“Friends With Benefits” Teaches Us About Missed Opportunities

A few weeks ago, I rented the recently released “Friends With Benefits” (aff). Besides being a pretty decent movie, it (surprisingly) taught me an important lesson about life (and business).

If you know anything about me, you know that I’m a bit of a risk taker. I guess it comes with being an entrepreneur; but sometimes the risk is too high, even for me. And I often come across clients who are too conservative to be truly successful in their business.

To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do conclusions.

~ Benjamin Franklin

I don’t think Friends With Benefits is really meant to be inspiring, but I honestly got some valuable lessons (or at least reassurances) from it.

Let me give you some background.

The movie is about two friends (Dylan & Jamie) who reach an agreement to have sex with no emotions involved. Eventually (and predictably) they start having feelings for each other (although the Dylan denies it).

Warning: spoiler alert!

Long story short, they get into an argument where Jamie overhears Dylan claiming that he doesn’t have feelings for her.

The turning point, when Dylan finally admits to himself that he does, in fact, love Jamie comes during a conversation with his father (who is suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s) during a meal at the airport.

Dylan’s father mistakes a passerby for a woman from his past in an Alzheimer’s induced lapse. When Dylan asks him about it, he says that he met her in the Navy. He goes on to say that she was the love of his life, and he regrets that he let her go.

Every Opportunity Is Once In A Lifetime

Generally, there’s three reasons that we say “no” to an opportunity:

  1. I’ll get another chance in XX months.
  2. The risk isn’t worth the reward.
  3. I’d rather focus on the big opportunities.

We can’t predict the future.

I wish we could, but you can’t and neither can I. Even if an opportunity comes around again in the future, are you sure that your circumstances will be as perfect as they are right now? What if that opportunity never comes around again?

I’m not saying that we should blindly grab every opportunity that comes our way, but at least consider each opportunity as if it could change your life.

Jumping at several small opportunities may get us there more quickly than waiting for one big one to come along.

~Hugh Allen

Instead of snatching the small opportunity of trying a relationship, Dylan risked losing his true love.

Seize the moment. Take a chance. Most importantly, focus on turning small wins into monumental victories. As Orison Swett Marden (a writer and businessman from the late 1800′s) said: “Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them”.

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  • http://www.dailytrader.com Global Wholesale Suppliers

     Its essential for every business man to look in his business internal and external environment. If there is a window of opportunity open then you should avail it before your competitor. Opportunities are always very rare and ignoring one opportunity can ruin your business.

  • http://twitter.com/RtMixMktg Right Mix Marketing

    Rishi. I agree with the saying that “each opportunity is once in a lifetime”. Hey, even a movie about friends with benefits can remind us about this important lesson!

  • http://Mazzastick.com Justin

    So true Rishi. We have to be quick to jump when an opportunity presents itself to us. I haven’t seen the movie yet but I will probably check it out.

  • http://www.BloggingTipster.com/ BloggingTipster

    Hi Rishi,
    Its essential to keep our eyes and options open for opportunities. The movie’s a  decent watch too.

    • http://dev.monazu.com/blog Rishi Patel

      Thanks for your comment!

    • http://twitter.com/ABasanti Aman Basanti

      Haha I’ll let you know how I like it after I watch it.

  • http://www.writerviews.com Michael Alexis

    Alright – so I can’t help but feel a little inspired. And although I’m unlikely to watch the movie, I likewise find inspiration in all kinds of places: from Bill & Ted’s “be excellent to each other”, to the Never Ending Story, to Narnia, to Eminem, to Michael Jackson:

    If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change!


    Michael

    • http://dev.monazu.com/blog Rishi Patel

      Yessir! Too often people use others and their situation as an excuse, but it all starts with yourself. Glad this inspired you a little and thanks for the comment!

  • Elizabeth McGee

    Taking risks is tough for a lot of people, that’s why many are better suited working for others, the risk of not getting a steady paycheck may be too great.   I’m not a big risk taker but you can limit your risk by doing your homework and planning.   It’s the risk takers that head into something blindly that can cost them and make them gun shy for the next risk

    Nice Post!  Liz :-)

    • http://dev.monazu.com/blog Rishi Patel

      Thanks Liz! You’re right of course: even risk takers must balance risk vs. rewards, or things can end ugly (trust me, I’ve been there!). It’s just a matter of a person’s comfort level.

      Thanks for the comment :-)

  • http://twitter.com/ABasanti Aman Basanti

    “Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them.”
    That’s a cool quote. I haven’t seen the movie yet either and to be honest, it didn’t look that good. But now that you’re saying its good I might watch it.

    • http://dev.monazu.com/blog Rishi Patel

      Well I’m easily entertained, so don’t judge me if you don’t like it :-p

  • http://thelessonlocker.com/ Trevor

    The movie had a nice ending but I can’t help but think real life simply isn’t that neat and tidy.

  • http://www.bayut.com Natalie Johanson

     The movie seems nice. I’ll watch it this weekend.

    No one can predict the future but we can just plan about it, there’s no guarantee that our plans would be 100% successful but the Hugh Aleen quote is perfect and one should grab every little opportunity that comes by.

    • http://dev.monazu.com/blog Rishi Patel

      Yep, and I’m a living example that it’s worth it! I got into marketing by grabbing a small opportunity to help someone with sending emails.

      It’s crazy how things come around!