I’m continually amazed at people who seem to achieve great things seemingly against all odds. And I’m equally amazed at people who seem to achieve none of their goals.
Is it that opportunity knocks only on some people’s doors and not others? Is it perhaps luck?
The more I interview people on my podcast and work with students who want to invest in apartment buildings, the more I’m coming to the conclusion that the answer is “no” and “no.”
Opportunity is all around every one of us, and it’s always knocking.
The difference? Our response.
Some people don’t hear it. Or refuse to hear it. Others hear it just fine but dismiss it because they’re busy. Or afraid. Or unworthy. Or not ready. Or too old. Too young. Too poor.
But I’m convinced that the universe (or whatever you want to call the higher power of which I speak) is constantly encouraging us to become a better version of ourselves. Constantly presenting opportunities. Constantly opening doors.
I love this quote from Richard Branson: “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
The question is, how do we handle an open door? Do we walk through it, or do we say, “Nah, I’m good. Thanks anyway.”
My experience has been that whenever I don’t walk through an open door, nothing happens. But whenever I DO walk through a door, exciting things happen. The more I walk through open doors, the more adventure comes into my life and the more alive I feel.
I also find that things become easier. Fun. I struggle less. Things just happen.
I think that’s because our higher purpose is like the jet stream, a strong and constant flow of energy in a particular direction. When we resist this flow, we work harder, are more frustrated and tend to struggle. On the other hand, when we go with the flow, things become easier. Enjoyable.
I think open doors point into the direction of our jet stream (but beware of Shiny-Object-itis; see my article here!). Not walking through them is saying NO to the jet stream, saying NO to opportunity, and saying NO to a more fulfilled life.
The catch? (Yes, there’s always a catch …)
You have to have some kind of FAITH to walk through open doors. I’m not saying you have to find God or join some kind of religion. You’re an entrepreneur, so you already know what I’m talking about.
As entrepreneurs, we have to believe that if we step out onto the ledge, it will all work out somehow. But we don’t know that up front. We just make the next move.
For some inexplicable reason, things “magically” begin to happen when we take that first step through the door. But the magic doesn’t happen before then, but only after we take that first step.
Leaving My 9-5 Job
I remember when I first left the confines of my 9-5 job in 2005. I knew it was my open door, but I was extremely anxious about going out on my own. Since then, I’ve had ups and downs, but one thing I can say for sure: It’s been one heck of an adventure! I wouldn’t trade the experiences (even the pain!) for anything. I’ve grown as a person. And I believe these experiences have allowed me to help others with their entrepreneurial journey.
But I wouldn’t have experienced any of that had I not walked through that open door ten years ago. And there have been many other doors since then. I’m sure I missed some, but I’ve made it a habit to try to recognize an open door and to go with the flow.
Look back on your life. Whenever something propelled you forward in a meaningful way, it probably resulted from you walking through an open door but not sure of the outcome.
Try it. Put the universe to the test. See what happens. I think you’ll be amazed.
So I ask you: What opportunity is knocking right now? Are you going to go with the flow are you going to say no?
Let me know your thoughts with a comment!