A couple of weeks ago, I met with a friend at the Amani International Coffeehouse and Cafe, over on Foreland Street on Pittsburgh's North Side (I'm guessing that no one in that vicinity would want their area mistaken for the nouveau creation, the North Shore).
I am not a coffee drinker, but I can recommend Amani for its comfortable atmosphere, for its fruit smoothies, and for the charm of its owner, Ms. Terra Jones.
My friend, Scott Izzo, introduced me to Ms. Jones and said that he's been trying to get her to consider becoming the proprietor of the planned Cafe 524. So Ms. Jones and I wound up chatting a bit about why she's not doing that. Basically, the reason was that her circle of advisors, whom she has come to regard as family, are telling her to remain focused on Amani.
This is hard for her, because she's attracted to Cafe 524. And to a bunch of other possible projects.
I told her that she suffers from OV - opportunistic vision. She sees such an abundance of opportunities in the world that her challenge is deciding which ones to focus on and which ones to let go.
I made that diagnosis so confidently and quickly because I have diagnosed myself as having what I'll now call OVD - opportunistic vision disorder.
OVD is not in DSM-IV, the American Psychiatric Association's manual of mental disorders. But I experience it so often that for me, it may as well be.
I constantly see opportunities where normal people don't. A vacant house is someone's potential home. A vacant building is a potential office, or store, or warehouse, or movie studio. Among other things. A vacant lot is a potential flower garden, vegetable garden, duck pond, greenhouse, rain barrel station, or building. Among other things. Unemployed people are a potential workforce. And every problem that anyone has, anywhere, is a potential business that provides a solution to that problem.
Worse, I actually nurture this disorder by habitually asking myself regarding situations, "Where's the opportunity?" I am so fond of that question that I have named it - the GQC, or the Great Question of Capitalism.
But I probably need to put the brakes on asking that, at least for myself - the GQC has worked so well so far that my life is now bulging with opportunities, so the more useful question might be, "How might I effectively exploit the opportunities at hand?"
Which leads to subquestions like: What resources do I possess? What can I do right now with the resources I possess? What further resources are available? How might I access them? Et cetera.
Yep, time to suppress my OVD, and to fire up my incipient IPD.
What's IPD? Why, implementation planning disorder, of course.