Have you ever wondered how long you would have to wait for a breakthrough to happen? Life, business, relationships, whatever. For me, it feels like AGES since good opportunities came my way. Year-after-year hoping I’d find my groove and earn more than a few bucks here and there. But year-after-year, I was still waiting for my opportunity.
Even in social settings, I feel like I’m hitting a brick wall; desperate to find where I fit. But, my tribe was seemingly nowhere to be found.
Do you ever feel like this? Like you’re waiting for your breakthrough all the while watching other people around you moving up and on. And the small groups of girl clans are tinkling their martinis and wine glasses while you sit at home in your yoga pants hoping to get a hit on your website or Facebook page?
It can get discouraging, especially when we see and hear the stories of big success to some who, honestly, have the same skills you do. It’s particularly frustrating when a great opportunity comes to someone who isn’t even trying as hard as you are! So we smile, wish them the best, and then when we’re alone, slam the car door and wonder what the (bleep) is going on.
What?! Who me? Naw…
But isn’t it a fair question? Why does it seem that some people get all the breaks and others don’t?
Here’s the thing: despite what we think, opportunities don’t suddenly appear out of nowhere.
I wonder how many of us subconsciously believe that opportunities are like the luck of the draw. You get it or you don’t. There’s not a thing you can do about it. You know, a girl’s gotta be in the right place at the right time. Am I right?
But what if it isn’t that at all?
I admit that my attitude has been less than stellar over the years. Whining, complaining, and having more pity parties than I care to admit. But one thing I DID do right…I never gave up.
What do I mean by that?
Instinctively I knew that sitting around and pouting like a toddler would get me nowhere – and I was already there, thank you, and it’s not for me. Instead, I poured myself into learning about and doing the activities my heart craved. Such as:
- Educating myself. At first, it was on anything I could get my hands on. Then, as my knowledge increased, my interests became more defined.
- I realized I wanted to write so I wrote as much as I could in little notebooks I carried around.
- Any little chance to write for someone I took it. Even if it paid peanuts. (And it always did).
- I took on other types of clients & jobs to get at least some income flowing and to stay connected with the world outside of silly kitten viral videos on Facebook.
- After feeling ignorant and completely inept in business, I soaked up all I could on how to start and grow a business.
- Studying the Bible for personal growth became a priority – because it impacts our business, everything. (We all have some soul and mind fixin’ to do). I spent hours every day glued to YouTube, downloading dozens of books on my Kindle, and praying in the middle of the night. (And the middle of the day…heck…all the time. I needed it.).
- As a result, I discovered my deep desire to teach and share with others about what I was learning in the Bible – and in business.
- When I’d have a big “Aha” moment in my Bible studies, I’d give boisterous sermons in my living room to an audience of One (still do 😆).
In the midst of learning and pulling long hours every single week, with no pay, I was still trying to force opportunities to happen. But no matter what, it seemed like I’d hit one brick wall after another. I’d try another idea – only to fall flat on my face again and again.
OPPORTUNITIES ARE CREATED THROUGH PREPARATION.
For years this has continued. But you know what? I discovered some powerful keys regarding creating my future (yes, it is created).
- Opportunities don’t “come”. They’re already there. It’s about having the eyes to see them.
- Sometimes we are not ready and thus unable to see an opportunity (or we’re not even looking).
- Often we ignore the small things because we assume it can’t be the opportunity we need (or want).
- We never know where the smallest of opportunities or connections can lead us.
- In some instances, it takes extra preparation before we can handle what it is we want and are working toward. That means sacrificing other things we like to spend more time preparing (GNO, tv, FB trolling, etc.).
- Opportunities come out of preparation – or you’re caught off guard and can’t take advantage of it.
- Believing in the call and promises of God for our lives means we prepare for something before we have it or can even see it being possible.
- Preparation never happens without belief.
- And believing in something when we can’t imagine how it can happen is called “faith”.
TWO OUT-OF-THE-BLUE OPPORTUNITIES
There are moments in life where it seems like everything changes overnight. Those are the stories we hear about in books, social media viral videos, and tv shows. But none of them happened overnight (and if they did, it didn’t stick. i.e. homeless man with the golden voice?) It’s like one day there is no sign of possibility, and the next day someone is flying high.
Up until recently, I admit that I have been very discouraged. No flying high (or low) here. It seems like I’ve been on a hamster wheel for decades; running as fast and as hard as I can and making no progress. But I was learning a wealth of information, obtaining skills, and maturing in every area of my life. So I kept filling my proverbial bucket, wondering if I would ever see anything come out before I died. (I know, a little dramatic, but I can be a drama queen at times.)
Then it happened. My “suddenly”. Only it wasn’t really huge and dramatic.
Not too long ago, I felt the stress leave regarding my future and I started enjoying the process. I stopped trying to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN and accepted the fact there WAS something out there for me and I was still PREPARING.
Very shortly afterward, two opportunities came up. And, yep, it seemed like it was “out of the blue”.
One was to lead and teach a small group of business women from a Biblical perspective. I had taken that goal off my radar (it was on my goal sheet every year)and decided it wasn’t going to happen. But I still worked toward it. Now it is happening AND it’s a better situation than when I tried to do it on my own. I have the support and blessing of others in leadership. That’s awesome! I am so glad for this chance to lead a group of people, under the authority of others. Done well, this will prepare me for the next level.
After getting the news I was leading a small group, in less than 24 hours, I received a call. I was in the middle of taking an online Copywriting Course I bought on faith (it was out of my budget but I took a chance because knew I needed help to improve my writing). The call was a freelance job offer for copywriting!
A very small job that didn’t pay what I wanted, but I knew it was the little opportunity I needed to get better at writing and open bigger doors.
For the first time in 20 years, I had a deep sense of satisfaction because I knew that I knew, these were God-ordained opportunities presented to me because I have been faithful to prepare. Even when it didn’t seem like anything was ever going to happen.
That brick wall I sensed for so long every time I tried to make something happen finally left when I decided to enjoy the preparation process and believe that is WAS leading me into my opportunities.
Here’s the thing: Our work is a testimony to our relationship with God. Will we be faithful and press in when it’s not looking so good?
The principles are the same if you are a believer in Christ or not: Sow the time and effort to prepare for what it is that you want and eventually, you’re breakthrough WILL come!
You and I create our opportunities and breakthroughs when we prepare! What are you preparing for?
Need help with your preparation? Guess what? I love mentoring other micro business owners. If you sail your ship on your own or have fewer than 3 employees, let's talk! Contact me here for a free 20-minute intial consultation.