High Heels & Handbag Finance

Author: Esti Woznica

IF IT DOESN’T KNOCK, BUILD A DOOR
and other methods of flamboyant opportunism
There’s something about the second-guessing game that has us dally with indecisiveness. It’s easier to give a non-committal ‘maybe’ than to hang your hat on a resounding ‘yes or hard-core ‘no’. Yet, when you finally gather your girdle, peer in hope around the bend, and there’s no grand idea flying a crimson flag, hope belly flops.

So here are some suggestions on how to spot an opportunity as easily as a zebra with chickenpox at a poodle parade. Alternatively, you could always borrow Uncle Garfield’s binoculars (if it’s still a mile away).

  1. Be grateful and recognise all the small details that spice up your life. An attitude of gratitude highlights opportunities that already exist and invites new ones in. After all, nobody knows a Grumpy Gertie who invented a potty putter and died a millionaire.
  2. Don’t look for perfection. You don’t need an answer to every potential challenge. Accept an opportunity despite its imperfect presentation. It takes time for a fully-fledged-knock your-socks-off-head-banging-best-thing-since-sliced-bread-idea. Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work.
  3. Get creative and stop searching. Switch off, relax and engage your right brain. Play with art, music, food, graphics, literature or Lego. When you are less focused about hunting and just enjoy creating, the light bulb is more likely to switch on. (It also commonly occurs at bedtime, in between to-do list thinking and snoring.)
  4. Hold fire before you shoot it down. Take a moment for the initial defensiveness to pass, and hear it out. Then allow yourself to imagine the most ridiculous of possibilities. “Billions of bilious blueblistering barnacles!” We might be onto something?
  5. Assess previous failures. Most great opportunities aren’t realised on the first attempt, but rather as the perfected evolution of previous failures.  If you can figure out why it previously failed, you may have just discovered the perfect execution. (Try not to cover it in dandruff while scratching your head.)
  6. Use the resources presently available. Don’t evaluate an opportunity by what’s missing from the next logical step forward. Most big ideas that remain dormant are because they’re waiting for a breakthrough to happen first, or someone else to do their bit.
  7. Break boundaries. Don’t be too serious, easily offended, afraid of looking foolish or far-out radical. Think like a teenager: Rulz r made 2 b broken.
  8. Visualise in great detail, colour, taste and texture. Hold onto what it would feel like once you’ve gotten your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Will you store it in a clay jar or a wooden treasure chest? Display it in your new triple-storey entrance hall or hidden under a trapdoor in the laundry room? How will you transport the pot, and what will you drink in the first pub you stop at to celebrate?
  9. Invest in stimulating relationships. Talk, debate, argue and laugh with fascinating people. Bounce ideas, inspire each other, be silly and hang out with creative people and self-made men.
  10. Keep a journal for jotting down ideas. This year may not be the right time for something, but when you look back in 2019, the time may be perfect. Record all the things you want to achieve as if you’ve already achieved them. New ideas will pop up as you are journaling. Writing down the most unrealistic dreams can help manifest them!

In times of market volatility, investor uncertainty and a political landscape barren of leadership, it may feel safer to pull out, sit tight and wait for better times to arrive.

While sentiment is negative, returns subdued and shares overpriced, it doesn’t mean opportunities for investors don’t exist. It does, however, mean patience is required, trust in the process is due and a scratch beneath the surface might just be necessary to reveal for opportunities with true value.

Uncle Garfield tends to disagree with the above. He says, “If one door closes and another one opens, your house is probably haunted”.

Esti Woznica
Esti is Head of Employee Benefits and Medical Aid at Octagon Financial. A working mom of four cheeky chums, she advocates planning ahead and making your money do the hard work. She thinks in lists, enjoys historical novels, Irish whisky, après skiing and Moroccan cooking.

Motto of the Moment:
“Life is like a 6-slice apple pie at a 12-guest dinner. If you sit back and wait for it to come to you, chances are you’re going to miss dessert.”