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Grabbing the right opportunity

Is success in business a matter of luck or self-effort? It’s a question often asked, especially by those who are struggling to build their companies.

There’s this saying about success being 99 percent hard work and one percent luck. But, remember, you will never get lucky till you put in the best of your efforts. Only then the opportunity would knock.

Kautilya says that when such an opportunity finally comes, potentially bringing the success with it, you should be alert enough to grab it. He says, “Time comes but once to a man waiting for an opportunity; that time is difficult for that man to get again when he wants to do his work.” (5.6.31)

You might have heard the adage that talks of opportunity not knocking twice, but here’s another interesting one for you: “When opportunity knocks, either we are out or sleeping in!” Still, we have to understand that it is not only about the opportunity itself but about the right opportunity at that. So how does one recognise this so-called right opportunity? Here are some steps to follow:

People only see the successful part of a businessman; they never recognise the hardships that he has gone through to become successful.


Nothing but the best

Usually, people who are learning the tricks of the trade feel every opportunity is the best opportunity. It is simply not true. You will have to struggle for a few years and put in your best efforts before you get the knack to differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad, and even the simply better from the very best.

Learn to say no

It’s quite a temptation to say yes to every event that seems to be an opportunity. When an opportunity comes, stay calm. Think through it: Is it a profitable venture? Plan a strategy and then decide to capitalise on the same.

Jump into it

Once you thought through it: Jump into the field right away. Do not think too much after this stage. Just go out and perform your best. You never know if such a chance will come again.

People only see the successful part of a businessman; they never recognise the hardships that he has gone through to become successful.

Ray Kroc, the founder of Mc Donald’s, was once asked in an interview, “Sir, you were very lucky! You became an overnight success.” Ray remarked, “Yes, that is true. But you do not know how long the night was!”

After having put your time, energy and efforts to build your dreams, do not quit when success is just right round the corner. As Swami Vivekananda proclaimed, “Awake, arise, stop not till thy goal is reached.”

And for all this, remember, it’s all a matter of timing.

Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai is an Indian management thinker, author, and Founder of Atma Darshan and Chanakya Aanvikshiki. Dr Pillai has extensively researched Kautilya’s Arthashastra, the 3rd century BC treatise and incorporated it into modern management.

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