By Sierra Kovash
While scrolling through Facebook a while ago my friend, Paul Steen, wrote, “If opportunity hasn’t knocked, you might have failed to build the door.” That statement really resonated with me. We often complain about how life hasn’t given us the opportunities we wish for, while, in reality, we haven’t prepared ourselves for these opportunities.
My outlook has always been that God takes care of those who take care of themselves. Not everyone will have this outlook, but the takeaway is that when you are taking care of your business good things follow suit. Don’t ever be afraid of hard work that will take you somewhere over an easy job that will leave your career sedentary.
Opportunity doesn’t always come with a sign that says, “COME TO ME, I’M AN AWESOME OPPORTUNITY!” Most of the time it comes in the form of a HELP WANTED sign or a job posting. With initiative and commitment, a small opportunity can lead to a bigger one, and then a bigger one, and so on. How many people do you know or can you think of that started as a cashier or apprentice? They had to take that first step. They had to knock on the door of opportunity, even if it was below their skill set, to get where they needed or wanted to be. Sometimes a little humility will go a long way in situations like this. You are no better than the person sitting next to you, and when you learn to treat the janitor the same way you treat the CEO you will climb faster.
Billionaires the world over have had humble beginnings. Entrepreneur Harold Hamm grew up on a share cropper farm picking cotton with his family before he was a gas pump attendant. He is now worth over 14 billion dollars. Warren Buffet worked in a grocery store and we all know that Steve Jobs started Apple in a garage. Each of these people took the small opportunities given to them and built on them to create bigger opportunities for themselves.
What if you are not happy with the opportunities provided? Create your own! Leverage the education, insight, and mentors you DO have and create your own opportunity. That is what the American dream is all about. Still, be prepared to mop the floor and clean the toilet, because that is what happens when you build your own door. You cut down the tree, mill the wood, sand it, and paint the door. Just get ready though, when you knock on your own door… you are the only one holding up the frame. Don’t let that phase you though. When you succeed, that success will be all yours because YOU did it. You are the one that pushed through. You are the one that built your empire. You can do this. I know you can.
“Luck is where opportunity meets preparation.” Seneca