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Do you know that just right in the middle of difficult moments of life, lies a huge Opportunity?

It is very easy to get stuck in a problem and stay there.

It is a fact that downtimes and horrible situations are common in life across careers, business, or even relationships. Yes, rough times could be depressing, frustrating, and perplexing especially when you don’t know how to accurately decode what opportunities it brings.

The key at this point is FOCUS.

This is because once you start focusing and introspecting critically and creatively, you will realize that you are surrounded by countless opportunities.

Even Albert Einstein affirmed my point when he said: out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

Do you know that difficult seasons have brought the best opportunities than any other season? After all, the night is darkest when the day is about to break.

You may not agree but the Pandemic brought a lot of opportunities despite the difficulties. This is true because some billionaires still added to their fortunes within the period when most people were depressed, dejected, and living hand-to-mouth.

We all know that Zoom scaled exponentially as a result of the rush for virtual meetings due to the global lockdown.

I have seen people make permanent decisions over temporary circumstances, due to their inability to filter through the difficult moments and harvest the opportunity therein.

Necessity, they say is the mother of inventions, but it takes some sort of skills and insights to see the needs and solutions at every moment of life because they are wrapped up in difficulties.

Most solutions in human history came through when the providers of those solutions were in their most difficult times and seasons of life. The difference only is the ability and the opportunity intelligence they had to leverage effectively such moments.


When you look at Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos for instance, how do you imagine or think they got to where they are right now? Do you think Bill Gates just woke up one morning and saw himself as the founder of Microsoft? Did Jeff Bezos just snap his fingers and boom! Has worldwide e-commerce sales and distribution become a global reality?

At the point they both began their entrepreneurship journeys, it wasn’t all a bed of roses but they both stuck to being true to their dreams, vision, and purpose.

I suggest you look for TV documentaries that captured how they both began so you have full insight into their evolution, growth, and current successes.

You and I know on their behalf that it has been worth it for them.

These two men took advantage of opportunities by solving global problems. They were opportunity intelligent enough to build and leverage their dreams, determination, tenacity, and skill sets effectively to get the results they have today.

Presently, there are a lot of opportunities in our world. However, to be able to choose the right one for either your career or business, you need the right knowledge, insights, skill sets, and practical directions. This is because life will always place incredible openings and chances in front of you. Unfortunately, they aren’t always obvious at the time.

I have put together four (4) stories of people and companies who passed up the opportunity to invest in the next big thing and invariably lost out to the future.

Decca Records and the Beatles

In its heyday, Decca was one of the biggest names in the record industry. On 1 January 1962, a group of aspiring musicians from Liverpool auditioned, but Decca wasn’t impressed. Guitar bands had had their day, they thought, and this bunch of scruffy misfits wasn’t going to change that anytime soon. They couldn’t even spell the word ‘beetle’. That group was of course the Beatles and they went on to conquer the world of music Decca’s loss was good news for the much smaller record label EMI, who gave the soon-to-be Fab Four a chance, and sat back and watched the money roll in. 

Kodak and the digital camera

Poor Kodak. Once the king of camera film, and then digital arrived. It must be particularly frustrating given that it was its own invention. Back in 1975 one of Kodak’s engineers, Steven Sasson, developed an early concept for the digital camera. He told his employers, assuming they would be delighted. They weren’t. Kodak saw it as a threat to its main business of making traditional films, so it suppressed the technology and hoped it would never see the light of day. Unfortunately, it did and the rise of digital meant the company only narrowly escaped bankruptcy. 

Atari and Apple

Nolan Bushnell was Steve Jobs’ first boss when he designed games at Atari. Naturally, Jobs approached him for capital when he launched his new business Apple Computers. Jobs offered Bushnell a third of the company for $50,000 in the 1970s, which is the equivalent of $242,000 (£183k) in today’s money. Bushnell turned him down and missed the chance to join the ranks of the world’s super-rich.

Ronald Wayne and Apple

Yet another person who bailed on Apple during its early days is Ronald Wayne, who was the lesser-known third co-founder of the tech giant. In 1976, Wayne drew up the agreements allocating roles to himself, Jobs and Wozniak and also created Apple’s first logo. As the oldest and most financially secure of the three, Wayne became concerned that any business debts would fall on him and sold his 10% stake in the company just 12 days into his role for a meager $800, the equivalent of $3,660 (£2.8k) today. Apple’s value has since grown to more than $2 trillion (£1.5tn), so if Wayne had kept his share it would be worth $201 billion (£152bn) today.

Looking at these stories which are true-life stories, by the way, you will see that Opportunity Intelligence is about connecting the past, present, and the future as well as deploying the Spectrum of Knowing principle and model by Victor Prince Dickson. This is because however you go about it, individual, organizational, institutional, and national progress is dependent on the consistent connection of the past, present, and future of all values, ideology, strategies, and action plans.

In the final analysis, opportunities don’t just fall into our laps, asking us simply to pick them up and run with them. Rather, the key lies in our ability to capitalize on opportunities whenever, wherever, however they arise and in any situation and level we find ourselves at any point in time.

Yes, opportunities require preparation but how do you properly prepare?

This is because if you prepare wrongly, taking advantage of an opportunity may even worsen your situation. It is your duty to understand both the form and essence of worthwhile opportunities so as not to waste time, energy, and other resources that may end up undermining your personal development, enterprise, career, or even relationships.

You won’t be able to pounce on a new opportunity with outdated skills. This is why I have prepared four (4) key resources you need to readily make the most of opportunities.

  1. Kommon Sense: A Tool for mastering Work and Life skills in 60 seconds
  2. The Art of Silence in a World of Noise
  3. Thinking Field: A Mind Development Workbook
  4. 21 Days Growth Map

My last word is that reading this article is an ‘opportunity’ in itself for you to become more intentional about opening your mind up to possibilities in every situation you may find yourself in.

I would love your feedback, kindly reach out to maxwellyekaghe@gmail.com

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