As someone who has been in business for themselves since 1982, first as a solo entrepreneur, then as a partner with others, and then back to being a solo entrepreneur – I’ve felt the Pull/Lure of Other Opportunities as I went about my business, almost since Day 1.
I think it’s a tough call – hearing A Potential Opportunity Knock and deciding whether to answer the door, or ignore it.
Before I joined the ranks of the Self-Employed and Entrepreneurs, I worked at Motorola where I was exposed to the work of many Performance Improvement gurus, and Quality Improvement gurus, including W. Edwards Deming.
I first saw his 14 Points in 1981. The first one has stuck with me:
Create constancy of purpose for improving products and services.
And while I didn’t necessarily “live” his 14-points – I tried to pay attention to the work at hand and to additional opportunities as they came my way.
But I also heeded the advice of Tom Peters from the book “In Search of Excellence,” who counseled us to “Stick to your knitting.”
“Who’s there?” is the question.
And the follow-up question is, “Is it an Opportunity or a Distraction?”
Is it a Sheep, or a Wolf in Sheep’s clothing?
There is often no Easy Answer, and there is almost always a Bad Answer.
And it’s a personal/professional decision nonetheless.