Opportunity Knocks in Strange Ways — You Need To Be Open To It

I read an article about Linda Heasley, the President and CEO of Lane Bryant.  She said something that struck me as particularly good career success advice…

“Always be open to opportunity.”

“OK,” you say, “What’s the big deal?”

The big deal is simple.  Opportunity often presents itself in odd ways.  You need to recognize it for what it is.  Here’s a personal example.  I do a lot of talks through an organization here in Denver called The Leadership Investment.  These talks are free to their member organizations.  Several people have asked me why I do free talks.  My answer is simple.  Free talks are a way to help me give back.  They also create opportunities for me.

Here’s an example.  On Tuesday, I did a talk for the local office of an international digital ad agency.  The talk went well.  The next day, I received this message from my contact at the company.


On behalf of the Denver office, I would like to thank you for your engaging session.  We are curious about a couple of the other session topics that you mentioned: Self-Confidence & Story Telling.

What would you charge for an hourly session?

All the best,


In this case, opportunity presented itself because I was willing to do something for free.  I did a good job, and now I have the opportunity to turn this company into a paying client.

Here’s another example.  I spend a fair bit of time reading career success blogs.  A couple of months ago, I read a post written by a woman here in Denver.  I liked what she had to say, so I sent her an email asking if she would like to chat about our shared interest in career coaching.  Long story short, she runs the career services office at a local university.  She hired me to do my talk on Creating Positive Personal Impact for a group of students there.

In the first case, I was open to the opportunity that doing a free talk presented.  In the second, I created my own opportunity by taking to initiative and getting in touch with someone I didn’t know, but with whom I have shared interests.

Opportunity can knock in funny ways.  Be open to it when it does.  And, when it doesn’t knock, you can create your own opportunities.  The important thing is to take advantage of opportunities — whether they come to you, or you have to create them on your own.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to https://budbilanich.com/join to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.



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