In the immortal words of Captain Jack Sparrow, “Always wait for the opportune moment.”
One would assume that this concept would be the simplest thing in the world to master, but of course it isn’t. Just as every exceptionally useful or interesting skill requires practice, so too does the art of identifying the opportune moment. How do you know when it is best to apply for that new position that just opened up or asking out the attractive person in the next cubicle over?
Well… You don’t.
I can hear the screams echoing down the interwebs now. “Nooooo! You’re always telling us that there’s no way to do these things, Rochelle!!!!”
I’m not saying that precisely. I’m not exactly not saying it either. It’s more of an ambiguous implication really.
Mine is an evil face.
Imagine that you are buying and selling stocks. You must be able to anticipate the market. Will your investment rise or fall? It is one-part luck and two parts skill. To anticipate the market and choose good stocks you should start with studying how the markets work. Which companies show consistent and steady growth but not growth that is too large and so unsustainable?
After watching the market and studying the company’s last several years of monetary success you choose to invest $2,000.00 in company XYZ. The stocks have been doing well for the last few years, they are reasonably within your current budget, and you believe that the forecasted growth is well within sustainable levels while still being able to turn a tidy profit.
For the first quarter you seem to be doing well. You are keeping up with the growth of your investment and are thinking of investing in another company or two to celebrate your success. For now you have seized the opportune moment.
Two years later your company goes under without warning. Your investment is a complete loss.
Did you act at the opportune moment? Yes, insofar as you were able to do so. With nothing going public to warn you, your opportune moment to get out passed you by simply because of a bit of bad luck. I rather believe that taking advantage of the opportune moment is a learned skill. It is one that will require time, effort, and many failures before you master it. Remember, practice makes perfect, and a little good luck never hurt anyone.
You are beautiful; you are awesome. You can seize the opportune moment!