Are You An “Opportunity Addict?”

As I’m sitting in my office, enjoying a random day of sunshine in Southern California, my phone rang. Now I NEVER answer the call for “blocked callers” but I was waiting for a call and thought…maybe I should answer it.

Lo and behold, it is a telemarketer selling me on the idea of optimizing my website. Now, granted, I’m intrigued. First, I can’t stand cold-calling and I have an ultimate respect for anyone who can successfully get my attention. Second, being in the internet-industry, I genuinely wanted to hear their offer.

As I listened to “Joe” give his spiel, he asked me the all important question, “If you are the sole decision maker, what would need to happen for you to move forward.” (I’m really impressed at this point ‘cause I know he has done his sales training.)

I said, “I need to complete my due diligence process. First, I’m going to research your credibility. Next, I’m going to evaluate my current process against yours. Then I’m going to do a cost-benefit analysis and see how I would make my money back.”

This is an opportunity – but I didn’t say yes just because a very savvy sales person presented the opportunity. I need to know the return on investment.

Last week a group of excited, determined entrepreneurs joined me for a kick off call for the Unstoppable Goals program. The group was discussing their challenges with focus and completing their projects. One person shared that he lived in a perpetual state of overwhelm because all of his goals were equally important – he literally had 100’s of things he had to accomplish – right now!

I’m sure we can all relate to having so many goals but accomplishing none of them because you are trying to get everything done simultaneously. Which is why I truly resonated with the next comment from another participant, “it’s like we are opportunity addicts!”

Brilliant! That’s right. Entrepreneurs can often become addicted to the idea of opportunities and lose sight of the true priorities.

How do you know if you are an opportunity addict? Here are some of the common signs:

  • You say YES without thinking through how it will affect your other obligations and priorities.
  • You have over 15 projects going on simultaneously (and this seems normal to you.)
  • When you are approached by someone to collaborate or joint venture, you are so excited by “the prospect of cash in the bank” that you just jump in full-force.
  • You say YES because you are afraid of what you might lose if you say NO.
  • When you add another project to your plate, you expect your team to just “get it done.”
  • You get frustrated when your projects and goals are falling behind schedule, but can’t figure out “where things went wrong.”
  • You say YES because you think you should (for no good reason at all.)

Do any of these signs sound familiar to you? If yes, you might be an opportunity addict. As I always say to my clients, acknowledging the pattern of sabotage is the first step towards creating success – and freedom.

So now what? Your e-ticket to freedom lies in being crystal clear about your vision, your goals and your ideal lifestyle. You need to have a process in place to filter out the “fun ideas” from the profitable ventures that will help you achieve your goals. Otherwise you will just get sidetracked from success.

Always take a bird’s eye view of your business. Just because something looks good today doesn’t mean it is a good investment of your time, energy and hard-earned cash. Be able to see the short AND long-term payoff.

And remember that everything you say yes to means you are saying no to something else. If your vision is to travel the world as a speaker, but you always book yourself out to private coaching, you are saying no to your vision.

© 2005 Melanie Benson Strick, Success Connections. All rights reserved. Melanie Benson Strick, “The Entrepreneur’s Success Coach,” offers keynotes speeches, mentoring, training and products designed to get people out of overwhelm and onto the success fast-track. “The 5 Massive Mistakes that can Put you Out of Business…and How to Avoid Them” is available FREE at