When “Opportunity” knocks, because it will, you’re supposed to open the door but so many people miss their opportunity simply because they weren’t listening and didn’t hear the knocking. I heard someone say recently that, folks often ignore opportunity when it knocks because when it shows up it’s wearing overalls and looks like WORK! Unfortunately, that may indeed be true. Often what people say they want and what they are willing to do to achieve what they desire are at cross-purposes. You may believe you want to be a radio host or owner of a small bistro or boutique. But, when given the opportunity to work with someone who is already in the “business” or is an owner willing to mentor you or teach you the “ropes” so to speak, even if the pay is underwhelming or perhaps even non-existent, as in an un-paid internship, you are unwilling to make the sacrifices required to take advantage of that opportunity.
There are many circumstances where people are genuinely unable to work for only the education and on-the-job-training they would receive by taking full advantage of the opportunity placed in front of them. However, more people are not willing to step up and take full advantage of the opportunity to be mentored and trained one-on-one by an individual who is doing EXACTLY the thing they say they want to do, or the thing they have seen themselves doing. It is so much easier to “talk about” doing something than it is to actually DO something. Doing takes effort, energy and time. Many would rather have fantasies and visions rather than engaging in the work or process it takes to learn the skill set you actually need for the job you want to do or the career you want to pursue.
Many a non-profit organization has been confronted by the arduous task of engaging volunteers to help fulfill its mission, even when the mission is one that is fully supported by the majority of people who encounter it. Everyone thinks it’s a good idea but only a few are willing to step up to DO the Work required to fulfill the mission. Many clubs, organizations and even churches experience this when trying to get people to sign-up to “help out.” Now if it’s a one-time only type of affair perhaps you can get more folks to jump in for a few hours, but if you’re asking for a long-term commitment (like maybe a year) then its increasingly difficult to get those commitments long term. Often it’s in these volunteer opportunities with non-profit organizations where you can gain diverse and wide-ranging experiences that can facilitate your own personal goals and aspirations for future work or other philanthropic opportunities.
The idea of engaging in community initiatives, inspiring or helping others by the work that you do requires that you get involved with other people, and that takes both effort and work. Some of the best learning is done by “doing the work” you think you want to do under the supervision, tutelage and mentorship of someone who has already mastered the job, has their own business, or a similar vision. If you take the time and opportunity to help someone else build their vision, mission, business or other, you will gain knowledge, experience and certitude. Those on-the-job training opportunities often teach us as much about what we Do NOT want to do as they show us with certainty, what we are destined to do. And ultimately, what we deposit into someone else or into another person’s big vision or purpose, we will surely be rewarded for in the end—one way or another. When opportunity knocks…open the door!