by Rick Thompson/originally appeared in The Rolling Paper May 2021
It’s easy to see spring. The previous season is marked by a beige palette, the brown land, where all is wither and bare and aslumber. Now the sleepers are rising, and thriving. Anywhere you see color, you see spring.
Opportunity wears no bright cloak, and is often hard to find even when available in abundance. A casual invitation might lead to a conversation which opens the door to something wonderful, be that a friendship, a new career or a personal relationship. But which invitations are time wasters, and which offer the promise of greater things?
Nobody knows the answer to that, of course. Tulips stand proud and bright in their happy palette, easily identified from a distance and admired by all. You know exactly what you’ll find when walking up to a tulip. No mystery. As opportunities go, there are few tulips. If everything hard in life was a tulip there’d be more problems solved and less time spent on them.
Opportunities are more like morels, those prized mushrooms some people have a knack for finding. They emerge in the spring, too, like tulips but they are camouflaged in browns and grow close to the ground. It takes patience and virtue to hunt morels. You may visit a spot and find nothing, only to return a few days later and find many. No matter how deserving you are or how hungry you may be, spotting morels takes experience and attention. So too, spotting opportunities.
Spring is a time of lovers, it is a time for cleaning, to refresh, to revisit and renew and re-other things. We will re- ourselves to death in the spring, just because it is spring, and because we are we. Business is like that, too. An idea rejected by someone shivering in a long winter coat might sound pretty appealing to a guy whose butt is in a lawn chair and whose brain is in an island state of mind.
If you go through life looking only for tulips, you’ll miss a lot of morels. Here’s a tip: tulips taste terrible and they don’t last very long. That’s the way easy things are; pretty and short-lived and unsatisfying.
This spring, score some morels. Work your opportunity field, look under things, move stuff around, revisit the subject a few days later. Don’t be afraid to wander a little further afield in your search, and it’s always okay to ask others for help. When you have a good day of hunting morels, you don’t come away with just one. When you have a good spring of opportunity hunting, you’ll come away with more than just one, too.