Monday, April 20, 2015

Opportunities: Take 'em when you get 'em

There are so many times in our lives when opportunities just happen. It is a situation of being in the right place at the right time. There are just too many times out there when your success comes from being aware of people around you, or something just happening that could advance your career.

A couple of months ago, my son was swimming at a meet. This seemed like an ordinary meet, but I started noticing a group of older students showing up. What was so unique? They were all wearing shirts or hats from my Alma mater (which, by the way, was the hat I happened to choose that day). I then noticed a man standing among the entire group also wearing the university's hat. It happened to be the head coach of the swim team (one that my son is interested in swimming for).

As I stood there by the side of the pool watching my son, the coach happened to go by and comment on how cool it was there was an alum there from the university. Here was the opportunity! I told him my son was swimming and was currently looking at heading to the school too. He wanted to know what he swam, and (again the opportunity) I told him it as the 200 Back, and, oh by the way, happened to be the next race.

The coach decided to stay and watch. He was really there to work with one of his swimmers who was trying to work on a particular stroke, but since he was there...

My son has now been invited to come over in the next couple of months to talk and swim with the team for a practice.

In publishing, there are just as many opportunities.

  • At a conference, instead of sitting alone, sit with a group of strangers. Someone there might be an editor or an agent. You don't have to pitch but talk. Who knows what can happen.
  • You have a story you want to take on a test run. Throw it out to a conference. Maybe it wins. Maybe you get a request for a full? Who knows what can happen.
  • An agent offers a pitch session on Twitter. Who knows what can happen.
I think you get the idea.

If you just sit back and wait for someone or something to come to you, you will not be that lucky. You have to keep your eyes opened. Again...

Who knows what can happen.

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