One waffle taco and one chili-dog stuffed crust pizza, please

 

One waffle taco and one chili-dog stuffed crust pizza, please. By Dr. John C. Maxwell.

Ever try Taco Bell’s waffle taco? How about the Domino’s chili dog stuffed-crust pizza?

I’m not necessarily endorsing it, but when I see an ad with a piece of fried chicken in taco-shell-shaped biscuit, I can’t help but think someone is really capitalizing on an opportunity there.

Believe it or not, Taco Bell has seen an average of 5-10% increase in customer visits since they started offering these... inventive... breakfast items.

Maybe it’s crazy, but they aren’t the only ones who succeeded because they seized an opportunity. I’m a firm believer in finding and embracing new opportunities. But I don’t chase an opportunity without evaluating it according to some specific criteria. That would be accepting an opportunity to look like a dummy.

I’ve studied hundreds of leaders and successful people who seized opportunity when it came to them, and some who missed out big-time. I want to share what I found out with you. And you won’t believe what I learned about Steve Wozniak.

Take a look.

 

Leaders who seized opportunity

Leaders who missed opportunity

Biz Stone, Co-Founder of Twitter

When Biz was an intern at Little, Brown Publishing, he took it upon himself to design a book cover and put it in a pile of submissions. A few days later the art director, sales team, and editors chose his design. He went from boxing books to.He later went on to work for Google, and then cofounded Twitter - all without a college degree.

Hewlett-Packard Executives 1970s

Five times, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak begged the executives at HP to manufacture his PC. They refused. So, Woz left HP to start a little company with his buddy, Steve Jobs.

George Washington, First U.S. President

No one contested the election of George Washington, but he remained reluctant to run until the last minute, in part because he believed seeking the office would be dishonorable. Only when Alexander Hamilton and others convinced him that it would be dishonorable to refuse, did he agree to run.

Joe Green, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook's college roommate

When the Joe and Mark were students at Harvard, they created a Hot-or-Not-style website called Facemash, which got the pair in trouble with the university. Later, when Zuckerberg started Facebook, he asked Green to join him. But Green turned it down and missed out on a $7 billion paycheck.

“Grandma” Moses, American Folk Artist  

The American folk artist didn’t even put paint to canvas until she was in her 80s. For most of her life, she worked on her farm in Virginia and practiced embroidery as a hobby. When her arthritis made it too difficult to hold a needle, she picked up a paintbrush instead.

Wilt Chamberlain, NBA Hall-of-Famer

Wilt Chamberlain - easily one of the best basketball players of all time - was a terrible free-throw shooter. Except for one season when he changed his technique, tossing his free throws underhand, and scored more free throws in one game than anyone ever has. But then he gave up the technique because he said he “felt silly, like a sissy, shooting underhanded.” His coach remarked that if he’d kept it up, his team might have never lost.

Walt Disney, Founder of Disney Companies

The founder of The Walt Disney Company started out as a newspaper editor, but was apparently fired because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” I think we know what he ended up putting his mind to after that.

Reba McEntire, Country Singer and Songwriter

Reba McEntire passed on the role of Molly Brown in the movie Titanic because of scheduling conflicts. Titanic ended up being one of the top-grossing movies of all time.

Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President

President Lincoln  failed at business, lost an election for his state legislature, lost his fiancee, and had a nervous breakdown. Then he ran for Congress and Vice President, and failed. Finally, at age 51, he was elected President of the United States. He said, "What matters most is not how many times you fail, but that you never stop trying."

The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell, and Bob Dylan

All of these artists turned down the opportunity to perform at historic the Woodstock Festival in 1969.

 

Here’s what I learned from these illustrations: You and I have opportunities just like these folks did. They’re all around us,  every minute of every day. Do you see them? Are you doing anything with them?

Here’s what I ask when an opportunity comes my way:

  1. What could possibly go wrong, and am I willing to accept the consequences if it does?
  2. Does this opportunity make sense, or am I trying to make sense out of it?
  3. Am I prepared to do this?
  4. Do I increase or decrease my options by waiting?
  5. When is the best time to make the right decision?

Here’s something else I know: Today you’re being presented with an opportunity you don’t want to miss.

There are two important days in a person’s life:

1. The day you were born

2. The day you discover why.

Let’s discover and define your purpose together.

I want to invite you to join me for a free seminar that I’m hosting on September 13. Just click here to sign up, and I’ll share with you what you need to know to capitalize on opportunities, get back your time for the things that matter, and make the most of your important relationships.

Don’t settle for average, and don’t leave anything on the table. Join me now and we’ll take the journey together.