Seize That Opportunity!
Have you ever gone out to eat at a restaurant and had to wait several minutes wondering if your table had been assigned to any waiter? Maurice and I went out to dinner while we were in Boston and this happened. After some time had passed I asked Maurice “How much longer do you want to wait?”
I looked at my watch calculating what time we were going to get up and leave when the lady who had been waiting on the tables next to us finally addressed us. I was surprised because she had left many opportunities to greet and wait on us pass by. As you can imagine by this time we were not impressed with her. Maurice had read some positive reviews about this seafood restaurant prompting us to make our reservations and we were looking forward to a memorable night out. We ordered appetizers and drinks then waited. Eventually we ordered our entrée when our drinks finally arrived. A while later our entrée was delivered and we asked about the appetizers we ordered. Maurice and I could only smile when halfway though our meal the clam chowder and Ahi Tuna appetizer showed up. The restaurant manager tried to salvage our bad experience and told us we would not have to pay for these items. Now that would have been nice but the soup was cold and the tuna looked old. It was just too late for her to correct our experience. All night long the timing had been off; it was as if they were running behind the ball, never getting out front.
Now I have to tell you about another experience we had on a sightseeing trolley. We purchased tickets at a kiosk to tour Boston on a trolley. The entire loop took 2-3 hours and we could get off at several different stops along the way. At one stop a couple of tourist asked our driver about riding the trolley. He smoothly invited them onboard, handed them a brochure as they entered and told them he would collect their money later. He never missed a beat as he drove along verbally describing the sights to his passengers and then at a more convenient moment attended to the new passengers. This veteran driver had a system in place allowing him to take advantage of the walk up passengers. He was ready for the opportunity. In fact he actually looked for the opportunity, as we pulled up to the stop he greeted the potential customers and made it easy for them to join our tour. This was quite the opposite of our dinner experience; he got out front and looked for opportunities. What a difference a little foresight and planning made in the way he executed his work compared to our dinner experience.
We’ve all had days when we’re behind the ball. You know the morning you miscalculate the commute to your first stop and then the rest of the day you are trying to catch up, or perhaps you pushed the snooze button one time too many and that bit of extra sleep fouled up the pace of your entire day. Isn’t it better when you’re out front in your game? I’d say it is. Getting out front requires doing something. It takes a little foresight and planning. Every day is filled with opportunities but to take advantage of them you have to put yourself in a position to look for the opportunities. I wonder how much additional revenue the trolley driver generated looking for opportunities? This goes beyond business to all of life. I’m sure you’ve seen the phrase “Carpe Diem” and you know that it means “Seize the Day” but did you know that this originated in a Latin poem by Horace? In fact Carpe literally means to pick or to pluck off. Seize, pick, pluck are all action words and it takes action to take advantage of opportunities. Today I’m going to prepare to look for opportunities. How about you?
“From this instant on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Separate yourself from the mob. Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do-now.” -Epicteus