On a daily basis I come across talented individuals who need help to come out and expose whatever it is they do. They hold so much gifts and potential in them to move mountains but then that’s where it ends. Most of them will never even move an ant hill. Something is missing; preparedness and pro-activeness.
There is a cliché saying that says, “Fail to prepare and prepare to fail.” It is true on many levels for many people. People are looking for opportunities but they are usually not prepared to act on them when they arise. For example a cousin may tell everyone daily that they are looking for a job and finally when you tell them of a job opening, you realize they had not even printed the CV (curriculum vitae / resume), neither did they have formal clothing prepared for an interview. After all those multiple messages they sent you about how they needed a job badly, you may realize they had not even typed a CV for when the opportunity is presented to them and at least put it in a flash drive. Many artists, fashion designers and small businesses want an opportunity to get media coverage a day before they release a product, as if the blogger or journalist will gather their details over night. I get messages sometimes from artists who would like me to cover their song release which is the next day through Facebook. The artists provide no descriptions or flesh to what their music is about or where it was recorded, or any basic information that can help me generate a quality article.
The ones that get media coverage overtime have built databases of media contacts and have created press release templates which they send out even weeks or months before the release of their products. These people understand the art of preparedness, because even the journalist they send that to needs time to prepare the write up, edit and proof read the material before it is fed to the public. Unprepared work in that industry is characterized by multiple typos and lack of substance which kills the significance of a media house. Unpreparedness in any other industry has its own characteristics but they are never hard to spot.
Opportunities are attracted to preparedness. As soon as you are prepared the opportunity appears. For example:
A guy called Lenni is a film maker in Bulawayo, he doesn’t have the funding to create a Leon Schuster quality production. Maybe he borrows a digicam from Thabani, a friend of his. He uses free software to edit the footage he takes and does his best to bring up the best quality product by reading material online on filming. He also actively participates in film workshops and visits websites that post opportunities for film makers. One day a press article calls out for independent film makers regardless of quality to submit their work in 30 days, so that they may get funding or aid to do better films. This becomes an opportunity to Lenni because he satisfies their minimum requirement.
Do you realize how this automatically is not an opportunity for an individual who has not prepared anything at all? An advert in the paper for a driving job is not an opportunity for someone who has not prepared himself by getting a license. It is an opportunity for someone who has a license. The one without the license cannot start writing a provisional driver’s license exam in time for that particular opportunity; he has already missed that one. However, it’s never too late to start when lessons are learnt. The sooner he begins the better. How many artists practice for performances or send applications to Shoko Festival or HIFA in time? How many artists go to Open Mic sessions to test their content to a live audience and get familiar with the crowd, while creating a portfolio they can one day present to a show booking agent?
Of course the unprepared will start blaming the system, nepotism and corruption (which does exist to some degree) yet they do not follow basic guidelines of acquiring what they need. A good example is youth in Zimbabwe who claim that certain loans are allocated based on who you know, yet they’ve never typed a proposal or sent anything to the departments that process the loans. Preparedness is a key to success because provision follows purpose. If you have a project you want to do, prepare the foundation and do the groundwork and research so that as soon as the opportunity presents itself, you already know how to go about it. The person holding the opportunity will also entrust you based on the responsibility you have already shown with little. Learn to do much with little.
Whether you want to start a business, write examinations, record a music album or die you have to prepare the way for that. Vocal and breathing exercises are a good idea for a musician, daily practice for an athlete and building a legacy for one who knows the inevitable curse of death. Unfortunately being unprepared for death does not mean you do not die, it just means the people you leave on earth may suffer for it.
What are the things you aspire to do in your life? – Do you monitor their progress daily or have them written down? Do you have anyone to be accountable to for reaching them? Are you ready, for the opportunities that will flood you as soon you’re prepared?
There is no quick fix method of combating poverty or failure. A man who plans to travel a thousand miles must prepare his lunch and clothes to change along the way, with even a provision for unpredictable weather changes. He may also equip himself with information about the place he is travelling to, so that he may easily adapt to the laws and culture of that people.
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