Action Creates Opportunity

I played tennis with Sir Richard Branson the other day.

Pretty cool, huh?

So why do I brag about that?

Because it’s a fun story and, as always, there’s a lesson. Here’s how it happened.

I was with friends at an unrelated event and, out of the blue, one said, “You should come to Necker Island with us! You’re invited if you want to come.”

I knew that was Sir Richard Branson’s private home in the British Virgin Islands, I liked the group I was with, and knew they were always trying to improve themselves, so without hesitation, I said, “I’m in!”

I didn’t ask about cost, dates, dress code or logistics. I knew they would work out.

As it turns out, I was the last person to secure a spot. (Hold that thought for later.)

I booked the trip through the Virgin folks, got Covid tested a million times, and multiple planes and boats later, I was on Necker Island.

Apparently, my luggage didn’t have the same experience, so I had to borrow clothes from some of the other guests. No big deal. I wasn’t there for a fashion show.

So, standing in Necker flip flops, borrowed running shorts and a sleeveless shirt, we sat on Richard’s porch while he played tennis with one of my buddies and one of his childhood friends.

Eventually, the assistant pro asked if I played tennis. I told her it had been ten years, and I couldn’t play anyway because all I had was what I was wearing.

Unfazed, she said, “We have shoes, socks and racquets!” Out of excuses (but excited to play again) we headed off to another court.

It was more fun than expected. I was rusty, but some things came back quickly. (If you check out the photo above, you’ll see we had to occasionally negotiate some unexpected guests!)

Over the next three days, I found myself playing tennis twice a day when we weren’t having meetings or gatherings for meals. I even passed on kite surfing lessons so I could stay on the court.

The reason for the long story is that this led to playing multiple times with our host, Richard Branson. He’s a great guy and wants the world to be a better place, but he loves tennis. Possibly because of my previous experience on the court, he wanted to play with me. (He even made me get up at the crack of dawn so we could play on the last day before the boat came to pick us up!)

While that was fun, my greatest benefits came from the side discussions with the speakers and the other guests. We all formed what I suspect will be lifetime relationships.

These were very successful people and these new friendships have already led to opportunity. I believe it won’t end there.

Here’s the lesson.

Every day we’re presented with opportunities. They’re everywhere. Some are small and some are big. Some are hidden and some are “in your face” obvious. You’re given choices each day that will, in some way, alter the course of your life.

It’s how you respond to opportunity that will determine the speed and the magnitude of your growth and success. Sometimes, there’s a “little voice” in our heads that creates thoughts that delay our decision-making process.

Here are a few:

  • What does it cost?
  • I’m too busy.
  • Will it make me money?
  • Will it be uncomfortable?
  • I need all the facts first.

Listen to the “little voice” and you’ll miss life-changing opportunities.

I ended up paying a lot of money to be there and had to take care of rescheduled events when I got back. That was a hassle, but a small price to pay for a lifetime of new relationships and new opportunities to grow personally and financially.

Also, as I said above, I was the last person to secure a spot. Had I delayed, done research, checked costs, procrastinated, or listened to any doubts, I would have been blocked out.

Action creates opportunity.

So, here’s my suggestion for you: Seek opportunity and seize it when you have the chance.

Look for a separate communication that will provide opportunity for you. I will answer the first question from the little voice in your head now. There is no cost. It’s my way of exposing some of my world to you.

Beyond that, the choice is up to you.

Until next time!
Tom

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