A Reflection on Opportunism

Opportunity is an unpredictable thing, that much we know. However, it is something that we need to incorporate more into our business endeavors?

When opportunity calls…

I remember one of my New Year’s resolutions (yes, I reluctantly admit) was to become more of an opportunist, to take on more opportunities that crossed my path because you never know where it might lead. As an aspiring screenwriter I was curious to see how this would help me further my dream profession. Then, one month after making this pledge with myself, I received a phone call from a man called Peter.

Peter, my sisters’, best friend’s mother’s, new partner (I know right) called to ask me whether I had any knowledge in sound editing, as he knew someone that was looking for an editor for her upcoming podcast.

My initial reaction was to immediately decline the offer – it served no purpose in fulfilling any of my current writing ambitions, I was a university student cleaning up after people at cafes to pay rent. However, keeping to my pledge I took up the offer as extra work. Over the next nine months I edited podcasts, wrote show notes etc.  I found it inspiring to see this podcast venture grow, to witness all the opportunities that sprouted from that and all the potential unfolding before me.

Jump out of the comfort zone

It was something that I later realised I would have never experienced if I had never jumped out of that comfort zone I was in whilst pursuing writing. Sure, sound editing doesn’t follow my path exactly, but now I begin to question: “Does it really need to?” Was it not possible to have an end goal, dream job, dream contract, dream client etc. and actually stray off that path slightly and have it be beneficial? I believe you would still learn valuable lessons either way.

Only a year ago I was a university student and part time barista. Because of this newly invented/discovered attitude towards opportunism, I’m the resident editor at a company the first of its kind in the country, and this really excites me.

Maybe opportunism extends outside of all our main goals, taking on opportunities that might lead us down other paths. The trick however is knowing the difference between an opportunity and a risk. How long does it take before an opportunity becomes a burden? It’s as if there’s a fine, universal balance between the two, and I believe the biggest secret to success is being able to define the two.

 

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Experienced and written by Ryan Prestipino 

Author: Ryan Prestipino

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