to our elbows in.

Second, a flood of opportunities we don’t have the time or ability to capitalize on can be a terrible source of FOMO syndrome (Fear Of Missing Out). You can learn a little more about FOMO in this article from FOMO can significantly impact our ability to focus on the opportunities we’re currently working on, and short-circuit our long-term progress.

And remember: Just as you see opportunities, others will see opportunities. You’ll be approached by others who are also subject to Opportunity Overload. What you absolutely must practice is saying no to opportunities people are convinced are winners.

When you’re approached by someone pitching you a “can’t miss” opportunity, dig deep and look at your commitments. Thank them for bringing you the opportunity, express to them your genuine desire to capitalize on the partnership, but affirm your faith in your prior choices by learning to say no.

Let it be a reminder that the next time you have availability, you must choose your next action wisely.

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