How to Turn Everyday Experiences into Opportunities
When you woke up this morning, what was your response to the alarm, or the sun, or whatever woke you? Were you excited to start your day? Were you irritated to be awoken? If you had the former response, it’s likely that you see opportunity in even the most mundane experiences. If you had the second response (assuming you did not have a late night), you probably are stuck in a rut. It’s time to get out of that rut and recognize that everyday experiences are opportunities in waiting.
Be Present in the Here and Now
This might seem like silly advice on the surface. But most of us are actually not very mindful about what is happening right now. Instead we are worried about other things such as ticking off our to-do list, or what might happen in the near or far future. It’s truly a waste of time to focus too much time on much more than the here and now. If you are mindful about what is happening and what you’re experiencing now, it becomes that much more likely you’ll find opportunity in the mundane.
For example: When you wake up in the morning, instead of thinking of all you must accomplish today, focus on how your sheets feel on your skin. Focus on that first morning cup of coffee. Focus on the stretches you do each morning. Do not focus on your to-do list until it’s time to focus on your to-do list.
Build Relationships Everywhere
You never know when someone else will want or need whatever it is that you’re offering. And you never know when someone you meet someplace has something you need, such as a connection or skill. This can be true whether you’re at the grocery store, the doctor’s office or Starbucks. Instead of being busy on your smartphone or computer, why not pay attention to the people around you. Comment on their shoes, or what they’re reading; and before they leave or you leave, give them your business card.
For example: “What flavor of coffee is that? I will have to try it sometime.” Then ease into conversation, listening to them more than you talk. Then when the time is up, say something like “Wow, so nice to meet you, here’s my card, if there is ever anything I can do for you let me know.”
Don’t Forget Your Email
You likely have a lot of people on your email address list who need what you have to offer but have never been offered it. Right? Ensure that you set up a signature line on your email that goes out to everyone, even personal contacts. This line needs to highlight what you do, as well as give a link to your website – perhaps your business-related social media accounts too. You have no idea who the people you know has contact with and how that might turn out in the future. Never underestimate any chance to connect.
For example: Your child’s teacher sends out an email requesting bake sale items. You respond that yes, you’ll send some in. The teacher sees your email signature, knows someone outside of work such as an aunt, uncle or cousin who needs your services or products, and tells them about you by forwarding along your information. People like to do business with those that they know, like and trust. This is a great way to connect that is just an everyday happening.
Finally, look at your entire day and figure out ways that you can turn everyday experiences into opportunity. Write down what you do each day and figure out what you can change or add to it in order to create new opportunities. You’ll be surprised at how many times you likely pass up an opportunity of some kind.