“Opportunities Multiply As They Are Seized”
– Sun Tzu
Hello everyone! How about starting your day off with a little motivation and inspiration. Time to seize the day!
Sun Tzu, who is behind the quote above, is the author of the widely acclaimed book, “The Art of War”, published around 500 BC. I’ve actually started this book, but I have not made my way far yet. Sun Tzu was a military general for the Chinese and his principles have been used by many legendary warriors and emperors, including Napoleon Bonaparte. But today, his lessons are most commonly used by creative strategists and business leaders looking to corner the market or lead an industry.
I stumbled on this quote as I was beginning to learn about Sun Tzu and wanted to bounce it off all of you readers to see how it has applied to your life and get your feedback. And hopefully it serves as a bit of motivation to pursue the opportunities in front of you!
I would encourage everyone to pursue new opportunities and learning experiences. Don’t be afraid to put an opportunity into action and pursue it directly. If it is successful, it could lead to many other creative ideas or opportunities. Remember, you have to start pushing the snow ball before it begins to roll by itself down the hill!
For me, this quote is very easy to apply to my career, both in terms of opportunities I have taken and a few that passed me by. While I’m a believer in things happening for a reason and ultimately everything will work out for the best; that’s an awfully passive way to live life. I’m also a big believer in hard work paying off. And putting those two philosophies together can allow you to go through life successfully and hopefully without a lot of unnecessary anxiety and worry.
Let me give you an example, I remember early in my career wondering whether I should go back to school for my MBA or not. I wasn’t considering leaving my job for a full-time MBA program, but rather a nights and weekends program and maintain my employment. I bounced the idea around to a couple of my co-workers, including my boss, to get their thoughts. I honestly felt like my boss was trying to persuade me not to which bothered me a bit, but she did make some good arguments and I began leaning against it.
Then another co-worker told me to look around at the group leaders in my office and whether they had MBAs. Sure enough, all the leaders in my group did have MBAs. So while an MBA may not be necessary to advance my career, there are definitely more opportunities for advancement with an MBA. And that was all the proof I needed. I quit dragging my feet and finally decided to apply!
Looking back on it, I’ve never once regretted that choice. Sure it cost me and my wife tens of thousands of dollars, but fortunately my employer did reimburse a portion of it as well. But no doubt it has accelerated my career and been instrumental in receiving a job and promotion. It’s hard to quantify the direct effect of it, but I’m quite certain it was a good investment of time and money.
Opportunities Passed By
There has also been opportunities I’ve let pass by. Partly because it was tough fitting them into my life at the time or maybe I was just a bit uncertain about the potential benefits of going after it. For example, I was always interested in taking a couple week long courses through Harvard Business School. They offer executive education programs and many courses sounded very interesting and applicable to me and my career.
Now who knows if I would have been accepted into the class or not, but it was an opportunity that existed (and still exists today) that I haven’t pursued. As I recall, the classes cost $5k-$10K each and last one week. I could have received employer reimbursement for the majority of the cost of the class, but would need to pay my own airfare out there and take paid time off for the week. But it could double as a bit of vacation and my wife could always meet me out in Boston too.
It was definitely doable, and something I did give a lot of thought to. And who knows what opportunities would have come out of an experience like that, or what people I would have meet that would impact my life positively. I definitely wish I would have pursued it more, but I let it slip by and now I’m not sure if it would be as worth it to me. Maybe I will reconsider one day.
Small Business Investment
I have countless other examples, including the opportunity I recently mentioned in [My Investment Portfolio] post on how I’m pursuing a small business investment with my siblings. While I haven’t provided much detail yet on this small business investment, I plan on doing so in a future post so stay tuned. I sure hope it turns out successful and leads to additional opportunities in the future for us!
The Green Swan eBook
Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to The Green Swan eBook. You can order your copy today and download it instantly (readable via your favority e-reader app). The Green Swan eBook is over 30,000 words, 82 pages on normal 8.5 x 11 paper, and over a year in the making to help you get on the path toward financial independence! Buy yours today, you will be happy you did!
Anyway, enough about me. I want to hear your stories! What opportunities have you seized? Have you let opportunities pass you by? What can you do today to reach out and grab life by the horns?
Hopefully this little dose of inspiration / motivation catches you at the right time and spurs some level of positive action. Time to seize the moment!
The Green Swan
Work Harder, Work Smarter, Retire Earlier and Find Your Beach