The Real Cost of Opportunity
A few weeks ago I decided I’d start texting my friend Brent.
I met Brent at church when the pastor announced he had been diagnosed with colon cancer. My son and I walked up to introduce ourselves and tell him we’d be praying for him.
That was six years ago.
I got Brent’s number from his wife and sent him a text a few days later.
“Brent, it’s Frank. How are you doing?”
“Hi, Frank. I’m hanging in there. How are you?”
I told him I was tired.
Tonight I hugged his wife and kids at the funeral home.
I told his widow, “I wish I had talked with him more.”
She assured me, “We can talk about him.”
The Window of Opportunity isn’t always open
I won’t be able to talk to Brent anymore this side of Heaven.
It’s not that I didn’t have the opportunity. I just didn’t take it.
Now it’s gone forever.
We open windows at home when the temperatures are pleasant. We close them the rest of the time.
The market opens windows for you to climb through, too. But there’s no guarantee the season will last forever. Things change. To keep up, you’ve got to stay awake.
Wait too long and the window not only closes, it disappears.
There’s no time like now
I’ve got countless ideas.
Ideas are great. They’re the fruit of a busy mind. But without action, they’re not worth much.
Whenever I’ve started anything significant, I’ve adopted this mindset:
I’m learning as I go, not before I go.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t prepare at all. Learn enough to start. Get the gist of what you’re about to do.
If you need time to do some research or testing, set a time limit. With a deadline firmly in place, you can move forward with a mighty sense of purpose.
Without it, opportunity can wilt like an untended garden.
Accept a messy start.
Perfectionism is the biggest opportunity killer in the universe.
You wait because your idea isn’t quite ready for prime time.
You stall because you have six more items on your to do list that you really don’t want to do anyway.
Before you know it, you’re making excuses for why your idea would never work anyway.
First drafts are messy. They need more polish, more shaping, and probably a major rewrite.
They’re also the beginning of everything great.
Take that risk. If you fail, so what? You’ll learn something. Your friends will forget and start thinking about themselves again. And tomorrow will be a new day, full of new promise.
Nobody thinks about all the shots Michael Jordan missed. And they probably don’t think about the fact that he shot baskets every day, all year round.
He succeeded because he was willing to fail.
Your messy first start matters.
And who knows? It might not be as messy as you think.
What will you start today? What opportunity will you seize? Tell us about it in the responses.