Looking for Opportunities in Business and Life – The Alphabet Series continues

ponyWhen opportunity knocks, open the door. See the pony…not the manure pile (story follows:)

How many times has something come into your field of vision and you’ve turned a blind eye, believing that it would be far too optimistic to see it as an opportunity, and far more realistic to see it as an obstacle? As Al Smith says: “Obstacles are really opportunities”. Or in the words of Henry J. Kaiser: “Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.” Or, as Bill Dorman says: “What might appear as a problem is really an opportunity in disguise.”

This young lad saw a potential opportunity the day he sashayed up my driveway and asked me if I had a dog. He informed me that he was a dog walker, and quickly outlined the dog walking/poop scooping prices. When I wasn’t his customer, he quickly jumped to the next opportunity. We could all take a lesson from him:)

To use Claudia Anderson‘s word, opportunity is omnipresent. We just need to open our eyes and minds to see it. It reminds me of the story of the twin boys – the optimist and the pessimist – and the manure pile.

The pessimist brother saw a manure pile outside a barn, wrinkled his nose in disgust and saw the chore ahead of shovelling s*#t. The optimist brother quickly jumped onto the manure pile and started scooping big handfuls as he dug down deep into the pile.

When the optimist was asked what he was doing, he said:” With all this manure, there must be a pony in here somewhere!”

The pessimist saw only an  obstacle. The optimist saw omnipresent opportunity.

Deeone Higgs says we should observe people’s actions, because they speak volumes. (And actions certainly spoke louder than words in the pony/manure pile story.) Do you feel that actions speak louder than words?

Ooooh, O, Oh (yes Lori Gosselin and Barbara Klein, those are your words:)…but for the life of me, I can’t remember who submitted obfuscate, and said: “Sometimes the many different opinions on an issue obfuscate me and obfuscate my understanding of the issue overall.” Yikes! Who said that? I’m obfuscated!

In business, it’s important that orthology play a significant part in our spoken and written communication, as pointed out by Katie Gutwein. In a post entitled “Mean what you say“, the importance of orthology comes across loud and clear when they say “lose the lingo, jettison the jargon”. Or in my terms: say what you mean and mean what you say.

And what, in Jen Olney‘s word outcome is the outcome of all this?

When we look for opportunities in business and life, we should realize that they are omnipresent. It just depends on whether you see them as a manure pile or a pony.

What opportunities are you taking advantage of today?

What opportunities might have presented themselves to you but you chose to ignore, or see them as problems?

What opportunities will you create for yourself today?

And remember…as Brian Tracy says: “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking ‘What’s in it for me?”




  • http://twitter.com/lifeforinstance Life, for instance

    Great “O” words Kaarina! Opportunities eh? Tonight a meeting was cancelled which means I have a whole free evening I hadn’t counted on having. That’s an opportunity to get organized for a 7-gift season coming up in May – July. Don’t ask. Many celebrations coming up that I need to get gifts organized for, at least in my mind. Mostly, my opportunity will be to relax (not what you were looking for, I think) as I woke up “tired” which means my body wants a mini-vacation. 
    On a regular day, I love to see how little serendipities can be opportunities. When something happens or is cancelled, I always wonder what will come of it as it feels meant-to-be.
    Happy Monday!

    • http://twitter.com/KDillabough Kaarina Dillabough

       Happy Monday to you @twitter-228904159:disqus ! It’s always a wonderful opportunity when circumstances change and you find yourself with time to do something else productive and/or fun. A 7-gift season…sounds like a blog post to me:) And what a great line: “On a regular day, I love to see how little serendipities can be opportunities.” Enjoy. Cheers! Kaarina

  • http://twitter.com/bdorman264 Bill Dorman

    I like the story of your dog walker. I tried the same thing at a dance once; I walked up to a group of girls and asked one to dance. When she turned me down, I asked the next one; and then the next one and on and on. Oh my…..not really, I hauled ass after the first rejection…

    Good stuff, problems really can be opportunities in disguise; it happens quite frequently in our industry.

