Tag: opportunity

Upcycling St. Clair

Fleming said his travels opened his eyes to Cleveland’s richness and potential.

“If you’ve been other places, you see that this isn’t a backwater,” he said. “It’s an incredible, diverse city,” he said. “It took all that travel for me to appreciate how valuable it all was.”

from “St. Clair Avenue is poised for revival as Cleveland’s next example of ‘creative placemaking'” on cleveland.com

The Slovenian in me got an extra kick out of this article. I was practically raised on Azman’s kielbasa, and I’ve been to more than one wedding at the Slovenian National Home (my family can polka with the best of them, that’s for sure!).

As a “boomerang” who returned to Cleveland after more than 7 years away, I am happy to be back, and I’m excited about all that Cleveland offers. (At the same time, in this economy, I was grateful and relieved to find a job that will let me stay here.)

I want to see this region thrive, and I’m looking forward to seeing how Upcycle St. Claire develops. The Cleveland Flea? Sounds like fun to me! And maybe after, we can meet at Azman’s for a zelodec sandwich. Yum!

Always keep in mind your dream. Get as close to it as you can. Then be patient. You never know what doors will open up.


Richard Bolles, What Color is Your Parachute? 2013 edition

An equation for opportunity

A current Nissan commercial advertises the fastest way to a promotion:

3-sentence summary: An executive has a big meeting. His car reservation has fallen through, but our hero, Daniel from Accounts, offers the executive a ride. In the course of the 33-second commercial, Daniel goes from being just some guy in Accounts to being VP of Accounts.

While the commercial is partly a comedy of errors, its basic narrative makes an excellent point: Daniel wins a great opportunity (he joins the executive for the meeting, after all) because he is available and because he has the qualifications to take advantage of his availability. It’s part of the allure of the commercial, an it’s a reminder that’s always in season.

Here’s how it breaks down.

Available + Qualified = Opportunity

  • Available. Daniel is willing and able to help out when the need arises. He doesn’t even need to be asked—he volunteers. If we want tomorrow to be different than today, we have to show up. We have to demonstrate that we’re willing to assist.
  • Qualified. Daniel has not only the bare minimum of what it takes to help out (a car), but ample qualifications (a really great car, so the commercial tells us). He makes an impression. We can build our own qualifications by obtaining relevant certifications, gaining competence with a new software program, or pursuing whatever else may be pertinent to our particular aspirations and circumstances.
  • Opportunity. Together, Daniel’s availability and his qualifications produce a singular opportunity. Note, however, that he saw the opportunity and took action. We, too, owe it to ourselves to keep our eyes open and be ready to act.

I had many encounters with this equation while working for a nonprofit, where the budget didn’t make many allowances for, well, anything. For me, that meant an abundance of opportunities. I was available, I was willing to work hard, and I was capable of doing the work well. In only a few years, I went from intern to magazine editor.

Because this isn’t math, it’s not a guarantee. We may not get that one opportunity that we want more than any other, but we have a much greater chance of obtaining it if we’re available and qualified. And who knows what unexpected adventures we might have along the way?