Fri | Jul 10, 2020

Trevor E. S. Smith | Is opportunity knocking at your door?

Published:Monday | December 24, 2018 | 12:00 AM

“You know I had that idea?”

“That could have been me!”

“I can’t believe I missed that!”

WHO AMONG us have never rued a missed opportunity? These considerations will help you to answer the next knock.


When opportunity knocks, make sure that you are at the right address.

We miss opportunities by giving up too early. We pursue an objective and work hard at it. However, we give up in frustration if the results are not seen early.

The problem is, that project is the address that opportunity has for us. She comes knocking on that door just as we move on.

One success strategy is to dig deeper instead of wider. The treasure you seek might just be a few feet deeper. Digging elsewhere might not be the solution.


Opportunity might not be knocking on your door because she is busy elsewhere.

Opportunity might be filling the demand for certain skills, but you have decided to stick to what you know. Did I not just say dig deeper?

Well, hanging on dearly to obsolete skills or technology is not smart.

Upgrading your skills is one way to invite opportunity to knock.

Embracing future-ready technology is another sure way of inviting opportunity. Being an early adopter also pays great dividends. Innovation yields even better returns.


We miss opportunities because we are blinkered and out of the loop. Sometimes instead of coming to knock on individual doors, opportunity shares the information with her network.

She figures that people who are connected will quickly get the information and respond.

Being a private person and shunning social media is fine. However, it’s best, then, not to wonder why opportunity is bypassing you.

These are different times. Being connected has a built-in advantage.


Sometimes we are ready and waiting, and yet we miss it when opportunity rings our doorbell.

We paint a picture of what opportunity looks like and how she is to approach us. Any deviation from that and the chance passes us by. Be flexible!

We sometimes miss her knock because we get distracted. One way we get distracted is that we entertain self-doubt. We give in to thoughts that we are not ready or good enough. “Things like this do not happen for people like me. This was all a pipe dream.”

We also get distracted by placing self-imposed barriers in the way.

“The system is rigged. They only open doors for that kind of individual. I won’t even waste my time trying.”

Yet another distraction is busyness. We get so caught up in our daily grind that we fail to step back and look at the big picture.

We are too wed to the present to accommodate a vision of the future. Opportunity knocks loudest on the doors of individuals who can anticipate future developments accurately.

One powerful way to predict the future is to carefully review the past. History repeats itself. Given enough data and the right analytical tools, upcoming developments might not be as difficult to anticipate.

That is why there is so much excitement about big data and why Google, Amazon and Facebook have such a head start going forward.

However, in our small corner, we can be more mindful about events that are taking place internationally. Use sais Google to conduct research. Applying global, historical and current insights locally can pay rich dividends.

Opportunity knocks when you see things that others miss and act on it before they do.


One common mistake is to fail to recognise that opportunity can knock multiple times.

We miss her follow-up call because we are resting on past achievements. Opportunity actually likes to go where she has been welcomed before. That is the seed of serial success.


Opportunity knocks. You go to the door, but you are using the wrong key.

This is the kind of situation in which you receive an introduction and recommendation for an opening or opportunity. It is now your turn to close the deal or follow through. However, it does not happen. You lose sight of why you were recommended and fail to capitalise on the opportunity.

Be the authentic you and work with the talents with which you have been blessed!


Ask about goal-focused executive coaching driven by behavioural X-ray-like diagnostics from the FinxS Playground. Get clarity regarding your WHAT, WHY and HOW! Opportunity is in your neighbourhood.

Learn more about the turnkey Leader-Coach Certification programme here:

- Trevor E. S. Smith and the Success with People Academy team prepare and certify leadership professionals and coach/mentors and develop engaged, high-performing teams. Hire smart with their recruitment solutions. Now enrolling coaches in the ICF/SHRM-accredited Certified Behavioural Coach programme.