I am always amazed at how some strange things seem to strike a cord in my memory and stick with me. It may be an event, or a comment or some incident that just seems to be stuck in my head.   It’s strange that I may not remember what I had for dinner last night, but a comment that someone made that just seemed to resonate and get stuck in your memory really sticks out. Such an incident happened to me last year.

Never Pass Up an Opportunity

I was at an outdoor event with a group of distributors from around the country from companies similar to ours and we were just walking from one event to another.  As the group walked and talked, we came up to a sign with an arrow that said “restrooms”.    As we passed, a slightly older gentleman from our group looked at the restrooms, and then at me.  He smiled and said “never pass up an opportunity.”

While the words made me chuckle, the meaning behind them made me think. There are always opportunities all around us.  The question is are we taking advantage of them or even seeing them when they show up?  The answer to that for most of us is no.  As much as we try, we still don’t see the many opportunities around us everyday.

Live Moves Fast

The fast pace of our lives, both personally and professionally, makes it difficult to see the opportunities when they present themselves. When we are busy trying sell things or complete projects, we get so caught up in what we are doing it we don’t see all the other opportunities around us. Whether we are busy completing projects, or we are frantically scrambling to get things done, we have a tunnel vision like focus that does not allow was to see the forest for the trees.

When you are working with a client or a potential client, are you really listening to what they’re telling you, or are you telling them what you want to do?  More often than not, we spend more time talking and not enough time listening, both with our ears and our eyes. There are many opportunities out there if only we would listen more and hear what others are saying or what they are insinuating and trying to tell us.

Learn to Listen

Most of the time people will tell us what they really want. But, way too often we keep talking and telling them what we want to say and not necessarily listening to what they are actually telling us. Those that know me either personally or professionally, know that I have an opinion on every subject.  Just ask me!!  I enjoy discussing with others and thinking things through all different scenarios and listening to other perspectives. It’s taking me a long time to figure out and train myself to listen more and talk less.  Very often I say to myself “shut up and listen Joe!”

So look and listen for the opportunities all around you from your clients, your coworkers, family members and friends.  When you’re out with a client trying to sell them on that backyard paradise, listen to what they are trying to tell you. Don’t sell yourself short.  By actually listening to what they are telling you, you may walk away with a contract for that OLA award winner!!

Opportunities are all around us.  It’s amazing what you will hear if you actually look and listen for them.

-Joe Twardzik, Director of Landscape Systems

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