    And to turn dookie into dandelions makes me Proud (P word) of what I do and really being able to help people. You don’t have to be Perfect, you just have to care.

    I hope you are well; talk to you soon. 

    • http://twitter.com/KDillabough Kaarina Dillabough

       Quite the party over at Gini’s place @twitter-34985693:disqus . Running with the big dogs indeed;) And you know I said I’d always dance, haha!

      Thanks for the “P” words: Proud and (you don’t have to be) Perfect will be included. Would love to chat sometime:) Cheers! Kaarina

  • http://hajrakvetches.com Hajra

    I like how opportunity, obstacle and optimism in the same post! There are so many opportunities that come across and we fail to grasp them. But one can always make opportunities for themselves; not always a possibility but yes, a struggle is definitely worth all the trouble! :)

    Never say never… 😉

    • http://twitter.com/KDillabough Kaarina Dillabough

       You got it @hajrak:disqus . Never say never, turn obstacles into opportunity and optimism…well, that’s the only outlook to have, in my books. (Ooooooh…outlook…another “O” word!) Now bring on the “P”‘s. Cheers! Kaarina

      • http://hajrakvetches.com Hajra

        P is for pajamas, I just can’t collect enough of them in weird colors and with funny images on them!

        P is for persistence, for the party of success that will soon follow! :) And knowing that Perfect is all in your head! 

        • http://twitter.com/KDillabough Kaarina Dillabough

           You are the cat’s pajama’s @hajrak:disqus (although I believe you are too young to be familiar with that phrase:) Thanks for those “P” words: they will perk up the P post. Cheers! Kaarina

          • http://hajrakvetches.com Hajra

            I really don’t understand that phrase… please explain!

          • http://twitter.com/KDillabough Kaarina Dillabough

             It’s an old “back in the day” phrase that basically means “you are the best”. Similar idioms: You are the cat’s meow (cats obviously got a lot of play back in the day:), You are the bee’s knees (go figure why that one was popular). To use a Jayme’ism…You Rock Hot. :)))

        • http://www.late-bloomers.net Barbara Klein

          Ah, Hajra, so it is not only socks but also pajamas! A woman of many secrets … 

          • http://hajrakvetches.com Hajra

            Ah yes… too many crazy pajamas… 

            Darn.. I am letting out all my crazy secrets! 😉

  • Al

    Thanks Kaarina.  Yes indeed.  Obstacles are Opportunities to practice Optimism.  Like you said, they appear all the time, it’s how we choose to look at them. Love your stories too.

    I am sending you some P’s.  take CARE.


    • http://twitter.com/KDillabough Kaarina Dillabough

       Bring on the P’s @55bda8bf067c222f67632d2dc41af473:disqus . And you are so right: everything we come to believe is as a result of how we look at things.

      Total aside: but do you know the story/meaning behind the phrase “Mind your P’s and Q’s”? I read it somewhere and will include it in the P post. Cheers! Kaarina

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1057956438 Ann Jane

    Oh Kaarina you gave me my morning chuckle with the manure/pony story.  as one who has shoveled more horse poo into manure piles in my lifetime, I knew there were no ponies under there, but every Spring was an oppertunity to use that poo in the garden and be optimistic that our vegies would be bigger and better. I think that idea should apply to all we do in life.

    P’s???  keeping with the garden…Peter Piper*snicker ….Pick is my word..

    • http://twitter.com/KDillabough Kaarina Dillabough

       Ah @facebook-1057956438:disqus , I too love the manure/pony story. Such a simple little tale to illustrate clearly the optimist’s life! I now have you down for “pick” for next week’s post. Thanks. Cheers! Kaarian

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

    You know what drives me crazy in business- the obsequious folks I sometimes encounter. Makes me want to pound on them like a drum.

