Differentiating Opportunities From Distractions

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.


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