2016 is being labelled the worst year ever. Dozens of celebrity deaths. Seismic shifts in politics at home and abroad. Zika, Syria, Flint Michigan. There’s plenty of suck to go around.
John Oliver, comedian and host of Last Week Tonight, captured the collective frustration by paying tribute to 2016, “F*ck You 2016.” (Video NSFW)
2016 had a lot of negative moments, and I suspect we’ll see a lot more of the same in 2017. But that doesn’t mean 2017 should be bad for you. This is your year. Own it!
There’s Opportunity in Change
Periods of change are amazing for ambitious people.
It’s hard to win when everything is staying the same. The status quo can be stifling, because it prevents innovation and experimentation.
When the world is in motion you get to play.
Following the Brexit decision, Fred Wilson tweeted, “It is important on days like today to remember that change creates opportunity and opportunity can create wealth if approached correctly.”
It is important on days like today to remember that change creates opportunity and opportunity can create wealth if approached correctly
— Fred Wilson (@fredwilson) June 24, 2016
Change creates opportunities:
- People need help managing change and dealing with a new reality.
- A shift may make a giant in your industry temporarily vulnerable, and you can exploit their weakness.
- Look for ways to serve your clients better. How can you use new tools, technologies, or processes to reimagine how work gets done.
Periods of change reward the agile and the ambitious. Keep your eyes open for opportunities. You may find a way to tilt the odds in your favor.
3 Questions to Ask to Spot Opportunities
To find opportunities on a regular basis I ask 3 questions:
- Vision: What do I want?
- Constants: What won’t change?
- Opportunistic Tools: What can I use to create an advantage?
I like to visualize the questions in a Venn diagram, because the magic happens where the questions intersect.
When you are clear on what you want to accomplish — your Vision — you can exploit the right opportunities. The world is changing all around you, but your vision functions as a lighthouse. It’s guiding you and showing you how to navigate both opportunities and challenges.
Answer Your 3 Questions
I’ve been writing and thinking about the 3 questions a fair bit lately. You can read more on each:
- Vision: 5 Elements of a Bold Vision Statement
- Constants: Define Your Business Strategy By What Won’t Change
- Opportunistic Tools: Challenge Convention to Change the Game
The more I work with these questions, the more relevant they become. For me, the real gold is in the Opportunistic Tools. I am clear on the first two questions in my business, and now I am continually seeking new tools, technologies, and processes to hack convention. This is where I believe I can make a big difference in my business and life in 2017.
What about you? Take a moment to work on the 3 questions:
- What do you want?
- What won’t change?
- What can you use to create an advantage?