O is for Opportunity

“The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work.” ~Anonymous

In mid-2007, I was sitting in my sister’s front room at her computer, trying to ignore the conversation that was happening between her, her ex-husband and their son.  My nephew, then 19 or so, had just lost his job and his parents were trying to help him understand that the world did not owe him a living and he needed to start being at least a little responsible.  No matter how many different ways they tried, his parents couldn’t get him to understand that the first step was just showing up on time.

My nephew was defensive, argumentative, and frankly, acting like a petulant child.

I really was doing a great job of keeping my mouth shut – the keyboard was taking a beating and I was quiet.

And then, I couldn’t be quiet anymore.

I lost my temper.

At the end of my rant, my petulant, defensive, angry nephew shot back “You will never understand how lucky you are, Aunt Melissa.  You have a really cool job”.

You know the expression “Don’t poke the bear”?  Well…

I said many more things.  I told him that I wasn’t lucky to have a really cool job; that I had a really cool job because I had been busting my backside for longer than he had been alive to get to the place that I had a really cool job; that I did not have really cool jobs when I was his age and that no one, not a single soul on the planet, owed me a cool job that I hadn’t worked for.

Just as inspiration comes from the most unlikely places (Natasha), so does opportunity.  However,

“Many an opportunity is lost because a man is out looking for four-leaf clovers.”  ~Anonymous

I didn’t know that meeting Achilles (Dogs) or Truck (Hindsight) would turn into the opportunity to save lives.

I didn’t know that a random invitation to a networking group (BNI) would ultimately lay the groundwork for the opportunity to build the business and personal relationships that it has.  I joined anyhow.

I didn’t know that giving up my Cadillac for a Honda was a step up (Jones).  I still bought the Honda

I didn’t know when I met Marvin Levin (L of LDI) – when I snuck over to his office to tell him horrible news – that I was setting the tone for a friendship and mentorship that would, literally, change the course of my life.  I still snuck over to his office

I didn’t know (and refused to accept for a long time) that Cheerleading was exactly what I wanted to do. I still learned how to cheer

I didn’t always recognize the opportunities when they presented themselves.  Regardless, I have never relied on luck.

That is the thing about opportunity – you have to be willing to work toward it, even if you are not entirely sure that is what you are doing.

The lesson:

Even if you don’t recognize that it is opportunity knocking, you have to walk toward the door,


Never underestimate the value of showing up. If you don’t show up, the opportunity can’t show up,


Just as four-leaf clovers are rare and mythical, so is luck.