Be Ready When Opportunity Knocks!

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A friend of mine recently bought a fabulous house in Mandeville at a bargain price. We’ve both been talking for years about home ownership. Unfortunately for me, I was not in a financial position to quickly bid for the house, while my friend was ready with her money. It seems that good opportunities always pass me by. I’m convinced that luck is not on my side, and I’m tempted to just give up trying.”

Sometimes it may seem that opportunity and luck favour the few. Is it possible that there is some unwritten universal law that decides whom lady luck will smile upon and fortune will bless?

Definitely not! The reality is that most people who are successful didn’t achieve their objectives by just being lucky. They had to put in many years of persistent, hard work in order to be in a position where they could grab the opportunities as they passed by. It takes a lot of effort to be in the right place at the right time.

Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s said in his autobiography, “I was an overnight success all right, but thirty years is a long, long night.”

I have met several people who complain that they can’t achieve financially, but a closer look reveals that they have done very little work towards making it happen. You have to lay the groundwork so that when a big opportunity knocks at your door, you are ready.

How do you prepare yourself to achieve your goals? In his classic book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill says that you need “no great amount of intelligence, no particular amount of education, and but a little time or effort. He outlines four things you must possess in order to be successful:

1. A definite purpose backed by burning desire for its fulfillment
2. A definite plan, expressed in continuous action
3. A mind closed tightly against all discouraging influences including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances
4. A friendly alliance with one or more persons who encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose

Put simply, to be able to put opportunity on your doorstep you have to:

– be clear and passionate about what you want,
– make a plan how to get what you want,
– persist despite all the setbacks that will discourage you,
– create a network of people that can help you to get what you want.

Let’s look at some common financial goals and some practical steps that you can do to lay the groundwork to seize opportunity when it comes:

Buying a House

– Be specific about the type, price range, and location of the house you would like to own
– Visit the National Housing Trust (NHT) to see if your contributions are in order, and how much you can qualify for
– Work with a financial planner to invest towards the down payment amount needed
– Start saving with a building society so that you may be able to access a lower-interest rate mortgage
– Get a pre-approved mortgage from the building society
– Establish links with home owners or security guards in areas where you would like to live, and ask them to let you know whenever a place is up for sale
– Visit auctions for foreclosures
– Have realtors looking out for opportunities for you

Further Education

– Do research on the various institutions that may offer the courses you are interested in
– Find out all the scholarships or grants that are available and get details how you can qualify for them
– Find out if your workplace offers any study assistance or scholarship plans
– Work with a financial planner to save towards the school fee

Starting a Business

– Design a simple business plan that clearly outlines what you want to achieve
– Apprentice with someone who is already in the area of business you wish to get into
– Use the internet to get information on business opportunities
– Visit Jampro or the Jamaica Business Development Centre to get information on technical assistance, funding opportunities and other advice
– Join organizations like the Young Entrepreneurs of Jamaica or the Small Business Association to learn from other persons in business
– Join service groups like the Kiwanis, Rotary or Lion Club to network with successful business people

Whatever your financial goals may be, put your plans in place now. The world is not short on opportunities to help you to succeed.

“Fortune favors the bold” – Virgil.

Copyright © 2006 Cherryl Hanson Simpson.

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