How to Discern Between a Chance and Opportunity

“I always wanted to start my own business but I am terrified of taking that chance.”

I hear this often from clients especially those who are at a crossroads in their careers either because of a significant burnout or because they have been given that ominous “pink slip” and know they have to make a decision about what to do next.

I will be the first to tell you that it is very difficult to have clarity about the next step when circumstances upset the familiar. I have had clients cry about leaving a job they hate just because it wasn’t on their terms. I have had clients become angry when they were let go from a job they were counting the days to leave and I have had clients who desperately wanted to do any other work but the one they are doing become terrified when it is time to launch into something new.

The unknown is always a bit unsettling. Even if you don’t love the familiar, it still is just that. Often I hear people who want to leave a career or start a business talk about how scary it is to take that chance.


A Chance is often an action not defined by careful thought and planning. You take a chance on having a winning ticket, a chance on leaving the house on a cloudy day without your umbrella, a chance on getting through the traffic light while it’s still yellow, a chance on trying out a new hair color. A chance often involves more luck than preparation.

An Opportunity however is something you get as a result of a situation which you may or may not have had anything to do with. An Opportunity is like a gift you can choose to open or not.

Opportunities mean things are much more likely to happen because of your actions unlike a chance where the odds may be no more or less in your favor. An Opportunity is extended when you have circumstances change. Losing your job can be an Opportunity. Relocating can be an Opportunity. Being introduced to someone you click with can be an Opportunity. You can be offered an Opportunity to change a habit, a lifestyle, a direction.


When you are displaced from your job and need to look for another type of employment either as a business owner or in a new career that is an Opportunity. It may not feel like one in the midst of it but it is something extended to you as a result of a circumstance.

When you decide to start your own business you should not be afraid of taking a Chance because most likely you have thought long and hard about what type of business you want to create and how you will go about it. You have spent time and energy on developing a vision for your business.

We don’t spend time and energy on chances.

When you are deliberate and discerning about what step to take next, you are not taking a Chance you are accepting an Opportunity.

This is not to say there won’t be some scary and unfamiliar moments when you worry about your choices but keep in mind starting your business is not anywhere like buying a lottery ticket and hoping for the best.

If you are thinking about starting a business, you have no doubt done some research, looked at pros and cons, perhaps talked with other business owners, developed a type of plan on what you will do first and maybe even worked with a coach. You have taken steps that can lead to success.

There are few steps to take that can get you closer to success with just chance.

So if you have found yourself in the situation where employment is going to be changing,if you know you are going to be unemployed or leaving your current job and you are wondering what to do next. Ask yourself:

Am I really just taking a Chance or can this be the Opportunity I have been waiting for?


An optimist sees Opportunities everywhere, while a pessimist blames Chance on the situation.

You are not a victim of your circumstance unless you choose to play that roll.

Are you ready to move from Day Job to a DREAM BUSINESS? 
Schedule a complimentary consult and let’s talk about how you can start off on the right path to success.
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