Hong Kong, The Land Of Too Much Opportunity
America may be the land of opportunity, but Hong Kong is the land of too much opportunity. I’ve now been here for 5 months and I’ve long passed the point of realizing I cannot keep up with it all. I’m sure some of it stems from a more positive attitude. Upon moving here I decided to be more positive, look for opportunities to help without expecting anything in return, and default to “yes” and that has had an impact as well. But Hong Kong is simply such a dynamic place to do business that I’m floored every day by what I could be doing if I could just make 10 copies of myself.
The first two months weren’t so bad. I spent those months with my wife recovering from jet lag, figuring out where we were going to live, and getting the hang of normal everyday activities like grocery shopping. Once we settled into our new home, I went out and started networking and attending every event I could, and I effectively didn’t come home for three weeks. One night my wife and I sat down and agreed this couldn’t continue. We set some ground rules, the main one being that I would only spend one night per week in the city, and every other night I would be home with the family. But in making this rule there was a temptation to say “Unless something really important is going on or you have an amazing opportunity.” But that’s the whole problem. I was gone almost every night for three weeks because every night there was an amazing opportunity. Giving me that excuse as a way out of the rule would just ensure I would never be home.
So we set the rule that I would be home every night, other than one night of my choosing per week, and that’s the rule–no exceptions. If that means turning down amazing opportunities, then so be it. And I have had to turn some down, but it’s worked out just fine.
The other thing I’ve had to stop doing is to join other businesses. Soon after arriving here I was invited to partner with some other fellows on a business venture that, for various reasons, is quite compelling and something I understand quite well. Then another opportunity came along that I just couldn’t pass up, so there’s another partnership, or at least one that’s in the works. It’s now gotten to the point where I’m realizing I’ve got to stop doing this, or I’ll be involved in 10 businesses and unable to do anything for any of them. It’s hard for me to turn down these opportunities because they either have the potential to be quite lucrative, quite fulfilling, quite educational, or all three, but I’m just one man and can only do so much. It’s a problem, but it’s a wonderful problem to have.
Have you ever had too many good opportunities? How did you decide what to do and what not to do?