Answer The Door Quickly When Opportunity Knocks

I was THAT guy, alone at the hotel bar, eating chorizo and egg pizza, before the name “Rob Morin” showed up on my phone.

Rob and I hadn’t spoken in about two months, so I was surprised when my phone rang. Excited, I picked up.

“Are you in Boca?” he asked.

“I was just there the last four days…What’s up?”

“I’m in the middle of recording with ABC for a show I’ll be featured on later this year, and wanted to see if you were around to come shoot scenes with me tomorrow. They want me to speak to a friend about the job opportunities I’m interviewing for.”

To back up, Rob had been flirting with this forthcoming ABC show called Job Or No Job for months now. Almost half a year ago, he’d seen a post in the 2 Billion Under 20 online community about casting calls for a new show where Millennials would be set up with interviews for their “dream jobs” and the whole process of leaving for interviews, going through the screening process with various companies, and hopefully finding a new job would be recorded as reality TV.

Apparently I hadn’t kept up with Rob, and he’d gone from casting calls all the way to selection as one of the featured episodes for the show. At just 18, he’d be appearing on a hit reality TV show for ABC and set up by an expert recruiter with three interviews to see if he could land his dream job.

Rob had answered the door quickly when opportunity knocked. Now it was my turn.

Not one to back down from spontaneous opportunities, I hung up with him, checked flights via Chipmunk straight from my phone, and booked a plane ticket to and from Fort Lauderdale International Airport from Orlando, despite having just landed that morning from Fort Lauderdale and already scheduled to give a talk less than 48 hours later at a conference.

The $200 last-minute roundtrip flight meant I’d be flying 5 days in a row, but I did it anyways, all because I’d have the opportunity to appear on a major ABC show as a peer mentor to my friend, which could be leveraged to grow my speaking and consulting businesses as well as my overall thought leadership brand. And, to boot, I’d be able to see a good friend and support him in an interesting life experience while adding a new adventure to the canvas of my life as well. Win-win-win.

However, most people don’t answer the door when opportunity knocks. They hide. They are pre-occupied. They don’t hear the door. There’s excuses. Bullsh*t. Indecision.

Napeolon Hill, who wrote one of the top 20 most read books of all-time, Think And Grow Rich, once had the opportunity to interview Andrew Carnegie, the richest man in the world at the time (and, converted into today’s currency, he’d be the richest man ever). A three hour scheduled interview turned into a three day long interview, and at the end of their time together, Andrew Carnegie offered a challenge to the young Hill.

Spend the next 20 years of your life, unpaid, interviewing all my most successful friends, and develop the world’s first formula for wealth creation and personal success.

Napoleon Hill thought about the opportunity briefly, and then accepted it on the spot.

Obviously a smart decision, right? What Hill didn’t know is that Andrew Carnegie was secretly timing Hill underneath his desk. It took Hill about 31 seconds to think about and accept Carnegie’s request, and yet hundreds of men before him had either taken more than Carnegie’s desire one minute to decide (either consulting their wives before coming back with an answer or stalling) or flat out rejected the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet, build relationships with, and learn from the world’s most successful businessmen at the time by offering various excuses, problems with the offer, or ego-related focuses.

Hill went on to become a successful businessman in his own right, speaking around the country about the success lessons he learned from these men, writing numerous bestselling books on personal development, creating training curriculums for universities and large companies, issuing popular magazines, and more, despite not being paid by Carnegie directly for fulfillment of his challenge.

Instead, Hill leveraged the opportunity and answered the door when opportunity knocked to monetize the situation in different ways other than receiving a salary from Carnegie, which would have ultimately made him less money than the businesses Hill built using the connections he made and information he learned from his quest to develop a personal success formula.

By deciding to fly out at last minute to join Rob, although I’m not getting paid for my appearance in the show, I can leverage my time on a hit ABC reality show to book new speaking engagements, increase credibility as an expert on marketing to, recruiting, and engaging top Millennial talent, and potentially even land other TV interviews, show features, or who knows what else. Those opportunities may make me a huge ROI on the $250 I invested in this experience, and at worst case, my life became more interesting, which is priceless.

Moral of the story: answer the door quickly when opportunities knock, or risk missing out on what could have been the most impactful experiences in your life.