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How Are You Shutting Yourself From Opportunities?

How Are You Shutting Yourself From Opportunities?

I was surfing the Internet recently when I bumped into the Facebook Page, David Abiodun Coker Scholarship Foundation. I read the page’s October 31 status update and got crazy:

The scholarship is closing in 10 hours and unfortunately no one has submitted their application yet.


Photo Credit:

Did you just scream in disbelief? Then you’re like me. I did the same.

I probed further and discovered what only aggravated my anger: the scholarship was originally announced on the Facebook Page 4 months earlier, precisely on July 18:

ANNOUNCEMENT: Now accepting applications for the 2013 DAC Scholarship Foundation. If you are an Engineering student in a Nigerian University and you are interested in a scholarship opportunity of N100k, please send us a message to request for the application packet. Remember to include your email address.

I also found out that the Page made announcements when the deadline was 7 days and when it was 4 days. Yet, no one responded till 10 hours to the deadline – and maybe till it closed.

The truth about opportunities

Whenever I win an essay contest, some people tell me I’m just lucky.

Well, I agree with them. But my understanding of luck is radically different from theirs. They think luck is some invisible being that fetches some people success.

It is not. Luck is a convergence of adequate preparation and opportunities:

  • If I didn’t learn well and practice how to write well, I wouldn’t win essay contests; and
  • If I didn’t open my eyes when the door of opportunities opened, I wouldn’t win essay contests.

So that’s what it takes to be lucky. I’ve always talked about preparedness here. Now is when to talk about its twin: opportunities.

My experience with bridging opportunity gap

One of the two reasons I started Naija Writers’ Coach is to open the eyes of writers to opportunities that can transform their lives.

Before then, each time I won an essay contest, a couple of friends would blame me for not telling them about the essay contest. They would have written and they might have won, too, they would reason.

But I’m just a single person. I could not shoulder the expectation of telling scores of persons about which writing opportunity there is by word of mouth. And there was no state-of-the-art site I could refer them to.

I saw a need … a common problem I could solve. So I started Naija Writers’ Coach in August 2012.

Ever since, I’ve been bridging the opportunity gap and I’ve simplified the process of accessing this opportunities: you can search by deadline, educational qualification, gender, geographical location or subject matter.

I even send my awesome newsletter containing a summary of the latest opportunities every Monday and Friday. The biggest challenge I’ve exposed writers to is that there are no barriers.

The bitter reality about people

Has Naija Writers’ Coach succeeded in bridging the gap of writing opportunities? Yes! Have most writers started taking full advantage of the myriads of opportunities? No!

This leads us into a bitter reality:

Opportunities can be brought to your doorstep, but you must open your eyes to see them. [Why not tweet that?]

Even when opportunities swim at your doorstep, you have a duty to:

  • Open your eyes and see them
  • Act on them diligently

Even now, when I win essay contests, some folks still tell me I didn’t inform them.

Thank goodness I’ve a good defense:

I posted it on the website. And I sent it to your email. So it’s not my fault you failed to see it … or act on it.

Do you open your eyes?

When you walk on the street, do you observe what people need that you can provide? When you surf the Internet, do you just read jokes or you find opportunities that can help you achieve your dream?

Don’t be like the many job seekers who roam the street searching, while employers also scramble for employable hands.

Whether it is scholarships, essay contests, fellowships, conferences, grants or training programmes you want, there are tons of them that suit you. Resource sites abound posting these opportunities daily.

So open your eyes. There are no limitations. Whatever opportunity you want to pursue, go pursue it.

Question: How are you dealing with and acting on opportunities? Consider leaving a comment below.

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About Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin

Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.


  1. Ayeyemi Taofeek Aswagaawy says:

    Well! I’ve failed and cried many times because I’ve failed to facilitate the opportunities that come my way. And I’ve as well succeeded and laughed too because I successfully made use of it.
    I’ve learnt not to toy with opportunities and ever since then I’m always at alert.

    One of the opportunities I have subscribed to is my subscription to this site – eye opening. I also read all blogs herein and follow the teachings, and read essays and made attempt to write it – Acting upon.

    Even if I haven’t won essays from this site, I’ve had many informations at my disposals and I’ve learned that I have been gifted with the best of all arts.

    What I think is relevant at this point is time management and facilitation. Lack of this made me write and didn’t finish before Deadline and usually finished but lacked financial okaying.
    In respect of time management, you’ve written on it sometimes ago and that was when you adviced to take it as part of ones course in school. Kudos to you sir.

