10 November, 2017

How To Create Opportunity

We live in a world now where we can make anything happen.  Literally, anything.  Think about it.  We can create the job we want, work with people we choose to work with, and work with brands that might seem "out of reach".

how to create opportunity for yourself
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I am by no means the guru of entrepreneurship, creating opportunities, nor am I claiming to know it all.  But, I've learned a lot along my journey and think it's important to share how POSSIBLE things are, and how much we're capable of with the resources that we have.

To give a little background on me, I worked in influencer marketing and public relations for a global cosmetics company (Cover FX) for about two and a half years.  I was going to tons of badass events, meeting amazing, creative women, and seeing them live what looked like the life.  

They were hustling.  They were creating their own schedule, signing their own contracts, creating their own content, and enjoying it.  And getting paid.

I didn't fully realize how possible all of this was, and just how vast opportunity was in life until I was working this job.  I'd work 9-5, attend these glamorous events in LA, NYC, and Miami, and wonder how they made all of this happen.  The answer: they hustled and they just made it happen.  Not overnight, not instantly, but with dedication and consistency.

I started my blog after attending a few of these events and wanting to create content myself.  I figured if I was already active in the industry, attending events, and had these resources at my fingertips, why not use them?

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My key tip to creating opportunity is just that.  Use your resources.  I'm not telling you to be an evil person and use people, but look around at who you know and think of if/how they can help you.

One of the best pieces of advice I've heard is "you don't have to do everything by yourself".  If you're anything like me, trusting others, especially when it comes to your reputation, work, or brand, isn't easy.  I'm not one to pawn off responsibility and tasks when it comes to something that involves my personal brand, and I was 100% the kid who would do group projects by myself because I was so Type-A and had to know what was going into the work.  Call me crazy or call me ambitious.

Whatever opportunity you're trying to create, look at your network and figure out how you can start planting some seeds.  Can you collaborate with someone in your network?  Can you do trade work and offer them something for their time/resources in return?  There are SO many possibilities here.

Grow your network.  I like to say that I know a lot of people, but I have a small personal circle.  I've met a lot of people and have a large "network", but my true circle of close friends is small.  I confide in a very small group, but when it comes to my connections, I've built a network over the years that has helped me out big time.

Get out of your comfort zone, but be strategic.  This is something I had to teach myself and one thing I struggled with for a while.  Part of getting out of our comfort zone and growing our network is attending events, dinners, meetings, etc. that you might not 100% want to go to.  DO NOT say "yes" to every invite or opportunity that comes your way (click here to read why saying "no" is so important).  You'll waste your time and in turn might take away from your true path, but you'll probably do this a few times before really figuring out what's worth your time and what's not.

Figure out what meetings and events may benefit you, either professionally or personally.  Use those to leverage yourself, your brand, or your business, and get out there and sell yourself.  Don't be shy, timid, or sell yourself short either.

I attended an event not too long ago that I wasn't really feeling.  It was a fashion event, and I wasn't feeling like making small talk for hours and being around what I saw as "foo-foo" and "uppity" for hours.  I knew I should go and check it out.  

I met so many great connections at this event, and if I hadn't gone, I wouldn't be co-hosting the radio show I am now.  I wouldn't have made the connection to help land me that opportunity.

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Pitch yourself.  A lot of opportunities I've carved out for myself were because I FOUND them, they didn't find me.  Don't wait for things to fall into your lap.  If there's a company you want to reach out to, do it!  You've got the whole Internet at your fingertips.  Do your research and find the appropriate contact, reach out to them, and draft a proper pitch (click that link to see my tips on drafting the best PR email).  

Follow up!  Your work isn't done even if you send the perfect PR pitch.  Think about how many emails people get per day.  What you view as a priority might not be on their radar, so create a calendar reminder or flag your emails to remember to follow up.  Get your name in front of them, but also don't annoy the crap out of someone.  I usually like to allow about 3-5 day for a friendly, non-invasive followup.  

K, hope these tips helped to at least SHOW the world we live in.  We have the Internet, social media, and resources that make it too easy to get in touch with people.  Get out there, sell yourself, and let's get one step closer to our goals.

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