a person who exploits circumstances to gain immediate advantage rather than being guided by consistent principles or plans: most burglaries are committed by casual opportunists.
Why is it that we’ve decided to make opportunist such a hated word? Whats’ wrong with being an opportunist? By it’s very definition, it’s a person, or thing, that looks for an immediate opening and exploits it to gain advantage. Competitive advantage is what breeds success. That edge that makes you more appealing or mor eefficient than the competition.
So what’s an entrepreneur if not, at least partially, an opportunist?
Entrepreneurs, and some of the most sucessful business people in the world today, got that way by constantly seeking and exploiting new opportunities. New places to sell their goods. New markets to cater to. Emerging needs to be addressed. Finding the chink in the armor and exploiting it (some would call it leveraging because it doesn’t sound quite as bad) to gain a power position.
I myself am proud of being an opportunist. I see an opening, and I take it. It’s how I’ve managed to gain almost all of the movement in my own career. It wasn’t because someone handed something to me because of all of my hard work and dedication.
In my experience, hard work is highly undervalued by most employers. Doing your job is great, but for some reason, when you are great in a position, there’s a tendancy for superiors to let you stagnate. In other words, they’re gaining from what you’re doing. Either it’s making them look good, or it’s making them money, so you’re going to stay right where you are.
Seek opportunity. Seek advantage. Be ruthless. Be an opportunist.