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Opportunity knocks

Last week I shared the dilemma I was in about who to vote for and I said that my decision might have been easier if I’d seen either of the candidates. Well the day after I sent off my article to my editor, I found a calling card in my mail box saying that one of the candidates had come to call but I was not at home.

Well in all my years of being eligible to vote I have never had the opportunity to sit down face to face with a candidate and ask some of the burning questions that I have. Questions like: What is their claim to fame i.e. what is their background and what successes have they had? What did they do for the constituency (if they were in Parliament before) and what do they plan to do if they get in this time?

I also felt that being able to sit down and talk would give me some insight into their character which to me is just as important as what they plan to do in the communities. So needless to say, I did not let that opportunity pass me by.

The candidate helpfully left a cell phone number (which I now have saved in my phone) so I was able to get in touch and we set a up meeting at my house for Tuesday, in between canvassing in the communities and before the political meeting for the night. Since that was also an opportunity for them to gain my vote, I was not surprised that the meeting was agreed on quite readily.

I had to let the candidate know up front that I was neither BLP or DLP, and that if I voted it would be for the person who I feel is of good character and is passionate about helping the people in the communities rather than just looking to see what’s in it for them. I’m happy to say that after an hour long conversation (in which I did very little talking) I’m now fully decided where to put my X and I’m glad that I took the opportunity to meet the candidate so that I was able to come to that decision.

Continuing on opportunities, I was in the Book Source’s Authors’ Lounge at Girlfriends Expo a couple of weekends ago and my schedule on both days overlapped with Eric Jerome Dickey’s. For those of you who don’t recognise the name, he is a New York Times Bestselling author from the US. Talk about opportunity! I had read Latoya Burnham’s interview with him in Barbados Today earlier that week and he’d talked about taking writing courses to improve his skills so I was keen to find out more about that.

Now I really don’t read his work (as I told him) since I’m not into erotica but I bought one of his earlier books, which he assured me was quite tame, since it had elements that were similar to some in The Merger Mogul and I wanted to see how he approached the subject.

Anyway I introduced myself, got him to sign the book and asked him about the writing courses. He was such a mine of information and he shared it freely. He told me that the best writing workshop he’d done was by a man called Robert McKee who held a few workshops during the year in the US. He also shared how he wrote the chapters and some of the methods he used to keep the readers’ interest and other helpful tips.

Needless to say as soon as I got home I Googled “Robert McKee” and discovered that he is a master storyteller and an amazing teacher of storytelling. Many of his students have gone on to win awards in writing and this year alone 122 of them were nominated for Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards and all kinds of other awards!

What was more exciting for me was that he was holding a class in New York in April. Amazingly I was already planning a trip to NY in April and was only trying to figure out the best dates to go. I registered for the course right away to secure a space and all I need now is the funding to do it. What an opportunity!

Opportunities abound, even in times of recession. We just need to recognise them and capitalise on them to be successful in these times. Who can say if I will ever meet Eric Jerome Dickey again or when next Robert McKee will be having a seminar in a location where the airfare is fairly reasonable?

We can’t afford to let opportunities pass us by because who knows if they will ever come up again? So when opportunity knocks be ready to open the door and let it in.

* Donna Every is a Chartered Accountant and an MBA who worked with Ernst & Young for ten years before starting her own Business Advisory practice, Arise Consulting Inc. She has written four books including What Do You Have in Your House?, Surviving in Times of Financial Crisis and the newly released novel The Merger Mogul.

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