Six Ways to Stop Missing Your Opportunities


Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Are you missing your shot at a successful marriage, career, or business because you are not taking advantage of your opportunities? As a former manager, I would witness this time after time. However, you don’t have to keep missing your shot at a better life.

Here are six ways to stop missing your opportunities:

1. Do your homework. Find out everything you can about the job, the project, and potential business partners. It might not look like what you expected, but it can be exactly the break that you need. For example, some volunteer jobs can lead to salaried positions.

2. Ask the right questions. In our excitement to achieve, some of us don’t ask questions about how our decisions will affect us long-term. For example, a lot of people accept salaries without negotiating or merely asking for a higher salary.

3. Overcome fear and doubt. Many of us need to stop sabotaging our opportunities. If a friend or loved one doesn’t think it is the right thing for us, some of us will abandon our opportunities.

4. Stop procrastinating. Sometimes, we wait too long to make a decision. By the time we have convinced ourselves that it is the right thing to do, the opportunity has passed.

5. Understand the power of networking. Conferences, workshops, and seminars are often attended by people with similar goals. These events often provide learning experiences, potential employers, resources, and lifelong friends.

6. Learn from the experiences of other people. You don’t have to make the same mistakes.

Think about an opportunity that you have missed. Which strategies do you need to utilize to avoid making the same mistake? Please comment.


  1. Paul Graham says:

    Good common sense on how not to miss opportunities. You are wise to keep it concise rather than overwhelm with too much information. I particularly like the point about not paying TOO much attention to the views of others. Doing Homework is great but many get “Analysis Paralysis” by being too afraid to make a mistake. I wont say that opportunity only knocks once but if we are too slow coming to the door It may not keep returning indefinitely. Nice Post !

    • cakas38 says:


      I don’t like to read particularly long posts; so, I try to keep that in mind when I am posting. As a perfectionist, I think that I need to learn more about overcoming “Analysis Paralysis”. I certainly don’t want to miss any opportunities. Thank you for your comment.


  2. Great post; all valuable advice. But the thing I am seeing more and more with “networking” is folks showing up to sell stuff, not to share and not to learn! A mere exchange of business cards is getting boring, to me! And I’m starting to dislike the feeling of being in a room full of predators!

    • cakas38 says:


      Despite its benefits, I agree that networking can be negative. I attended a conference with a colleague, and I was taking to get to know the personnel directors before asking them about a job. However, my colleague went “straight for the kill.” He said that he was not there to socialize, and he kept passing out his business card. I don’t know how the personnel directors felt, but aggression is often rewarded. I am more like you; networking can feel kind of creepy in some environments. I appreciate your feedback.


  3. Beth Niebuhr says:

    Great suggestions for how to stop missing opportunities. My favorite is learning from other people’s experiences. I love it when I can avoid a mistake because of someone sharing their experience with me.

    • cakas38 says:


      Some of my former students told me that they’d rather learn from making all of their mistakes. Of course, those statements came from teenagers. At that time in your life, some people have no fear and no logic. I agree with you! If I can learn from the mistakes of others, I want to avoid making the same mistakes. I appreciate your comment.


  4. Susan Cooper says:

    I has seen this too. The one I would add is laziness and waiting for success to come to you. Most of the time opportunities will drift by in plain view and we are totally blind to them because, metaphorically speaking, we are looking down and are not aware of what is happening around us.

    • cakas38 says:


      Thank you for your comment. I considered laziness, and it applies to some people. As a middle school educator, I hear laziness attributed to so many of our students. However, I don’t necessarily agree that is the case as often as we think. I believe that students/people have other priorities at the time that opportunity is presented, and they are not in a position (mentally, emotionally, etc.) to take advantage of them. Yes, there are plenty of lazy people. However, sometimes people are merely surviving. They can’t see the forest for the trees. Their immediate problems are gigantic obstacles that they have trouble overcoming, and most of us couldn’t even conceive what they are experiencing.


  5. maxwell ivey says:

    Hello; one of my favorite new phrases is get out of your own way. A good reminder in here that we can’t let fear or the fear of others prevent us from grabbing that next big opportunity. But its ben years since i didn’t take a chance I should have. The harder part for me is saying no to those deals that just aren’t quite right. Thanks and take care, Max

    • cakas38 says:


      I love that phrase! Fear is such a major problem that it needs to be addressed more often. I believe fear of success is just as prevalent as fear of failure. Being in a comfort zone can limit people. Opportunities require you to be, do, feel, and know more than your current situation. This is a struggle for some people who are already successful. I admire your ability to overcome your fears.


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