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Windows of Opportunity

By Michael Zipursky

I was on the 10th floor of a building in Osaka, Japan. I’d just finished a meeting. It went well and I was in a good mood.

I got in the elevator. Pushed “G” for the ground button. The elevator stopped on the 6th floor. A guy in his late sixties got in.

Ending the Silence
As always the elevator remained silent. But I was in a good mood. I said hello to the man and commented on the weather. It was a sunny but cold winter day.

He looked at me in partial shock. I don’t think he was expecting that I could speak Japanese.

We got into a quick discussion and continued it outside the elevator when we reached the lobby level.

The Chance
He asked me what I did, I told him about our marketing and brand consulting company – which at that time I had co-founded and setup the Japan branch for the company.

I asked what he did, turned out he was the president of a large import/export business.

We exchanged business cards and ended up working together on some business.

That was business I got because I took the first step. I saw a small window of opportunity to start a conversation and took it. If I had remained silent in the elevator, as is so common, I would not have landed that client.

Avoiding Regret
Robin Sharma in his book The Greatness Guide, talks about the time when he saw the big movie star Harvey Keitel and wanted to go up and meet him…but he didn’t. He lost the chance and regretted it.

Every day, whether you are having a good one or otherwise…there will always be windows of opportunity.

A slight opening to meet a new prospective client. A crack that you can pass through to promote your company. An opportunity for you to do so something what you want and when you don’t you later regret it.

The first step to making the most of these windows of opportunity (they are all around you every day) is to be open to seeing them.

Once you’ve found them, don’t hesitate. Go for them.

The worst thing that can happen is that they don’t pan out the way you would have hoped. A door might get closed on you. So what?

Going for something that you want, and hitting a roadblock or two, is far better that not going after what you want and regretting it.

Make it a great day!

12 thoughts on “Windows of Opportunity

  1. Prakash Kapade says:

    Michael A good learning – how taking initiative helps.

    What I have also seen is if consulting person learns few magic tricks with cards or objects it immediately connects you with a unknown person and he never forgets you in his life time, try it out.

  2. Tia says:

    I learned that the best conversation strategy is to start talking about something neutral then ask questions and listen more. Knowing even a little bit something about a person you are talking to gives you keys to turn the conversation to the points you’re interested in.

  3. Prmoise76 says:


    Thank you so much, what a great encouragement. I love reading your post here.
    You guys always have some great contents here. I always try to have a discussion with people i meet on the st or the store.


    • Pierre – that’s the spirit! Nice one. More people need to strike up conversations.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Michael, so glad to see you talking about basic marketing when it comes to promoting yourself and the company. I’m sure most of us know you should have an “Elevator” speech. It’s free, easy and only takes about 10-15 seconds to tell someone what you do. It should flow naturally, be concise, powerful and leave no room for doubt what you do. If the other person ask you for further clarification, then that is probably a sign of curiosity and wanting to know more. It may be they are just being friendly, but even if that is the case they will leave the elevator knowing for sure.

    I also agree that it is better to initiate the discussion, or make the effort to meet/greet the other person, because you may never know what will come out of that conversation or meeting. I always feel that if you don’t ask or tell, then you’ve ruled out even a 50/50 chance of anything happening. I certainly can relate to times when I wish I would have gone up and spoke with someone. That was a long time ago and I learned my lesson. Since then, I always either ask people what they do, or just try to strike up a conversation. Although, I prefer not to use the “go to” weather talk. lol

    Thanks for all your advice and commentary.


    • Paul – glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for your comment and sharing with the community here your approach as well.

  5. seema says:


  6. Anabel_91 says:

    So what is the best lesson? Be more open and kind to people! It doesn’t matter if they are our friends or not. Sincerely give people a part of your good mood or energy and you’ll receive more and more and more!

  7. winston says:

    I am very happy that I joined the programme today…..winston

  8. winston says:

    Attending seminars not only increase your knowledge in business but also it is a door way to network with other like minded people. I always carry business cards and during break times I introduce myself to others and exchange business cards. I have made many good contacts with other business organisation and some of them are long term clients now.

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