Opportunity... or Regret?
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Opportunity... or Regret?

Opportunity... or Regret?

Do you remember your first business opportunity? How did it come about, and what was your initial objective? Why did you take on the challenge, and did things go as planned? For me, the objective was very clear from the beginning: work to support my family and be accountable for the decisions I make. But it was much more difficult than I anticipated, regardless of the planning I did.

Few can plan their own opportunities and follow up a growth plan they designed. There are far too many distractions in business, and often we are reliant on the economy, financing, employees, brand executives, and a bit of luck to bend our way. The competition either falters, assisting in our rapid growth, or it excels, causing us to adjust or abandon our plan.

On a podcast several years ago I made the following statement: The difference between opportunity and regret is being ready! I explained that if a person is ready when the opportunity knocks, it is then seen as an opportunity; if not ready, the individual spends the rest of their life regretting it.

Living up to my example, I spent my entire time working on being ready, not knowing when my opportunity would knock. When it did, I welcomed it and explored it to the fullest. I took time to prepare our finances, built a strong team, created processes and standards for internal controls, developed a filter for how to choose a business as a vehicle for faster growth, saved money, and retired debt. I worked hard to serve on committees or associations to learn the business behind the business. And, most important, I networked and promoted our enterprise to those who were willing to listen.

Now, after more than 35 years in the making, the opportunities and the regrets are my story to tell. I stay tuned as I mentor my children and watch them put in the work to be even more ready than I was. Seeing my initial goal come to fruition is my biggest pride. I became accountable and served my family the best I could. The size of the enterprise may have changed over the years, but the philosophy remains the same: work to be ready for opportunity every day… and keep quiet in case it’s knocking!

I ask, are you ready for your knock? Are you networking and promoting your own business and your brand? Are you financially ready? Do you have your own filter, and is your team as strong as you hope it to be?

I will be at the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference on April 14–17 along with fellow franchisees, telling our stories and listening for the next opportunity. Will you be there with us to explore your own? Please stop by and say hello. I and others who attend would appreciate hearing your story.

Tony Lutfi

Published: January 16th, 2020

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Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine: Issue 1, 2020
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