Kevin Eikenberry

Article Summary:

Advice on seizing opportunities by taking action on ideas.

Turning Ideas Into Opportunities

Ideas are everywhere. Some are small and seemingly insignificant. Others are big giant ideas with the chance to change large portions of our lives. Each idea that we encounter, whether we create the idea, synthesize it from somewhere else, or hear it, is a possible opportunity.

A possible opportunity.

It doesn't matter how promising, exciting or applicable the idea is, or how big of an opportunity it might be, it is just a possible opportunity, unless you take action on it. Opportunity may knock, but we have to open the door, roll up our sleeves and get after it if we want to benefit from that opportunity.

There are many reasons why people don't take action on ideas and seize opportunities, including:

  • they lack the self confidence to feel they will succeed
  • they don't see the benefits outweighing the risks
  • they are scared
  • they have too many opportunities and are immobilized, unable to make a choice

The steps outlined below help you get past any of these issues - and move forward with confidence towards great results. Here are the steps you can take to turn your ideas and opportunities into action.

1. Pick one.
The first step in getting past any of the issues above is to select an opportunity. Not every opportunity or idea that comes your way will be one you should tackle. Or, if you are "suffering" from too many opportunities, picking one is the only way to move forward.

2. Sell yourself.
Perhaps you have sold yourself before picking, or perhaps you are still unsure. Either way, before you get too far down the road you need to see how this idea can have a positive impact. Will it give you more time? Will it expand your income? Will it help you learn new things? Will it help you reach long term goals? Whatever the benefits are, you need to lock them into your mind at this stage. When (if) the challenges grow large in your path, this belief will keep you moving forward.

3. Commit.
Commit to yourself to seizing the opportunity or capitalizing on the idea.

4. Make a plan.
Build a timetable and checkpoints on your way to implementing the idea. For some ideas this might be a two minute "back of the envelope" process, for others a more elaborate exercise. Either way, the goal is to outline a plan, not become mired in details.

5. Build support.
You will likely need the support and/or involvement of others in turning your idea into results. Therefore, it is important to get people to see your vision, and understand your plan. This is a critical step that is often overlooked. Don't make that mistake. Get the people on board that will help you succeed.

6. Get started.
You've decided, committed and built a plan. Get started already. The opportunity might not always be there. The idea deserves your best shot.

Ideas are great, but ideas alone don't solve problems or achieve your goals. Ideas are tools. We must find the best tools to apply in our lives and businesses. Find your ideas, seek them out. But please don't stop there.

Put the best ones into action.

You will either generate new success, or learn what doesn't work. Either way, you are way ahead of the person who sat still, taking no action at all.

Kevin Eikenberry is an expert in converting organizational, team and individual potential into desired results, and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group. He is the two-time best selling author of "Vantagepoints On Learning And Life" and "Remarkable Leadership: Unleashing Your Leadership Potential One Skill at a Time." Kevin has spent the last 15 years helping organizations all across North America reach their potential. His specialties include: teams and teamwork, creativity, developing organizational and individual potential, facilitation, training trainers, presentation skills, consulting and the consulting process and more. He offers monthly tele-seminars through a program called the Remarkable Leadership Learning System. Kevin can be reached at (317) 387-1424 or 888.LEARNER and through his website,

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