Great opportunities are like Ikea
We’ve all done it, we’ve gone to Ikea and picked out something from one of those perfect room displays. About ¾ of the way through the store you start to get worried. You realize you’re really far from where you came in, and you don’t know where this maze ends. But like mice, we know there’s some food and the bathrooms at the end (and your kids if you dropped them off at the ball pit by the front door) So you keep going.
Be careful, there are a few paths that take you back in a circle, and with the amount of distraction around you it’s possible to round the same area and not even realize you’ve been there before. I’ve been through Ikea numerous times but I couldn’t draw you a map of the layout if I tried, it’s still a mystery to me. All I know is it ends with me having to find several boxes that look nothing like what I picked out, are too big to fit in my car, and usually have one piece that’s out of stock or not the color I wanted.
Here’s the thing with opportunity, it’s different than what we’re looking for, so we often miss it. Here’s how opportunity is like Ikea furniture, and how you can spot it before it gets away from you:
1. Often the vision of the final product is nothing like how the opportunity presents itself. Instead, it’s in pieces (lots of them!), and you have to build it with daily connections, behaviors, attitude, and work.
2. There’s rarely instructions, and if there are some they aren’t clear. You have to improvise and sometimes you have to mess up and start over.
3. There’s always one screw that doesn’t fit, and at least one hole that doesn’t line up. Waiting for everything to be perfect means we never see the finished product.
4. Quitting means we never get what we invested back. Getting frustrated, angry, fed up, or just bored with the process means we delay getting to our vision.
5. Sometimes what we create looks nothing like the picture. But it’s ours, we built it, and there’s something to that.
Don’t miss opportunities because they are disguised as a challenge, are imperfect, don’t fall into your vision, your timing, or may be missing some pieces. Grab on and build your opportunities every single day. Don’t let them pass you by. That 3 piece sectional sofa that came in 40 boxes you strapped to the top of your Fiat with duct tape and bungees and drove 20 miles an hour down the freeway while your kids held onto the rope and you prayed wouldn’t be splattered all over the windshield of the car behind you isn’t going to build itself!