Tag Archives: opportunity

Using every opportunity to network

When Bill Gates was trying to sell a PC operating system to IBM, his mother was on a charity board. The president of IBM was on the same board. Was there a possible connection? Maybe. I doubt Bill Gates’ mother got the deal for him, but I’m sure it helped.

An unemployed salesman asked me, “Can you help me find a job? You know I’ve been looking for months. What can I do?” 

I didn’t have a job for him, so I asked him about his job search. We talked about networking. It turns out he already was in touch with some very influential people. They even offered to introduce him to other leaders, but he was afraid to take their help.

This salesman had convinced himself that, despite what these leaders thought, he just wasn’t worth their time. He didn’t feel comfortable networking at that level. He couldn’t see a reason why they would help him. Here is why they would help him: That is what President’s do. They help people succeed. They are focused on it. They spend all day thinking about helping others succeed. I put that salesman in a verbal headlock and got him to promise he would use the help he had already been offered.

Remember Bill Gates? He sold a PC operating system to IBM that he did not create or own. Bill Gates had gotten the right to sell it from the creator. He outsold a guy who owned a demonstrably better operating system. Bill Gates did it by using every string, every avenue and every potential aid he could find. Lots of people wanted him to succeed, not just his mother. He got everyone’s help he could.

Don’t be afraid to use every bit of help you can find to get your new job. Others wouldn’t help you if they didn’t believe in you. Now, believe in yourself.

Something to do today

Make a list of the most powerful and influential people you know. Ask for help. If they are in your current company, ask for help growing where you are. If they are out of your company, ask for help finding a new job. Go to the most powerful and influential first. 

You are worth it.

Are you just like this trumpet where you work? Or like the band teacher?

It was in my mother’s garage.  A trumpet.  We have no clue where it came from.  We took it to the band teacher who said, “That’s a nice old German trumpet.  It should be cleaned and fixed.” We still don’t know where it came from.

The trumpet may play beautiful music again. It only takes up space and makes noise until its value is accurately assessed.  Then a master appears and music dances in the air.

Two things about jobs to learn from this.

  1. You have skills that still are waiting to be discovered.  I don’t know what they are.  If something comes easily to you, if you see things others don’t, then you need to explore those skills and where they lead. Unexpected gifts should be tested and developed.
  2. Other people have great potential to fix the very problems you can’t get your arms around.  The person who can help may already work in your office.  They only need some training and an opportunity.  Give them that opportunity and you have changed their lives.  Plus, they’ll work cheap for a while.  Look around you for talents others are not using.  You don’t have to be a manager to help people develop skills.

Are you the trumpet or the band teacher who can spot a great trumpet?

Something To Do Today                                              

Take a fresh look at your personal skills.  What do you pick up most quickly?  What do you see or hear that others can’t fathom?

Also take a fresh look at the people around you.


Nest week:           Brass knuckles and the law (and resumes and interviews)

I only allow reality on my desk

Double your value, make more money


Please discriminate against me