Sunday, 28th May 2023

Opportunities have expiration dates

By Gbenga Adebambo
13 May 2023   |   3:55 am
When God wants to bless a man, He doesn’t give money! He opens doors of opportunities. Being poor is very simple; just stay where you are and watch all opportunities pass you by.

“Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them” — William Arthur

When God wants to bless a man, He doesn’t give money! He opens doors of opportunities. Being poor is very simple; just stay where you are and watch all opportunities pass you by. Are you aware that some of the opportunities you overlooked made so many people millionaires? Where you are today is simply a product of the opportunities you missed or seized yesterday.

Every opportunity has a shelf life. Wealth is a response; it is a measure of our timely response to problems and opportunities around us. You don’t have any reason to be poor, if you can see and seize opportunities around you. Certificates and degrees prepare graduates to look for jobs and not open their eyes to life-changing opportunities. People get ahead in life by the opportunity that they seize while others lag behind because of the opportunity they miss. The rich are not always the first to see opportunities, they are simply the first to seize opportunities.

Your rating in life is based on your converted opportunities. There is a common saying that talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. Missed, overlooked, short-lived, and fleeting opportunities, all have expiration dates. Do you know that Kodak actually invented digital photography in the 1970’s, but suppressed it so it wouldn’t harm photographic film sales?

The great memories that Kodak represented would never be forgotten; the good old times when we reached for a camera to stop life for a second so as to grab a memory. For decades, Kodak was the face of photography, but it is sympathetic that for over 134 years when it held the world spellbound through photography, the end of things has come for this great company that had filed for bankruptcy.

Kodak was one of the most powerful companies in the world, but its position has been given to another. Such is the fate of any venture, individual or company that misses out of timely opportunities. The tragic end of Kodak is a pointer to the fact that change is an integral part of the evolution of any formidable venture. There are a lot of reasons why Kodak failed, but refusing to adapt to the changing market and missing out of the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of photo-technology is the prime reason.

Digital photography took off and Kodak wasn’t ready for it. It could have been the industry leader in to the digital age, but it did not want to be the one to pull the lever to bring an end to the film. After over a century of producing traditional film cameras, Kodak has lost its relevance because of its inability to take the lead in moving from producing traditional film cameras to digital technology.

By the time Kodak decided to move from analogue to digital, the digital market was already starting its decline. New technology had emerged and Kodak fought to remain relevant, but “change” gladiators had already won the battle. Selling off its camera unit, Kodak is now a shadow of itself; it is today bankrupt because it was too comfortable with its success in the film industry to be opened to the possibilities of digital photography for the future.

They delayed digital transformation and paid the supreme price for it. No business owns tomorrow. It is not by strength; it is by seeing and seizing life transforming opportunities. Kodak missed out of the opportunity afforded by digital revolution and they never recovered from it.

In 1977, at the age of 20, Aliko Dangote got his first mega break during the FESTAC ’77 — the Second World African Festival of Arts and Culture, held in Lagos. Dangote received a N500,000 loan from his maternal grandfather, Alhaji Sanusi Dantata, a commodity trader, in order to seize a construction opportunity that FESTAC ’77 had brought to the city. This opportunity gave birth to his cement business, and laid a foundation for what we know today as the Dangote Group.

The business flourished and he was able to pay his grandfather back in six months. While people from all over the world were in Nigeria revelling in the gluttony and indulgence heralded by FESTAC 77, the young Dangote saw the opportunity to advance his business because of the massive construction going on in various parts of the country. He seized the opportunity to establish Dangote Group of Companies in 1978.

Albert E.Dunning once said: “Great opportunities come to all, but many do not know they have met them”.
Graduates must stop complaining about the unavailability of jobs; they should start looking for opportunities and problems to solve. The job that you are looking for is out there ‘dressed’ as opportunities.

Benjamin Franklin once said: “Every problem is an opportunity in disguise.” The greatest success stories were created by people who recognised a problem and turned it into an opportunity. People get ahead in life through the opportunity they seize. Life is full of amazing stories of people who identified and seized the opportunities in common life situations to impact the world. Excuses will always be there for you; opportunity won’t.

You will need your job to gain experience, exposure, acquire necessary skills, form formidable relationships and make ends meet at the moment. But your job must never be your ultimate plan. Make your job as temporal as possible but make seizing opportunities a life-long journey. There is nothing as financially liberating as getting to a point in your life when you are no longer looking for job but seeing and seizing opportunities.

You must never allow your ‘comfortable’ salary blind you from seeing opportunities around you. You may be so comfortable today with your salary but the truth is that your financial future depends on your ability to leverage on life transforming opportunities. Take conscious effort to stop complaining about situations around you and instead look out for ways to be part of the solution. You are as rich as the solutions you provide and not the complaints that you make.

Today, look for opportunities to solve problems around you. Look out for opportunities to make life better for others. Look out for opportunities to impact lives positively. Look out for opportunities to help others achieve their goals. The opportunities you are exposed to today will not be there tomorrow. Beware!

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