    Financial bouyancy, Adequate preparation and Accurate time keeping is therefore what I need so as to fulfil the three Essence of this site – learning – which I do, writing – I do, and winning – I hope. And it is what I need to be sure I’ve perfectly made use of my opportunities by joining this site.
    Your efforts to create this site is not futile, many may not make testimony of winning, but I believe most will testify they’ve learned and they are writing.
    I’m learning………………………………..

  2. Oluwapereyi says:

    I won the DAC Foundation Scholarship for this year. Posting my winning entry wouldn’t be a bad idea,I suppose.

  3. I so much love writing, and only God knows how much I’d wished i’ve my own Laptop. You know, every writer, aspiring writers needs to have a platform, and usually, they all want to be criticized by what they writes about — and this really motivates them into writing. I just finished my SSCE this year and anyway, I thank God so much that he made me to come out with flying colours. I never missed this site a day and u might’ve got irritated that you’ve readers who don’t comment and that pricks my skin badly.

    What pains me most is the fact that the stuffs u asked me to download sometime ago I cudn’t download it because my phone did not met such requirements. Oh, I wish I’ve a PC.

    Finally, I luv dis site, and I wish to advice you to keep on posting stuffs like this. Thanks.

    • Thanks, Raph, for your compliments.

      I encourage you to keep chasing opportunities. Someday, they will take you to great places.

      I’m working on making my books available in a format you can read online soonest. So stay around.

  4. Well said Coach, observing what people need and thinking of ways to satisfy that need is the key thing to building any successful enterprise (the same thing prompted you to starting this site, the same thing also brought about the creation of Walmart and other large businesses).

    So many opportunities unfold around us daily, if only we can take advantage of them. I came across a site some time ago,, it’s a site that employs writers based on their specialization/field; business writing, academic writing etc, and once you are employed you are paid for every article you contribute. It’s a good way of working from home, in your area of specialization, and getting paid. It is quite easy to register and you will be required to do a small English test.

    • Awesome comment, Segun, like always!

      Meeting felt need is a great way to make a difference. And thanks for that nice link. I tried to register, just to know how it works, but their server says my IP address is already registered. That’s a lie of course, as I’d never been to the site.

      I’ll try to register from another PC some other time.

  5. I guess my problem is trust copled with resources(if am really crious i will source 4 it)….. My fear is bcomin a victim of internet scammers, for most of us, it is.
    I appreciate ur advice, and am takin note. Thanks Sire


    OUR OGA AT THE TOP! Trully opportunities goes around but disguised as hard-work. that why so many people couldn’t realise it. Al-hamdulilahi, I’ve ceased the opportunity of this your awesome site to improve my writing cease and I bitterly pray to amplify my winning skill. AMIN

  7. Thanks, Coach, for this piece. It’s actually not been easy for me grabbing the numerous opportunities that I ‘see’, due to certain limitations -especially cashwise and background. But I do hope to overcome, soonest! Thanks once again.

    • Hi Chidi,

      I understand you. I was once like that. But even in that state of yours, with all the ugly odds, you need to do one thing: rise up and strive to stand out.

      It will not be easy. But it will be rewarding — ultimately.

  8. Oluwapereyi says:

    Opportunities abound everywhere for those who wouldn’t be myopic,yes jaundiced to see them. It is so unfortunate chitchat is what many use the social media for. Could they be unaware,perhaps blatantly ignorant to the possibilities at their disposition? Is there anything we can do,I mean anything at all to assist? To the later I’ll give a resounding YES!!!

    Well,coach answered the later as far back as 2012 when he launched this platform. And for that,a million thanks I owe him. But more can be done! On his part and ours. We should do well to inform him of any writing contest he might be unaware of . On this note,I promise to keep you abreast the DAC Foundation contest for next year. And if there are freelance writing websites we can earn from,it should be made known to us. I’m so keen to earn a living via writing. Words can’t express how grateful I am,coach. More power to your elbow sir.

    Compliments of the season.

  9. You’re doing a great job here. I dunno how many folks appreciate it but i do. Do have a great 2014.

  10. Am I glad I read this? Yes. Yes, I truly am. For the strangest reason, I only found out about your website today – so this means that sometimes, just browsing aimlessly could lead somewhere worthwhile – cause I only happened to stumble on this by design, not by my own making.
    What you’re doing is commendable. And the points you made are hard knock truth.
    Keep it up, you just earned an admirer and follower.


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