The Richest Man in Babylon (1926)

Work hard to spot opportunities and seize them without procrastination.

You probably know the motto of the Boy Scouts: “Be prepared.”

To find new opportunities to increase your wealth, you, too, should adhere to it.

In the previous blink, you saw how looking for and seizing opportunities can produce good luck, but the other side of the coin is that letting opportunities slip through your fingers produces bad luck, missed opportunities and “If only I had. . .” stories.

So why do people forego opportunities?

Far too often it is because they procrastinate.

For example, if the entrepreneur in the previous blink had decided not to invest in the new 3D television technology and had instead waited for it to prove itself properly and become more established, the inventor would have surely found someone else to invest in their product. You can’t wait for opportunities to be handed to you on a silver platter; you must be proactive and seize them or you’ll miss out.

If you want to increase the flow of opportunities that you see, you simply have to work hard. Study and investigate the areas you’re interested in and build a network, so you’ll be better able to spot and appreciate opportunities when they do come around.

Remember though that golden opportunities really are rare, even if you work hard. This means you might have to wait a while and this can be discouraging because it seems your hard work isn’t producing any results.

But your endurance will pay off eventually when an opportunity does become apparent.

For example, imagine an entrepreneur who has invented a radio which requires no electricity at all. She works hard to perfect her product, and then goes around pitching it to investors. For a year, every single potential investor rejects it, saying, “Who listens to the radio nowadays?”

Though disappointed, she keeps at it, until one day an investor realizes that the product is perfect for developing countries with poor power grids. The product eventually goes on to become a great success: her patience paid off.

In the final blink, you’ll discover what actions lead to financial ruin – and how to avoid them.

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