(Guest post by Benjamin George)
Hello everyone, I am Benjamin George, owner of benjamingjw.com. I write on Twitter at @benjamingjw, which I use as a training ground to learn skills and connect for the future.
My article today is about how to maximize opportunities and be lucky all the time. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I explored this idea via a thread, which I am now expanding and turning into an article.
The thread was well received and I expanded my own theory on opportunity maximization, and thus, being luckier. This is based on real life experiences and observations from others and myself.
I do believe that there is such a thing as being constantly lucky and that you can create your own luck. The way to do so is through opportunities. So, first thing’s first, let’s define opportunity:
- an appropriate or favourable time or occasion.
- a situation or condition favourable for attainment of a goal.
- a good position, chance, or prospect, as for advancement or success.
Now, let’s define good luck:
Luck or good luck is success or good things that happen to you, that do not
come from your own abilities or efforts.
If luck is success that happens to you, without coming from the interior, it means it has to come from the exterior. Opportunities are situations that are favourable; as situations are external, my simple and basic thought exercise concludes that opportunities maximize good luck.
Now that we have a 100%, scientifically proven, irrefutable and serious conclusion, let’s move towards how to maximize opportunity creation for maximization of good luck.
A general guideline that I observe in opportunity creation is this:
- Spread seeds.
- Keep them relevant.
- Be ready to jump when the opportunity arises.
- Keep fit to be able to jump on opportunities.
- Be charismatic, interesting and likeable.
The analogy that I use is that of seeds, which will be explained in each step. Think of Jack and the beanstalk story. At the end of this article, you will become the most avid gardener in the block, so let’s get to it.
If you know what a sales funnel is, it would be similar to creating awareness. If you don’t know, a sales funnel is a fancy marketing term that represents the journey a client takes from awareness to purchase. Think of it as an inverted triangle, in which there are a few steps: Awareness, Interest, Decision and Action.
We are trying to spread wide here, so we need to drop many seeds. We need to drop them everywhere and all the time, even when you are currently jumping on opportunities. Dropping seeds is a numbers game, the more you drop the more opportunities arise.
Sure, we could be more efficient and drop the seeds at places with a high chance of opportunity, but that’s what everybody else does, and they aren’t lucky, we are. Drop seeds everywhere.
Dropping seeds is creating relationships with a wide variety of people. It is being interested in them, it is being open about one’s skills, intents and direction.
Why? Because, as we clarified in our 100% scientifically fool-proof definition, good luck and opportunities come from the external. Who is external to us? People! Opportunities = People (I should have warned this was a scientific article, my bad).
Jack had magic seeds that would grow anywhere. We aren’t as lucky as Jack (or are we?), so we plant seeds everywhere, even if we think beanstalks can’t grow there. You never know, opportunities come from the most random places sometimes.
Keep those seeds relevant
You want to give the seeds water from time to time. Remember, by keeping in touch with people and staying relevant is already more than most people do. Following up on people and being present in their minds is how opportunities work. You have to be there.
Jack didn’t need to water his magic seeds, because he had the power of magic. We will water our seeds, because we are opportunity engineers and we are suddenly interested in gardening. Jack got lucky (oh the irony), we will funnel luck in our direction and create a system to constantly create opportunities. How different is Jack’s magic from ours?
Paying attention to your seeds must be done by keeping in touch with people. Being genuinely interested in people will always take you far, opportunities or not. It is one of the basics of being charming and charismatic.
For some, it is hard to keep in touch with people, it is hard to be interested in them and it is hard to follow up on them. I know it is difficult for the introverts and busy, but this can be trained. Opportunities happen for those who are actively open to them. This is a lesson for those interested in gardening, not sociopaths.
Tend to your seeds, or someone else will reap the benefits. Water them, make sure they have decent soil and lighting, keep pests away… etc. Be present in people’s mind and be genuinely interested in them.
Nobody likes a guy who jumps up the beanstalk of opportunity and rejects those that made it possible for him.
Be ready to jump when the opportunity arises
Most opportunities only happen once, and usually nobody is ever fully ready for them. We have to internalize that we will never be fully ready.
You are out there tending to many seeds and all of a sudden one blossoms and starts shooting up. You run up to it and climb as it grows, noticing you have your farmer’s hat on because it’s sunny, your watering can and shovel as tools, your gardening clothes on and you haven’t had lunch.
When you reach the top, the rest will be looking at you for what you are, an opportunity climb… err a gardener. Always have your tools and whatever you need in a backpack for when you need to jump. Be ready.
Jack saw the beanstalk and climbed. It was pretty obvious as it was a bloody beanstalk a few kilometres tall. Timing is everything, and some beanstalks grow exponentially and will take upwards those that jumped on them right at the beginning.
The lesson here is to be always ready. No one will be ready 100%, you will have a bit of mud on your shoes, but being aware that most times it is now, and now only, keeps you away from distractions.
Keep fit to be able on the opportunities
Keeping fit to be able to jump is very similar to being ready to jump, but it isn’t the same. This lesson ties more into being always at your best, or at least close to it.
You may be ready, with your suit on and the proper tools and jump in at the perfect time, but once you’re at the top you might be sweating, tired, clumsy with the tools and give an image of incompetence.
Do not neglect those aspects that need time:
- Physical fitness.
- Mental agility.
And many more. They are all connected, all of it makes you. Don’t let things that take a small time everyday take away what you have been working so hard for.
Don’t be the person that had everything set in place, but at the time to jump was too weak to reach the growing beanstalk.
Be charismatic, interesting and likeable
While your skills and work are what matter in the end, everyone at the top of the beanstalk is equally skilful. Your personality is what will make the difference in a sea of competence. Being likeable while providing top notch results is the most efficient way to maximise opportunities.
Heck, being likeable is something you must have mastered by now while spreading seeds in step one. You don’t want to reach the top of the beanstalk and have no one relate to you. You are the funnel to your skillset.
Like we mentioned earlier, you never stop spreading seeds. Opportunities sometimes come up like a connected chain, making the most of one opportunity can result in getting your foot at the door for the next one.
Remember, at the centre of all of this are people. People like likeable people. Be a likeable person.
A word on the journey
You are now the master gardener. The one that plants seeds everywhere. The one that tends to all of them and gives them all the time they deserve. The one who is always ready and fit. Not a spec of mud or dirt on your shoes. Not a hair out of place.
Yes, I am talking to you.
You climb up all the beanstalks. You make them grow everywhere. You are the King Midas of beanstalks, the apex gardener. You have it all figured out to a T, yet there is one thing you forgot.
One thing you overlooked while you were busy making magic happen: your soul.
What are the end goals in opportunity? Why would you want this knowledge? Do you really enjoy keeping up with everyone? Are you using people?
I like to provide amoral advice, but I always leave a paragraph or two dedicated to misuse and morality. One can get lost in spreading seeds and climbing beanstalks, neglecting one owns humanity. People are not mere tools or vehicles to use and take you somewhere. People are people.
If you don’t like certain people, cut those seeds out. If you don’t like where certain beanstalks take you, don’t climb them up. Going through certain paths closes others, be wise with your journey.
Nobody likes professional beanstalk climbers. People see right through it. Ask to yourself why.That is all, future opportunity gardeners. Follow me on Twitter @benjamingjw and watch me spread those seeds like I spread those tweets.