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  • Matthew Nelson

Adapting to Opportunities: Learning to Identify What is Valuable

As I grow my reach and meet new people, I have encountered more opportunities than I would’ve imagined. Instead of seeking work to do and people to talk to, it is approaching me, with exceptions.

Luckily, I’ve had the opportunity to expand my network and become a larger known name in the business world. With this comes more experiences I can take part in. I’ve been a part of 2 seed funding rounds with junior mining companies. At first, I didn’t necessarily know what I was doing. I knew the people I was giving money to were well-trusted businessmen who had successful track records. However, I didn’t know much about the company or how I was going to make money. Looking back, those investments have turned out well so far, but I should’ve been a bit more cautious.

Today, I’ve had a few people reach out to me looking for capital and help to raise capital. It’s exciting to be receiving emails like this, but I’ve learned to be a bit more careful with my money and identify what is best to do with it. Instead of saying, “yes for sure,” I’ve hopped on phone calls and learned a bit about the company, what they are doing, what their goals are, etc…

One big thing that has often come up through this journey is people reaching out for me to gain “experience.” Sometimes, the experience is very valuable, and I can learn a lot about a specific area. Most times, this is not the case. People think I am super eager to do work with little to no pay. Again, sometimes it is valuable, but others not as much.

Since I am younger, I think some people get the understanding that I am open to doing work for the sake of experience. For my more youthful audience, a tip of advice: don’t do work for free unless it’s with people who will benefit you down the road. People may hype themselves up and explain how prominent they are in the business world, but they want someone to do their bullshit work in reality.

Another thing that is starting to grow is the number of interview requests I am receiving. At first, nobody was ever reaching out to me to do an interview. Now, I accept as many requests as I send offers. I’ve had to pick who is exciting enough, and although I am losing some connections with people, I am learning how to value my time with others.

Between work experience, interviews, school work, and social media, I have a decent amount of stuff I am balancing on my plate right now. I love every bit of it, but I have realized that I don’t have time to do everything. As my business journey continues, I hope to grow out of some of the things I am doing right now and either turn them into more significant parts of my life or adapt to new opportunities. There are so many things that I’ve had the chance to do in this last year, and I’m very grateful for that. I hope opportunities continue to come my way, and I learn how to value them even more so.

For my younger audience, this article was intended for you. I want you to realize that you are the future, and as you meet more people, more work will follow. You should know how to identify your value in a situation and not undersell yourself. Also, don’t waste your time doing stuff that will have no benefit down the road. There’s so much you can do in the upcoming years, and it’s up to you to decide how to manage it.

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