    • http://twitter.com/KDillabough Kaarina Dillabough

       That was some drum pounding @TheJackB:disqus . Oh yes…I had to look up the definition of obsequious. You always keep me on my toes:) Cheers! Kaarina

      • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

        That is a word that one of my old English teachers beat into us. I usually find it applies to people who are a bit slimy and smarmy.

        • http://twitter.com/KDillabough Kaarina Dillabough

           I like learning new things every day @TheJackB:disqus , and you’re an excellent teacher:) Thx

  • http://releasingmetoday.com/ Deeone Higgs

    I loved the story you shared in this post Kaarina! It really drove home the point about opportunities, and the importance of having a optimistic perception to see them. One of my favorite artist Bruno Mars, once said, “You can’t knock on opportunity’s door and not be ready.” Many people miss out on opportunities when they are looking for it to come in a different form than the one it showed up in. Whenever we seek them out, we must be ready when they show up; even if they show up in the form of overalls. For there’s nothing worse then realizing an opportunity has come and gone; and then realizing that we missed out because we were looking for it to come in another manner or through another individual. It’s imperative that we stay open to each and every opportunity that gets presented to us. That’s not to say that we should act upon each of them, but at the very least we should know when they are standing on our front porch. I start each day with the expectancy of an opportunity being unfolded to me. It might be something as minor as sending someone an encouraging word, or it could be something bigger, such as me being able to assist someone with a project their having difficulty completing. I believe the more we stay open to opportunities, the more we are able to know when they’re present; and the more we know when they are present, the more they show themselves to us. Thanks for the mention this morning. I really enjoyed everyone’s “O” word, as well. Cheers! :)

    • http://twitter.com/KDillabough Kaarina Dillabough

       @DeeoneHiggs:disqus , your statement about being omnipresently (did you see that
      Claudia?) ready for opportunity, and not chasing, reminds me of the butterfly:

      When you chase a butterfly, it will usually elude you. But sit quietly, and it will find you.

      When we “sit quietly”, with open mind and heart, things come to us, even when in disguise. Cheers! Kaarina

  • http://www.grownupnowwhat.com/ Tammy

    As someone who purchased manure yesterday to add to her veggie/strawberry patch, I instantly saw the value of the poo pile!

    It is so easy to get swept up in the day-to-day happenings, which leads to waking up months (or years) later and being in the same place or slightly behind.

    Thank you for pointing out that opportunity seeking is a daily activity. I am spending a dedicated, non-distracted hour to working towards a certification that will help me get more visibility and some free publicity and highly valued links.

    I am starting out in a constantly changing field, where the “rules” can be changed at a whim, and that happens often. At first I viewed this as a problem, then I realized that people will pay top dollar for individuals that keep on top of all those changes.

    • http://twitter.com/KDillabough Kaarina Dillabough

       @3c52b39662a421a77fe61b398b504af2:disqus , great to hear the optimistic voice of pony in the poo pile…or vegetables thanks to poo:) The rules of life online change with ever-increasing speed these days, so I think it’s important to maintain omnipresent awareness of the “presents” that being “present” brings. And yes…staying on top of change, predicting it, and adapting to it, like a chameleon, is essential in today’s world. That, and taking time to smell the roses:)

      I loved the reference to the movie Sliding Doors in your post today. It is one of my MOST favourite movies of all time, and it took ages for me to find a copy to buy. It’s now in my library, and funny enough…it was playing on TV yesterday. Coincidence? Not. Synchronicity? Yes. Cheers! Kaarina

  • http://twitter.com/rdopping Ralph Dopping

    Nice post. Who else can talk about s**t and turn it into gold…er, a pony. You’re the “bee’s knees”. Ha. I remeber all those. What does that say?
    It’s a good thing when we can see the opportunity. It’s a struggle some days but the more one practices the better one gets. Persistence (for next time?) is a good thing.

