Originally posted on http://stomp.ie/what-is-the-difference-between-possibility-and-opportunity/
They have two very distinct meanings yet I hear those two words used interchangeably a lot. Possibility means something might happen if you do it yourself whereas Opportunity means if someone gives you a set of circumstances that you adhere to, it might happen. I can see why people use it either way at times. Yet one you have more direct control over than the other.
I have been given lots of “opportunities” over the years. At the very beginning of my business I remember people telling me that if I did something for them at no charge it would by my opportunity to demonstrate my skillset. Hmmm, well maybe they were on to something? However, after a while I could see that they couldn’t see any value in what I did and I was being “had”.
Yet when I was offered a “possibility”, it was up to me if it happened or not. It was made possible for me to be on the team for the Social Media Summit Ireland 2 years ago. It was easily one of the most transformative times of my career. I say this because I took the initiative and worked on this for free. In return I was given valuable experience, access (to speakers and the event) and met some amazingly talented people that I have since worked with and strengthened other relationships I had already had.
Sometimes you will find you have to decide between one of the two and you have to make the decision who you would rather have in control. It is hard at the beginning of any new business; as you can’t see into the future and know if your career path is going to work out or not. I certainly didn’t see me pulling in a large four figure income per month nearly 5 years ago but its been made possible (despite me!).
I encourage you fair reader, to understand that whether it is a product or a service you provide, there are times where you are going to have to provide it for free. Even at a late stage of your business. When I first moved my business from Co Wicklow to Co Westmeath I provided four local businesses of different sizes and sectors FREE training. I did this to create ambassadors of my service. Two immediately become ongoing clients and the other two have since passed other clients to me by word of mouth.
Finally, I would like you to remember. You do reach a stage eventually where it doesn’t make sense to do almost anything for free (unless it’s for charity or friends). Personally, there are still some people and events I would still get fully behind, as they have been tremendously supportive back to me in the past (you know who you are).
Eventually you have to pick a direction you want to go and just take the plunge and do it. So what are you going to do, follow a possibility or an opportunity?