If you’re last to dinner, you’re going to be hungry. If you’re the last to the party, you might miss out on something really fun. And if you’re last to class, especially after the second bell has rung, you’re going to be that guy who disrupts class and gets a glare from the teacher.
The same goes with business. If you are late with innovation, if you wait for opportunity to come knocking rather than seeking it out, you’re going to miss out. I think the following quote sums up these ideas rather well:
“No one is ready for a thing until he believes he can acquire it.” -Napoleon Hill
Where am I going with all this? Glad you asked! 😉
Say what you will about 50 Shades of Grey*; E.L. James has made her trilogy a cash cow: right place, right time. A.K.A. she took an opportunity rather than wait for one. (*Disclaimer: This post does not reflect or express my personal views of 50 Shades, so, as we say in Spanish, cálmate.) 50 Shades is not a money-maker because E.L. James is the literary genius of our generation or a Pulitzer Prize winner; no, she is an opportunist. She saw a market for what she wanted to write, packaged it in an attractive way for readers of her genre, and then got pretty lucky when the books soared to #1 on Amazon.
Flash forward from then to present day. 50 Shades the movie brought in some serious ka-ching at the box office this year, and recently, James announced her latest project: Grey. In case you don’t know, Grey—which will be released next week—is already an Amazon best seller. It’s the character Christian Grey’s POV from the 50 Shades storyline.
So…if it has yet to be released, how is it already at #1 on Amazon? Opportunity, my friends. Opportunity. James has been smart with creating opportunities for herself and the Grey franchise, keeping fans happy by digging deeper and deeper into the world of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. She nearly pulled a “Beyoncé” by not sharing a whole lot of teasers, surprising fans and delighting them with the announcement of the new book. [Read about it on GalleyCat by clicking HERE.]
Of course, Grey is making waves in other capacities, bringing out the “those who march against Christian Grey brigade” and expressing how much they loathe everything having to do with said character and the trilogy in general.
But let’s pause for a moment and ask an important question: Do you think E.L. James cares about the cold feelings of her newest book? Mmm…probably not. She’s most likely too busy trying to count all the money she’s pulling in from the project, plus the other books she has out on the market, in addition to whatever deal she made with Hollywood for the 50 Shades of Grey movie. Again, she created an opportunity and made the best use of it, striking another gold mine.
Sometimes, life just isn’t fair. We can be the prettiest, smartest, most talented people in the room, and yet still be at the bottom of the totem pole. If we are constantly waiting for opportunities to just cruise on by us, we might be waiting forever. If you want something, you have to go after it. This especially applies to writing. If you want to write a book, the obvious thing that must be done is actually writing the book in the first place. Duh.
But the work doesn’t stop at creation, either. You must create more opportunities in the next phase of your project. How will you market the book? How will you secure some reviews? How will you find readers who actually want to give your words the time of day? You guessed it: creating opportunities.
Now, I leave you with a challenge: What sorts of opportunities do you see right in front of you? Do you see any at all? If not, how can you create some opportunities? How will you begin to reach your goals as an artist and writer? Feel free to sound off by leaving a comment. 🙂
Until next time, happy writing and carpe diem. xx