There are so many opportunities out there.  For one person, it might be an opportunity to get some great tickets for a concert.  Another person might have an opportunity to meet some potential clients at an event later in the week.  And yet someone else might have the long-awaited opportunity to get a great new car.

OpportunityAs you think about all of the opportunities before us, particularly in the CPA profession, you will recognize that some can wait and others can’t.  Some might even be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The world is so complicated and moves so fast, it is sometimes difficult to even see an opportunity let alone evaluate it.  It is the very complexity we all deal with today that provides an increasing number of opportunities from both business and personal perspectives.

How is it that some people appear to get so “lucky” with opportunity?  You have heard people query “why does he/she get all the breaks?”  Maybe you even asked it yourself.

It‘s simple.  Preparation.  Yes, that’s right.  A Roman philosopher from the mid-1st century AD is quoted as saying “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

So you have to ask yourself, how do I prepare myself for those opportunities?  Well, I’m not sure that you can be 100% of the time.  But you can – and should – try to be prepared most of the time.  But how?

First, you need to be alert.  You’ll never recognize opportunity if you aren’t looking for it.  Opportunity will not find you.  Opportunity will be lost.

Second, you need to have adequate resources.  Some opportunities are going to require an investment of time and/or money.  Maybe in the same way you save discretionary money on a regular basis, you should plan on reserving some discretionary time so you can get to that function where you know some good networking contacts will be.  If you are always in a crisis or deadline mode, you won’t have any discretionary time.

Finally, you need to learn continuously.  The more you “know,” the more opportunities you will “see.”  I don’t mean to sign up for a bunch of seminars.  But do seek out ways to learn.  Unconventional ways are sometimes best.  And not just about your profession.  Learn about history (read a book, go to a museum), learn about the arts (go to the symphony or theater) and learn about people.  Master the critical success skills – communication, decision making, leadership.

The more prepared you are, the more opportunities you will see, and as a result, the luckier you will become.  How lucky are you?