Missed opportunities, and what to do about them

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Have you ever just missed it? I mean you missed an opportunity simply because you were unaware, not paying attention, etc.? That happened to me this past week.

As Labor Day 2017 approached, I was consumed with plans for the day, including how to make sure newspapers were produced, stories were covered, and deadlines were met — all so our people could take a much-needed holiday off.

In my “operations” mindset, I completely missed a revenue opportunity — Labor Day sales. As I viewed the weekend newspapers, and watched some local television, I saw advertisement after advertisement about Labor Day sales.

From furniture stores to car dealers, traditional media was all “a flutter” with advertisements. While our publications did have some similar ads, we were far from capitalizing on the opportunity.

I felt horrible. I looked for someone to blame. It was a missed opportunity that could have really made our month. But the person at fault was staring back at me in the mirror.

What should you (and I) do in the face of missed opportunities?

1. Get over it. As Rafiki says in The Lion King, “Doesn’t matter. It’s in the past.” Focus on the opportunities ahead.

2. Make a note on the calendar. Some opportunities are “one and done,” but many are cyclical or even annual. As in my Labor Day example, this opportunity will present itself again in 2018. Putting it on the calendar (with plenty of time to act) will keep it from sneaking up on you in the future.

3. Remember how you feel. When an event is coupled with a strong emotion, it is easier to remember. The negative feeling from the missed opportunity can be turned into a positive, if you use it to see, and act on, future opportunities.

Opportunities are all around us. Keep your eyes open for them.