8 Feb 17

The Art of Opportunity

Opportunity is everywhere, especially if you’re in the right place at the right time and you surround yourself with the right people!

Some of us just seem to attract opportunity while others appear to work hard to make opportunities happen for them. 

opportunity to be filmed for Nokia video while coworking

Co-worker Melinda Leyshon from Write Copy got to star in a video filled at The Creative Fringe for Nokia.

One of the best ways to change your situation is to spot the opportunities around you, because they are all around you, right in front of your eyes. But how can you recognise when opportunity is knocking so that it doesn’t pass you by?

10 tips on how to identify and take advantage of opportunities

1. People

“It’s not what you know, but who you know” has never been more relevant than it is in this fast paced world we live in. Connecting with people – and especially creative people – will open you up to a myriad of opportunities that you may never have previously come across. Creative people see opportunity everywhere! The more time you spend with them, the better the chance that their ability to tap into positive situations will rub off on you. People who create ideas, businesses, designs, products, music, art, writing, or anything else creative, have the ability to look at things with a different perspective. Surround yourself with these kind of people, you won’t have to look for opportunities – they will find you. This is never more relevant than coming into a co-working space such as The Creative Fringe. The connections you get to make and the opportunities that arise can be life-changing.

2. Excitement

Many opportunities are worth following, however it’s the ones that spark a sense of excitement or creative thinking that are the most beneficial. If the opportunity gets your heart pumping or sends your brain into overdrive with the possibilities that might develop from it, then it’s worth pursuing. Be careful not to allow your excitement to run away with your common sense as you still need to weigh up the benefits when factoring in your time, effort and in some cases financial investment. We were recently contacted by Channel 9 as they wanted to film a documentary on how the NBN is supporting people around Australia. The team at The Creative Fringe jumped at the opportunity which not only gave them extra exposure, but allowed them to share the love and give some of their co-workers (who were prepared to step up) a chance to be interviewed.

3. Positive thinking

Be open to new ways of thinking and new ideas. Limiting your beliefs is the first way to miss opportunities. Allow yourself to think outside the square and start to welcome unorthodox ideas. If you find yourself throwing up excuses such as you don’t have time, it sounds like hard work or you’re not sure, then you need to check your attitude at the door. Switch your thinking and start to look at the positive in situations around you. Many of our co-workers have been able to run events or workshops simply by being open to the possibilities and changing their attitude to believe that they can!

Dr Emily Verstege

Be open to opportunities such as speaking to a group of people who are interested in your area of expertise.

4. Step outside your comfort zone

“Complacency is the enemy of progress.” Sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone and step into a space you would normally not play. Going back to No.2, if it excites you it may also scare you a little. These opportunities are often the most rewarding. I was asked last year if I’d be willing to be the branding expert on a 12 part branding program called Build My Brand which is available through the BRiN app. This was challenging and scary, but by stepping out of my comfort zone, I was able to not only increase awareness of my expertise, but I’ve also been able to leverage off this and have increase our White River Design client base.

5. Provides energy

Opportunities that spark excitement, also usually create an energy. If the opportunity starts to drain you of energy, then it needs to get the flick. The more energy it gives you, the better the outcome is likely to be.

6. Sparks conversation

One way to test if an opportunity is worth pursuing is if it genuinely sparks interested conversation with the creative and entrepreneurial people around you. If no-one seems interested in hearing about it, then perhaps you should move on from it. If you or the people around you seem confused about it, or unsure, then don’t waste your time. However if it sparks interest and ongoing conversation that feeds into the energy and excitement, then grab it by the horns and take advantage of it.

7. Identify pain points

So many opportunities arise from people solving problems. Do you have any ‘pain points’ in your business? If you do, then it’s highly likely that someone has the same issues. Ask yourself how you can take the pain away. Perhaps the solution could turn into an additional service offering or a value add for your clients. Finding opportunities in pain points can be extremely powerful and rewarding.

Found and captured photographer taking up opportunities in coworking

Co-working photographer Naomi Moore from Found and Captured made herself available for the filming of the Channel 9 documentary filmed at The Creative Fringe.

8. Be flexible

As I’ve mentioned, there are opportunities everywhere, but if you don’t make yourself available for them, they will pass you by and others will snap them up. Be flexible, approachable and adaptable and you will find that more opportunities get shared with you as you become the person that people can rely on to come through when needed.

9. Be grateful

Having an attitude of gratitude does wonders to help you change your mindset and open you up to the opportunities around you. Be grateful for any opportunities that come your way and share your gratitude. Those around you will appreciate it and will be more inclined to think of you when opportunities arise.

10. Lighten up

Don’t be so serious! Lighten up! Some opportunities arise through a bit of fun!

Written by branding specialist Debbie O’Connor
from White River Design