Have you heard “luck is when preparation meets opportunity?” Preparation is the easy one — work hard, work smart, love what you do, be very, very persistent, expect failure, and learn from your experiences. You can never be too over-prepared. In The LAST LECTURE by Randy Pausch, the author had a classmate named Norman Meyrowitz. In the middle of Norm’s presentation, the projector light bulb blew out. Everybody groaned. Norm said it was okay, walked over to his bag, and pulled out a spare bulb. Who does that? Andy Van Dam, the professor sitting next to Randy whispered that this guy was going places. Andy was right. Norm became the president of Macromedia, Inc.
What about the opportunity part? When will it knock? Opportunities may never come if you are at home watching TV every night, waiting for it to magically ring the doorbell. You have to be actively seeking it out. Sow a seed of opportunity everyday. Simple, right? Honestly, I have just begun to follow this advice myself. This is my list of what I’ve done to sow a seed of opportunity everyday last week:
1. Asked a trusted colleague who I look up to to become my mentor/coach.
After nervously waiting days for a reply, I finally got one. He happily obliged. I am excited to be getting guidance and perspective from someone with a lifetime of experience from which I can really learn.
2. Set up weekly/bi-weekly 1:1 sessions with many talented peers at work who I admire and respect, so I can build stronger relationships with them.
I know my passions will one day take me away from corporate life and the employee mindset, so I want to take the time I have now to foster the connections I’ve made, to let people know that I appreciate them, that they’ve touched my life, and to return the favor by doing everything I can for them while we’re still together.
3. Reached out and set up a meeting with a local start-up company whose vision and nobler purpose I truly believe in.
If I could, I would became their janitor and work for them for free. That’s how much I believe they can change the world. I want to keep all doors and windows with them open for future opportunities and to help them out in any way that I can now.
4. Made a goal for myself to start writing to this blog again after a long hiatus.
Personal brand is important me. One way I will build my personal brand is to write more about my passions on my blog.
5. Reached out to one well-connected 2nd degree contact to network with him.
I gave him my list of “things I value the most at work.” Doing what you love and with the people you love is important to me, so I wanted to see if there is anything/anyone out there that is more aligned with what I am seeking professionally.
So, now I ask you — what will you do to sow a seed of opportunity today?
PS. I want to thank my wife for putting up with me these last few weeks. She’s definitely noticed a change in my thoughts, behavior, and actions. We joke around calling it a pre-midlife crisis. Thank you, dear, for supporting me through this time of change, while I find myself personally and professionally.
PPS. Stypi is a neat visualization into how one thinks. See how I wrote this. (Click “Playback” then the play button)