Do you have an opportunity filter?

If you’re like me, you probably can’t get through your day without being bombarded by new “opportunities” in your inbox or over the phone.  Promote this, sell that … the opportunities are endless.  That is why I’ve created an opportunity “filter” to help me decide what I should pursue and what I should leave alone.

I was talking with a potential JV partner today and explained some of my process with him.  I told him I was a “recovering opportunity addict” (I’m a work in progress) … which generated a good laugh from the other end of the line.  I know a lot of people have been there… I know I have.  Things come along that look really good and so we jump head first without thinking … and usually regret it later.

WastebasketHere are a couple of questions I ask as part of my opportunity filter.  It could apply to network marketing opportunities (I’m sure you’ve never been approached right), online marketing “secrets”, or other types of business ventures;

Q:  Is it part of my core business offering or would it require a totally different skill set than I have right now?

Focus.  That is a good word.   This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever take the opportunity to expand your horizons (sometimes this CAN be a good thing) … but you really need to think long and hard before doing so.  Otherwise you are going to stretch yourself too thin and ultimately will not feel like you are reaching your goals.

By focusing on areas that are within your core competency, you will most likely be able to build a much more effective, profitable business and one that meets your goals and lifestyle needs.

Q: Ask the person promoting the opportunity this question – “if you never made a dime from selling “x” (the product or service), would you still promote it to your closest friends and family?”

This is a great question!

In other words – be sure that they (and ultimately you) believe in the product itself, not just the opportunity to sell it and make money from it.

Let me give you an example.  We represent a company called SendOutCards.  It provides a service that allows you to quickly and easily send real, send-through-the-U.S.-mail greeting cards through the internet.  I love this service!!  It is convenient, inexpensive, flexible, and people love to get real cards from us (especially in this electronic age).

Hopefully when you ask this question, you get a resounding “YES!” as the answer, just like I feel about SendOutCards.

Q: Are you saying “yes” to an opportunity only because you’re afraid of what you might miss out on?

This is a bad reason to say yes.  Taking on a new project, business, or opportunity should be something you really want to do and can get passionate about, not something you feel badly about saying no to or because you think you might miss out on something.  If it’s a good opportunity and it fits your other criteria, it will still be available when you are ready.

Q: Do you already have umpteen “opportunities” that you’ve already started and not finished.

Opportunity addicts are always looking for the magic bullet, the “secret”, or the latest, greatest, bestest way to make money.  Trust me – I’ve been there and am still there every day.  I see stuff come across my desk that makes sense and I think to myself – “oooh, that looks good”.  My friend Jennifer Powers calls it the “shiny little object” syndrome.

That is why it is extremely important to ask yourself these questions when presented with opportunities.  Otherwise, you will just have a stack of projects, tools, systems, opportunities and unrealized goals sitting on your desk.

Q: Does it align with your values and core beliefs of how you’d like to be treated?

This is one of the most important questions you can ask.  Again, I see lots of things come across my desk.  Sometimes, I just want to shut off the noise and all the hype.  I mean c’mon people – do you really believe that if I just buy into your opportunity or “system” that I can make $77 million this next year?  Really??  I mean it says ‘anyone’ can do it right!

If you get turned off by the marketing of an opportunity … it probably doesn’t make sense for you to turn around and market it yourself.

I learned this the hard way this past year.  I had received an email inviting me to promote a particular online marketing system.   The story was an interesting and somewhat inspiring one … but it used a lot of hype to get people excited about it.

Well, I sent it out to my list … and it didn’t take long to get an angry email back from one of my loyal subscribers … I had hooked her with the subject / headline … but totally turned her off with the offer.  When I revisited what I had sent out … I realized that I would not have liked to have been treated that way.

These are just a few of the questions I ask myself.  I would highly recommend that you come up with your own opportunity filter to help guide your decisions each and every day.

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