Are you missing a great opportunity? ask yourself this question

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur taxpayers own.

are you facing an moment, or the moment?

It’s a critical distinction that we often lose sight of. When faced with a big decision, grappling with change, or wondering whether to seize or pass up a new opportunity, we tend to up the ante on ourselves. We treat our decision as critical, as make or break, make or die. It’s the last train out of the station! The game winning shot in your hands! Everything seems to be in the balance.

My advice: take a breath. Calm your emotions. So ask yourself my simple but profound question: are you facing a moment or the moment?

I will give you an example.

My friend Jenny Illes Wood ranks high on Google and has created a popular program there called Own Your Career. She gives workshops on how Googlers can increase her influence, develop new skills, advocate better, etc., and tens of thousands of her colleagues subscribe to her email newsletter. She imagined that one day she might write a book inspired by all of this, but she has two young children and a busy job, so she was in no hurry to do so.

Related: The 4 actions you must take to find your opportunity

Then a colleague introduced him to a book agent. The conversation went well. Jenny couldn’t help it; she talked to a few more agents. All of a sudden, she had multiple agents saying they wanted to work with her and she was calling me in a panic. “I don’t know what to do,” she said. “I don’t have time to write a book, but I’m so excited and I don’t want to miss this opportunity!”

So I asked him: Are you facing an moment, or the moment? Sometimes in life, we really only get one chance. But most of the time, we get a lot of takes. We can do something now, or we can do it later. Or maybe we never do it at all, it’s just one of many opportunities we turn down, because we can’t do everything, and that’s okay.

In my opinion, I told him, he faces a moment. If a book agent is interested now, then a book agent will be interested later. And, in fact, it could benefit from writing a book later. He’ll have more time to develop material, he’ll have a broader public profile, and he’ll have even more Googlers on his mailing list. But that doesn’t mean it has to happen later; You might as well do it now and use the book to speed up your other goals.

The point is that she should decide based on what is best for her and the project, and not because she feels this is her only chance to do so.

I have dealt with this myself, in many ways. I’ve struggled with whether to look for a job or say yes to new projects, all because I wasn’t sure if something like this would ever happen again. In fact, I’ve even dealt with Jenny’s own question about writing a book: I spent years indecisively, wondering when the time was right.

Related: Are You Too Efficient to Innovate?

Ultimately, I developed a way to answer these questions about time. I began to think not about the opportunity in front of me, but about what I wanted the result of that opportunity to be. A job is not just a job; It is a set of experiences and learning. A project is not just a project; it is an achievement that prepares you for future projects. The more we understand what we want from these things and how they play a role in our larger view of ourselves, the better we can decide if they are something we need now, later, or never.

In my case, I see a book as the spark of greater opportunities. I wanted to make sure she understood what she wanted those opportunities to be and that she had the people and infrastructure to take advantage of them. That’s why I waited for years, and that’s why I finally said yes. My book, Build for Tomorrow, comes out in September!

It is an moment, or the moment? That is your starting point. And you’ll know when to act when you can finally say this: “It’s my time.”

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