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:
- I’ll get another chance in XX months.
- The risk isn’t worth the reward.
- 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.
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”.