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Tip 7: Opportunities Are Everywhere

Too often opportunities arrive disguised, and you might neglect to take the action step. Instead of saying to yourself, “I wish,” “I will,” “I want,” or “I should,” replace this with “Do it now instead of tomorrow.”

A double opportunity recently developed from a speech I gave at a Chamber of Commerce meeting ten years ago. I received an email from a global organization asking me to present at an upcoming meeting. When I found out who referred me, I reached out to the managing director of the firm, whom I had not met, from the Chamber of Commerce meeting and said thank you for the recommendation to his global association. Tony Torchia of RotenbergMeril was stunned that I called to thank him since we had never actually met. This was ten years later. We did finally meet when I presented, and afterward I wanted to take him to lunch to say thank you. We had a lovely lunch, and he invited two colleagues. The “thank-you” lunch turned out to be a sales opportunity and another project. Double tip on this opportunity. Always find out your first source of any referral and say thank you, and then follow up again with either a coffee or lunch. You never know what will develop unless you reach out.

I love when people reach out to me because it always proves to be some type of opportunity. A year ago, I received an email from a 16-year-old high school student named Nicole, who contacted me to learn how to network in high school to maximize her experience and start to prepare for college. I was impressed with her, and we have stayed in touch on and off. Just last month, Nicole reached out again since her family moved to Texas and she now wanted to know how to get involved in psychology clubs—again, to get herself prepared for college. I asked Nicole how she knew to initially reach out to me. It turns out that her father was one of my drivers from a car service I use to go to the airport. He and I talked one day during a ride, and he told me about his very bright and ambitious daughter. I told him to have her reach out to me and I would try to help her—and she actually did.

Remember to reach out to people and follow up.

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