By: Shane Bender
I recently received a fortune cookie with a note that said, “You will soon be confronted with unlimited opportunities.” At first, I took this as a good thing. In fact, someone in my family put it in my office like they were giving me a gift.
Do you desire unlimited business, revenue, or money? Have you asked whether or not this is a good thing? This can be tricky. All businesses desire to grow and want to have many opportunities in the pipeline. On the other hand, they should be strategic, because not all opportunities are what they really want or what is good for them.
How do we ensure that we are choosing the right opportunities?
Below are 3 ways to focus on the RIGHT opportunities and not unlimited opportunities:
1. Be Strategic
What does this mean? It means we need to constantly prioritize our commitments based on priorities. In business, we should look at opportunities and evaluate whether they fit within the goals and plans of the organization. Do we take every client? Michael Hyatt has a “Strategic Relationship Matrix” in which he puts clients, prospects, employees, and any other relationship into 4 areas. I will focus on clients below.
- High Profit / Low Maintenance – These are the client relationships we should focus on.
- Low Profit / Low Maintenance – They are the 2nd best relationship and could turn into profitability with a little tweaking.
- High Profit / High Maintenance – We tend to want to spend a lot of time with these clients since they are paying the bills. There should be a plan to move them to lower maintenance.
- Low Profit / High Maintenance – We want to avoid these relationships.
Consider assessing all your clients and prospects to determine where they fall, and decide if you have a plan to move them toward a high profit / low maintenance relationship.
2. Reflect and Assess
How much time do you spend looking at your opportunities and assessing if you are spending time in the right areas? The busier we get, the less time we have to reflect. This is very dangerous. It could put us in unprofitable and time-consuming situations that are hard to uncommit. How frustrating is that?
I started a business earlier this year and as the business has grown, I have had less time to be strategic and assess. Now I have to make it a priority by planning the week on Sunday night and planning each day the night before. Each 100 days I have a goal, and I write down that goal each day.
Here are some great books that will help.
- The One Thing – Gary Keller
- Deep Work – Cal Newport – I heard this was great and plan to read it.
- Living Forward – Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy
- Essentialism – Greg McKeown
3. Be Content
I went to look for a quote on contentment and found hundreds of good ones. The Bible is full of this subject. I also noticed that Socrates wrote a lot about it. Therefore, it is advice that stands the test of time. How can this help us focus on the right opportunities?
- Contentment gives us the patience to wait for the right time, price, and/or relationship.
- Contentment keeps us present to enjoy the gifts we already have.
- Contentment will help us do a better job with clients, employees, vendors, and other relationships.
Don’t get me wrong. As a business owner, I desire significant growth and have a long-term plan for success. I desire to add value to my clients so they grow to new levels, possibly beyond their imaginations. I have an abundance mindset in that there are more opportunities being created all the time.
Maybe the focus should be strategic, reflected, and abundant opportunities with a contented attitude.