By Younas Chaudhary
My first such opportunity came in June 1979 when I got a chance to move to Chanute, Kansas into the oil and gas business. The same opportunity was open and available to others including one of my close family members, but he said: “I am going to think, wait, pray and decide later.”
I did not think twice. There was a fire inside me to explore this opportunity hoping that it would change my family’s fortune. I bought a ticket on my credit card, took the earliest flight, and came to Chanute, Kansas with zero knowledge of the oil industry. This was my first trip outside of Edmonton, Canada!
I did not play the waiting game hoping that divine intervention would help me make a decision next month. Instead, I stayed in a dingy motel and tested the waters by visiting local people and farmers to learn how leasing farmlands for oil and gas wells worked.
Forty years later, I have built a good business. Most of my immediate family members are in the same oil and gas business, and it has changed our overall family’s fortunes.
Whenever good opportunities come, study them timely and, if your intuition tells you to go ahead, do not waste time overthinking.
For instance, I recently had an opportunity to buy oil and gas wells. The seller had sent out their updated final sale teaser package to us and other firms on a Tuesday with a due date of Thursday. I opened it, went over it, and made my decision on the same Tuesday morning. I told my team to negotiate a deal that day and to buy this package that day. My team advised me to wait for another day saying that we will look too weak on our part, but I told my team there was no use in waiting. Go, seize the opportunity!
By Wednesday, the seller agreed to our terms and we had a deal . Other bidders waited till the last minute, but we had already accepted and secured the contract.
Quick thinking and timely action helped us secure the deal. We knew it was a good deal as the opportunity had a short fuse requiring a quick decision. What I have found in situations like this is that our “he said, she said” mentality prevents us from seizing timely opportunities. We tend to wait or be afraid or both, and this will not get you anywhere in life.
In the 1980’s, I got another opportunity while visiting a pastor in his home in Blackwell, Oklahoma. The pastor had a blue folder that contained bid packages from Sun Exploration and Production Company. He said I could take it as he did not need it. I had never seen such a product. So, I took the folder, went to my car, and did not waste a moment getting my company registered as a bidder with Sun Exploration. Later, I purchased several bid packages from them helping my business grow exponentially. I could have left the folder in the backseat of my car or on my study table for days without seizing that opportunity.
Meanwhile, in the late 1990’s, I got a lucrative opportunity because I persevered and stood my ground. I placed a bid to buy a large oil and gas well package, but we unfortunately came in second. I kept in touch with the seller on a daily basis and soon found out that the highest bidder did not have enough money to close that deal. My persistence was rewarded when the seller came back to me, and I closed the deal on my own terms.
Once again, when seizing opportunities, always stand your ground. Do not flip-flop or show signs of weakness. Just go for it!
In early 2000s while visiting Canada, I saw that Vancouver was a hot real estate market, but several lenders said it was not a good time to buy and I would lose money. I knew there was opportunity in Vancouver as more people were moving there for its climate and attractions. Instead of listening to the naysayers, I went ahead and made significant investments in Vancouver real estate and the value has continued going up and has never come down.
So, when a good opportunity comes in front of you, take the plunge. Take a calculated risk and quickly move forward instead of waiting to make the best decision because opportunities are not unlimited!
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated. Further, I make no warranty regarding the accuracy or effectiveness of my recommendations, and readers are advised to consult other advisors as well as their own judgments in making business decisions.