Thursday, October 17, 2013

What Does It Look Like To Pursue Opportunity?

The desire to pursue opportunity is shared by all mankind. All over the world, entrepreneurs, innovators, inventors, existing and potential small business owners pursue opportunity for their own reason. Some to gain wealth, others fame, freedom, peace of mind, or maybe to live in a dream realized. But, what does it look like to pursue opportunity?

Opportunity is illusive and subjective. The opportunity that I may pursue may look ridiculous to you or a complete waste of time. However, we can all agree that opportunity is positive, a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something or an appropriate or favorable time or occasion. Thus, to pursue opportunity is also positive. However, that does not equate to achievement or success. Whether you achieve the opportunity that you pursue or not, there is one main thing that you must understand.

The most important thing that you must understand may very well be the most important key to pursuing any opportunity, movement! You must do something more than talk to achieve the opportunity in which you pursue. Faith or belief without works or action or demonstration is dead or non-existent or lifeless. So what does it look like to pursue opportunity?

I was inspired to blog about pursuing opportunity after listening to a Bishop TD Jakes sermon and watching the 1992 film, Far and Away, staring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. In summation, the two were completely different but brought together in pursuit of opportunity. One was wealthy and the other poor, one educated and the other unlearned, one cultured and the other not, but they were both in Ireland and connected by the desire to own a piece of land being given away in the US in Oklahoma territory.

The photo above illustrates what it looks like to pursue opportunity. Can you imagine how more than 100,000 people felt on Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma on April 22, 1889, as they risk it all, lining up and awaiting a gunshot to race toward opportunity. History suggests that the race began with a single gunshot. Pioneers on horseback and carriages raced to stake their claims for the best acreage the area had to offer. The rush to the new lands, the pursuit of opportunity, helped establish towns such as Oklahoma City.

What do you look like as you pursue opportunity? Could it be as easy as 1 – 2 – 3? Here are a few suggestions that may help. One, you must know without a shadow of doubt “what” opportunity you are pursuing and then determine in your mind, body and soul that you are willing to do what is required to achieve it. Keep in mind that to pursue opportunity can be a short- or long-term process. If the opportunity develops for you to partner with a friend to startup a new entrepreneurship, then that is the “what” and you must determine within yourself to make it happen. Step one propels you to step two to builds momentum for step three.

Step two requires time and action or movement or activity or demonstration. Movement, activity or demonstration can include: research, preparation, investing, designing, testing, steps, often risky, that move you closer toward realizing an opportunity. Maybe you want to pitch your product or service to a certain person or company. This is the “what.” Step two requires you to discover how your product or service can add value or benefit that certain person or company. Who do you know that can help you make contact with that certain person or company? Step two demands movement. Now that you are moving-forward, you are more prepared for step three. Step three is the making it happen step.

Now that you have prepared yourself by performing research, testing, etc., it is time to do it; launch, apply or make that call. Step three can include: the launch, going to the bank to apply for the loan, signing the lease, applying for a provisional or full patent, setting up appointments to make the sale and more. Recall the picture above of what it looks like to pursue opportunity. Lets go back to the late 1800s and make the comparison using these three steps. Step one, the decision was made to travel to Oklahoma to claim a parcel of free land; step two required learning the process, procedures that will be used to claim the land, consider the competition (this was part of the wild west), review of the land to be claimed, choosing a good horse, etc; and step three, on your mark, get set, “POW,” go claim your land!

Henry Snorton, III, CNM, MPA, CEcD is founder of Mission Vision Partner, a full service economic development consulting firm that specializes in small business & entrepreneurial development, economic development and application development throughout the US that impacts communities and economies for improvement. Visit or call 270-839-3426 for more information.