professional development

What exactly are you doing to create space for opportunities?

Sue Barrett /

In recent months, I have deliberately chosen to start each week by writing down this statement:

“Be open to great opportunities”.

This statement appears at the top of my to-do list book that I take with me everywhere. It is handwritten and highlighted with yellow highlighter.

I have chosen to do this for several reasons:

  1. It keeps me focused on moving forward and being open to new ideas, new ways of doing things, new people and markets, new opportunities with new and existing clients, and so on;
  2. It stops me from falling into ‘group think’ and being drawn into unproductive spaces, and negative and ‘fake news’ cycles; 
  3. It stops me from being judgmental and entitled as there is always a different perspective to consider and understand even if I don’t agree with it;
  4. It keeps me open to learning, evolving and engaging with difference and diversity; and 
  5. It creates a space for me to focus on what I can do and look for what is possible, even in tough times and when I feel very tired or a bit miserable

It is so easy to stop looking for what is possible, what we can do, how we can evolve. When we stop, we close off the space for creating opportunity – which is very problematic as life is all about opportunity.

My mother taught me there is no such word as ‘can’t’. She always said: “No matter what, think about what you can do. You always have a choice”.   

Indeed we do.

How we talk to ourselves and direct our attention makes a big difference to our demeanour, our energy, our intentions, how we interact with others and how we are received and perceived by them.

It isn’t always easy. However, with my focus on being ‘open to great opportunities’, I am making myself available and responsive to these very things.

I have created a space for opportunities to come my way; what I am saying is that I am ‘open for business’ and I am ready for action.

It is simple and liberating.

As Stephen Covey said: “I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions”.

So what are you doing to create space for opportunities?

I have found it helps to make time to reflect on your goals, your current state, your sales pipeline, the state of your personal and business relationships, your health, and your wellbeing.

It helps to take the time to explore and seek out opportunities to do good work with and for others.

It helps not to take things at face value and instead look for evidence before making decisions.

It helps to combine opportunity with optimism, which creates purposeful optimism, because it all starts with opportunity and opportunity makes it possible to do good things.

It’s in the taking time out of my busy schedule to reflect on and pay attention to ‘be open to great opportunities’ that I have found that great opportunities are coming my way.

Which is why it is so important we look at what is possible and use constructive positive language to help us move forward and create the space of opportunities to flow.

As Mahatma Gandhi said:

“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words.

“Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviour

“Keep your behaviour positive because your behaviour becomes your habits.

“Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values.

“Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”

Remember everybody lives by selling something.

NOW READ: Women in tech: “You make your own opportunities and if you work hard good things will come your way”

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Sue Barrett

Sue is a selling better strategist and advisor, sales philosopher and speaker, sales trainer and coach, writer and activist. Sue is chief executive of forward thinking sales advisory Barrett and online sales education and resource platform www.salesessentials.com. Barrett develops sales strategies, standards and education that help people and businesses sell better.

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