So, you’re an entrepreneur with dreams of one day making it big, becoming rich or making the world a better place. But let me ask you, how real are those dreams? If your window of opportunity popped up right now what would you do? If your 15 minutes of fame presented itself to you tomorrow morning, what would happen? Would you drop it like it’s hot, or would you flop?
Imagine this scenario. You’re invited to a networking event; you get to the venue, enter the lobby and call the lift to the top floor. As the doors opens, Mr Richard “Virgin, Media, Airline, Private island, Galactic” Branson is standing there and you’re gobsmacked! He says “Hello” and you’re struggling to muster the two letters in the word “Hi”. He asks you quite casually “So what do you do then?” and you realise that the moment you’ve been waiting for, maybe all your life is here. You have approximately 30 seconds, maybe a touch longer to pitch your idea, the business you’ve been working on for the past 6, 12, 18 months to the man himself.
Let’s pause for a second. I know what you’re thinking, how likely is something like that? Well there are a few schools of thought which suggest so. The law of attraction says that you attract into your life whatever you think about. Your dominant thoughts will find a way to manifest. If that’s too spooky for you, in 2008 Tech Crunch (famed tech start-up news blog) posted a study done by one of Europe’s largest mobile operators which concluded that the average person is now connected by just three degree instead of the six proposed by Stanley Milgram in 1967.
There’s also the origin of the term ‘elevator pitch’. It’s said that during the dot-com boom, young entrepreneurs would wait in the lobbies of New York venture capital funds. When they spotted investors, these entrepreneurs would jump into the lift and try to pitch the investor on the way up. If they were ready, the investor would give them a meeting. If not, they took the long ride back down.
Ok, back to Sir Branson and our scenario! Now two things can happen here, you’re either ready to pitch, ready to have Mr Virgin himself interested enough to take your card, give you his, ask you to call his office and make an appointment to see one of his team or all of the above. Or he’ll ask you to enjoy the event and you’ll most likely never get a one on one opportunity like that again, not with Richard anyway.
How that plays out in this hypothetical scenario or on the day that your window of opportunity presents itself is up to you. But the point is that opportunities and their windows are around us every day; I know this too well having missed some golden opportunities myself and lost out big time when I thought I was ready but really wasn’t. That lesson learned, years later, when I was fortunate enough to have those opportunities reincarnate I ‘stayed ready’ and the outcome was very different.
So remember, if you keep ‘getting ready’ you’ll never ‘be ready’ to claim those 15 minutes, make your millions or change the world.