    • http://twitter.com/KDillabough Kaarina Dillabough

       And you’re the cat’s meow @twitter-229922134:disqus :) And what that says is we’re on the same page:)

      Persistence is indeed a good thing, and your “P” word will appear in next week’s post. Cheers! Kaarina

  • http://twitter.com/adamtoporek Adam Toporek

    Of course, opportunity has to win the O category — especially for business.

    As for @thejackb:twitter … he is actually being obstreperous not obsequious.

    • http://twitter.com/KDillabough Kaarina Dillabough

       You’re killin’ me here @twitter-223833082:disqus . I had to look that word up too! Between you and @TheJackB:disqus , my online dictionary’s getting a good workout. And I agree…Opportunity has to win the “O” category.

      And speaking of winning (and no…not the Charlie Sheen kind)…someone (maybe it was Claudia?) mentioned we should have a contest to pick the top word from each letter in the series and do a final alphabet post. What do you think? Cheers! Kaarina

  • Anonymous

    I love the parable about the donkey “excrement”  (oooo too bad we are done with “e”s)  What a great example of how to see beauty within all of the crap!  Beauty isn’t always “OBVIOUS” but it is ALWAYS  “PRESENT”…. 😉 
    And, for good measure, perhaps platitudes may make the hit parade 😉
    Happy Tuesday kind @twitter-257025239:disqus …enjoy your day!

    • http://twitter.com/KDillabough Kaarina Dillabough

       @socialmediadds:disqus , so great to see you here:) Loved your photo today. I’m sure you’re up to your eyeballs (in a good way) with your new office. It looks fab!

      I’ve got you down for present, platitudes and perhaps I can slip in hit parade too, for next week’s “p” post (now that didn’t sound right, did it)

      And as far as that photography goes…we gotta’ get a plan going to sell those beautiful works, my friend. Your photos are so beautiful. Cheers! Kaarina

  • http://www.late-bloomers.net Barbara Klein

    Carina Kaarina: coming back from Rome I would like to add the expression “oh via” meaning tons of things such as “let it be” leading us straight to the letter “P” such as in patience we might bring up for a child but rarely for an adult. 

    Loved your post: ah, the pots of gold to be found deep within a pile of excrements, if only used as a fertilizer for your roses.

    Some more “P”s to mind your “Q”s: passion (would we be so active online if not fuelled by passion?),  I have mentioned patience before, a necessary quality I am sadly lacking of. Persistence, I think we all have a good portion of that. Piazza as a place to relax and let things be (in Rome I specially loved Piazza Santa Maddalena: I have rarely encountered so much restfulness and spirituality) and do not forget pizza, for some a nourishing meal, for me a wonderful piece of manna if prepared correctly: thin and crisp. Well, here speaks the foodie!

    • http://twitter.com/KDillabough Kaarina Dillabough

       Thanks as always my foodie friend @BarbaraKlein:disqus . My husband has a penchant for spicy perogie pizza, and I love a thin, crisp crust on my vegetarian pizza.

      Your trip to Rome sounds divine, and I will look for photos:) And I will patiently persist in collecting “p” words for next week’s post. Cheers! Kaarina

  • http://www.vidyasury.com Vidya Sury

    Great O words!  With all the wonderful opportunities and optimism, I have to admit I’ve had some Obscene customers – the ones that think that when they give you their business, they can Paw you as a bonus.  Odd.

    I like Optimum. Better than Ordinary. And of course Original, Objective and Overcome!

    Mmm. If P is next, I like Peace, Practical, Prospect, Pleasant, Prayer,  Presentiment, Probability, Positive Pressure,  Possible, Profit (yes – and not necessarily financial)

    And I like Pizza, Pandora’s box and Party! 😀

    • http://twitter.com/KDillabough Kaarina Dillabough

      Thanks @vidyasury:disqus  for those powerful P words: they will be included in next week’s Alphabet Post! And of course, your O words rock too:) Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting. Stay tuned for “P”:) Cheers! Kaarina