How to Seize Opportunities to Prosper

Posted on: July 18th, 2017 in Mindset by Pat Mesiti | 6 Comments

Don’t Look Back

American philosopher Dr Orison Swett Marden said, “Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities, strong men make them”. Have you missed out on a wonderful opportunity? Have you regretted missing that opportunity? Everyone seems to have missed opportunities in their life, but guess what – you can’t turn back the clock. You can however promise yourself that you will take full advantage of other opportunities that come your way in the future.

Opportunity versus Our Values

Our recognition of opportunity is affected by our values – our attitude to hard work and sacrifice, how we evaluate risk, the value we place on time, and what factors we perceive as important to our lifestyle. These underlying values influence our judgments and how we respond to opportunities. For example, I know of a man who was invited by his fellow salesmen to set up a furniture and electronic store in the 1960s. The man knew he would have to raise capital for the venture, he would have to work long hours, he would be away from his family and he’d have to take on extra responsibilities at work. He passed on going into business with his colleagues. I won’t name this business, but I will tell you that it is now one of the biggest furniture and electronic franchises in Australia, worth around half a billion dollars. And what happened to the man who passed on entering the business? He lives a modest life with his wife in Queensland, meanwhile his children are struggling to pay off their mortgages and make ends meet. How different their lives would have been if their father had been willing to take a risk and work hard … instead opportunity passed him by.

How Opportunity Presents Itself

Opportunity often presents itself as a difficulty, a struggle, pain and sacrifice. Jeff Horn, the Brisbane school teacher, who just beat Manny Pacquiao to claim a world boxing title, started boxing because he was being bullied at school. I bet Jeff didn’t feel like he was being offered an amazing opportunity when he was being cornered by bullies at school, but he was, because it set him on the path to boxing. Just a few days ago hundreds of people gathered in Brisbane to give him a hero’s welcome at a ticket-tape parade. Congratulations Jeff Horn!

Opportunity Demands Sacrifice

It is no good looking for easy opportunities, instead be grateful for every opportunity that comes your way – even if the opportunity demands sacrifice and hard work. Often the greatest challenges offer the greatest potential for growth. Comedian Lucy Ball said, “Luck to me is something else – hard work and realizing what is an opportunity and what isn't.” Most successful people are incredibly hard working. They didn’t get rich through good luck or being in the right place at the right time. They were diligent, thorough and prepared well for opportunity and they were prepared to create their own opportunities, to turn crisis into creativity, defeat into success and every frustration into ultimate fulfilment. They refused to give into fear. They had a sense of adventure not trepidation.

The Consequences of Missed Opportunities

What opportunities do you have in your life right now? Will they pass you by? Will you put them in the too-hard basket? What are some of the greatest missed opportunities in history? You may be aware that Apple Computers had two founders, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, but did you know the company had a third founder, Ronald G Wayne. He sold his shares for $800 just two weeks before Apple was launched. Today his shares would be valued at $80 billion. After Wayne retired from work, he had to move into a caravan park where he sold stamps and coins.

Opportunity versus Leftovers

I don’t know why Wayne opted out of Apple, but I’d hate for you to feel that you let a life-changing opportunity slip through your fingers. Look for opportunity in every area of your life – invest, employ, restructure your business, make amends with family or former friends, and most importantly actively strive to keep growing every day. Some people say that good things come to those who wait, but the only thing that comes to people who wait is left-overs. Comedian Milton Berle said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door”.

Looking Out for Opportunities

Always be on the lookout for new opportunities. Your greatest chance for prospering could arrive today. If you are unsure about an opportunity, get some advice. Discuss it with your spouse and close friends, a mentor or trusted business associate. Tabulate the advantages and disadvantages. In 1948 the American country and western signer Gene Autry was looking to make two single records for Christmas. That meant he needed four songs, but he only had three. He was offered the newly written song, ‘Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer’. He hated it and didn’t want to do it, but it was the only Christmas song offered to him. He asked his wife for advice. She loved the song and wanted him to record it. Of course, the rest is history. In the next 12 months, he sold 2.5 million records, now sales are in excess of 100 million. Gene took the wise step of seeking advice and he had a wife who recognised a golden opportunity. In this world, there is no shortage of opportunities, but there is a shortage of opportunists. There is also no such thing as a missed opportunity, you may have missed out but someone else will pick up that opportunity and run with it. Samuel Goldman said: ”Luck is the essence to recognise an opportunity and the ability to take advantage of it”. Oprah Winfrey said, “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting with opportunity”.

Final Words

There is no shame in making the best of an opportunity and prospering in business. There is no shame in being ambitious. Bill Gates is a fabulously wealthy man. He has obviously made the best of many opportunities. The world has been changed by Microsoft. Think also how Gates has helped millions of business people worldwide. His computers have helped other businesses to grow. In life, try to pass opportunities on to other people. Help other people grow where you can. If you own a business, give people jobs, train them to do their best, praise and encourage them – mentor your employees. You may be surprised what opportunities come to you if you are good to your staff. At the end of the day, a wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.


Pat Mesiti is a best-selling author, coach and educator in the area of personal development. Having built some of Australia’s largest people-driven organisations, Pat understands the power of harnessing human potential. He has shared the stage with some of the world’s great business minds and has sold over millions of copies of his books and materials.


  1. Lee Ann K. Zirbes says:

    Hi Pat, I am a member of Family Harvest Church in Tinley Park Illinois. My husband Mike and I appreciate you, your teaching and preaching style and your awesome insight. We have really enjoyed the set of mp3’s we purchased at a Progressive Life seminar where we heard you speak in Lombard Illinois with Pastor Robb and Linda. Just wanted to say Thank You for sharing your knowledge and experience! I am an artist, I paint seascapes, landscapes and flower gardens on canvas. I am endeavoring to find buyers that would like to purchase my canvas prints, fine art prints, poster art and greeting cards in bulk to sell in their stores. That is the dream I have. You said so many times “What is your dream?” That nothing is impossible if you don’t give up! If you would like to see what your encouragement has helped me to accomplish so far, you can take a look at my work at http://www.leeannzirbesart
    Thanks Pat!

    • Pat Mesiti says:

      hank you Lee Ann, you’ve got amazing talent! Great things happen to harding working, talented people like you. Keep up the great work.

  2. Lee Ann Zirbes says:

    Hello Pat, I just came upon this message today quite by mistake! This is several years later, and I just now saw your website and my post and your reply! My husband Mike and I saw you recently watching the STAND with Rodney Howard Browne and watched you speak there. It was an awesome and inspiring message! We truly appreciate you & family. My web address has changed to as I am with a new and improved web host called ART Storefronts. Thank You for the compliment and your encouraging words.

  3. Barrie Carlstedt says:

    I love your work.. to persevere I adopt the belief that I am always divinely guided, I will always take the right turn in the road.GOD will make a way where there is no way. GOD IS IN US ,HE CAST US IN HIS ,IMAGE SO WE WOULD ALWAYS HAVE HIS POWER. USE IT OR LOSE IT. BE BOLD AND MIGHTY FORCES WILL COME TO YOUR AID. ABOVE ALL DONT DOUBT. SURE GOD CLOSES DOORS WHEN IT.MIGHT NOT. B E GOOD FOR YOU, BUT HE ALWAYS OPENS THE WINDOWS. AMEN…..HELLELUYA


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