A wall I must climb
What “If opportunity doesn’t knock” is about (chapter intro):
If you want to achieve anything great in this life, you must be willing to take some level of risk. In order to pull yourself out of bad situations, or to get closer to your dreams, at some point you have to DO SOMETHING! Your current situation will not improve by just wishing for something better. At some point you have to step out.
But I would caution you to take educated risks. Meaning, don’t put your spouse, kids, and mortgage at risk. You can take risks but do so smartly.
One of my bigger and more intelligent risks occurred when I wanted to shift my career from being a training designer to becoming a corporate trainer. The closest experience I had to this was teaching Bilingual Ed to 6th graders. But I’d never actually trained adults in the classroom. I somehow knew, though, that classroom training was something I would be good at—and enjoy.
So my plan? Secure a “job” at the IRS (Yuck!) that was just enough to pay the bills, and in the meantime start hustling to find my first gigs as a trainer. When that first opportunity arrived, I had to feign illness + bereavement with the IRS in order to take that first training contract. Hey, when opportunity knocks…
That first gig was to train Toyota Manufacturing employees on a new phone system being installed company-wide. Simple enough. So for two weeks I drove a daily 50-mile commute to make it happen. And just like that, BAM, that first gig led to another, and another, which then led to my first full-time trainer position. This entire process only took about eight months—to move from never having trained ever to being a full time trainer.
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” ~ Milton Berle
“This ridiculous weakness is perhaps one of our more stupid melancholy propensities, for is there anything more stupid than to be eager to go on carrying a burden which one would gladly throw away, to loathe one’s very being and yet to hold it fast, to fondle the snake that devours us until it has eaten our hearts away?” ~ Voltaire – Candide