You are currently reading Issue 12, August 2014

Connecting women and opportunity

Womanthology is a digital magazine and professional community powered by female energy and ingenuity.

Connecting women and opportunity

Womanthology is a digital magazine and professional community powered by female energy and ingenuity.

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Fiona Tatton, Womanthology Editor – When opportunity knocks, will you be ready?


There are no disasters, only opportunities in disguise…

Fiona Tatton - Womanthology Founder and Editor
Fiona Tatton

Welcome to issue 12. Over the last fortnight,  I’ve been thinking about opportunities. How many opportunities do you get in life to change your destiny? In recent years I’ve become increasingly interested in the Dick Whittington model of social mobility that says anyone, no matter how humble their beginnings or place of birth can create their own opportunities and become anything they choose in life. Or the Alan Sugar / Donald Trump school of commerce; if you’ve got a head for business and you can spot the right commercial opportunity, you can build your own empire through hard graft. Or the Madonna school of fame; why not reinvent yourself from time to time?

Can’t find any decent opportunities? Make your own

So how do you manufacture your own opportunities? The internet is a great leveller. Women (and a fair few men) are naturally skilled at creating powerful professional networks and it’s now possible to build your own global communities of interest like never before. Find something you are passionately curious about and then immerse yourself in it. Find other people who feel the same. Don’t wait for something unique and incredible to come and find you. Build something of your own that is unique and incredible. You are unique and incredible yourself. Make use of that.

Setting up Womanthology has opened up a whole new world of opportunity for me. Writing about women making their mark in all professions has meant I’ve reached out to all manner of fascinating people in all manner of ways. It’s now the norm for me to e-mail, call, tweet, Skype and often meet complete strangers who become new friends in pursuit of the next part of the story. It’s become like second nature now to connect with women (and supportive men) from across the globe. I can’t remember what life what like before this and I wouldn’t want to.

What better excuse to expand your horizons than to find something you are passionate about and then reach out to people all over the world who can help you learn more about it, and yourself, at the same time? Keep expanding your horizons. The world is a pretty big place. Don’t ever settle for the comfortable and the familiar. Ignore the people who tell you, “it’ll never work.” What they mean is it didn’t work for them and they stopped trying. Don’t fall into this trap. Be a radiator, don’t be a drain.

Opportunities are like buses

Richard Branson said that business opportunities are like buses – if you miss one there will be another along in a minute. (Or in my limited experience of buses, another three along in a minute, all at the same time.)

And what about the opportunities that come and find us? So maybe an opportunity with its own sat nav? How many times has disaster loomed over you, only for you to realise that the prophecy of doom that was all you could see has suddenly morphed into a huge opportunity? Or sometimes multiple opportunities? There’s always some degree of risk involved in any big decisions you make in life, but nothing is worse than looking back at an opportunity you missed and thinking, “what if…?”

So I’ve decided that my mission for the next fortnight is to recognise each opportunity (I didn’t used to be so good at this, but I’m getting better) and to eek everything possible out of it. No ifs, not buts. Will let you know how it goes.

If a career opportunity doesn’t scare you, it probably isn’t big enough

Oh and finally, if you’re thinking about opportunities, don’t forget to think big. If it doesn’t make your pulse race or fill you with excitement, then it’s probably not big enough. Go with your gut. You know all the amazing things you’re capable of. Look beyond your immediate circumstances think about the big, fat, scary opportunities that will push you to right out of your comfort zone and into a whole new zone. Go on. You know you want to.

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