Updated: Aug 11, 2018
By: Brian Gilleece
If a real opportunity came and punched you in the head, would you be able to identify it, categorize it as a REAL game changer or would you skate over it, pass it by? This is a problem many folks face as an entrepreneur, in their personal pursuits and in OUR business of Film/TV.
AN OPPORTUNITY IS A CHALLENGE! WAIT, WHAT? An opportunity is anything that provides you with a chance to change your circumstances for the better. Many of the opportunities we come across are actually disguised as problems or hard work. However, to the untrained eye — unable to see past the present moment — all opportunities are actually insurmountable problems that make life difficult, stressful and hard. It's amazing how many people complain about "lack of opportunity" but more often than not, you ask this type of person WHAT the want, and they can't tell you.
Be MINDFUL, What is it that I want to achieve? What is it that I’m looking for? What specifically does this opportunity look like? How will I know when it presents itself?
Sounds like what it takes to be a WORKING, KNOWN Actor right? A Series of momentary "problems" that need a trained eye to see past the moment and view the entire situation. A challenge is something you can work with to better your current circumstances....
ARE YOU DOWN WITH P.E.O.P.L.E? YAH YOU KNOW ME!! Yes, people are the key, because it’s these people who have the necessary knowledge, skills, experience, and resources you may need to help you turn a difficult situation into something that can help you move forward. Who do I know? Who knows me? How strong is our relationship? How can I enhance this relationship? One of the best ways to gain the support of others is to give them your support, especially during difficult times, the more you are willing to give to others, the more easily opportunities will come your way during difficult times.
It is your JOB to grow and cultivate relationships in this business, just as much as it is to knock peoples socks off on screen! Talk to Ben Affleck, because he don't even do the latter.....and he's rich & famous AF.
GET YA' MIND RIGHT! There are certain indispensable qualities that separate a person such as Richard Branson from others who struggle to take advantage of the opportunities. Focus on growing these qualities within your life EVERYDAY in every way: Curiosity, Generosity, Perseverance, Confidence, Optimisum, Playfulness, Responsibility, Hindsight, Gratitude.
READY SET, READY! The single most important thing to consider when looking for opportunities is to be in a state-of-readiness for any and all opportunities that may come your way. This basically means that you must be constantly on the lookout for anything that could possibly help you achieve your goals and objectives far more quickly, As you go about your day, keep a note of the following questions, and consistently run through these questions in order to keep possible opportunities at the forefront of your mind:
What is happening here, right now?
Why is this happening?
What’s interesting about this?
What does this mean?
How could I benefit from this to help me achieve my goal?
What must I do or say next, to take advantage of this?
GROW YOUR SPHERE: In order to further improve your ability to spot opportunities, it’s critical that you expand your reach by learning new skills, by regularly networking with people who may be able to support you in your endeavors, and by acquiring new resources that will help expand your life resources list. Class, Networking, Staying in touch, Asking questions and being a stand up bloke!
GRABBING THE BULL BY THE HORNS!!!!!! Step Outside Your Comfort Zone. Many of the opportunities that life throws in your direction will stretch and challenge you in a variety of ways. The small opportunities count. It’s important to remember that not all opportunities are created equal. However, it’s not the size of the opportunity that matters, it’s rather what you do with that opportunity that makes all the difference in the end. Network with Creative People, focus on networking with the right kinds of people who have the resources, contacts, experience, and skills to help you achieve your goals and objectives.
TRAITS & PEOPLE TO TELL TO F*CK OFF Following the crowd. Followers. Seeking security and comfort. Cowards. Waiting for opportunities to arrive. Slouches. Succumbing to uncertainty, to fear of rejection or fear of making mistakes. Pessimism and skepticism. Detractors. Following the crowd will get you quickly to mediocrity. Other people - especially actors - who do any of the above.
If Richard Branson followed the crowd, would he be a billionaire today? Likewise, waiting for opportunities to arrive at your front door is like playing the lottery: it might happen, but for 99.99% of people, it never will.
THINK HUUUUGGEE & TAKE ACTION! Think creatively and outside the box about everything that life throws your way — fully realizing that whatever you get from the opportunity is simply a reflection of what you put into it. You either choose to take advantage of opportunity, or you choose something else and weather or not you "succeed" at the opportunity is irrelevant to what you take with you from it to the NEXT opportunity...
Bigger, Faster, Stronger......Better.