From Jay Abraham's "Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You've Got," which is quite good and full of stories like this -
Major breakthroughs come from the correct mind-set. It's an attitude-an opportunistic attitude. People who make breakthroughs are always opportunity-focused. People who don't, aren't. It's that simple.
In 1972 the Democratic convention nominated George McGovern to run for president against Richard Nixon. During the convention, Senator McGovern dumped his vice-presidential running mate, Senator Eagleton. A young, sixteenyear- old entrepreneur saw a one-time opportunity and bought up five thousand suddenly obsolete McGovern-Eagleton buttons and bumper stickers. He paid about five cents apiece for them. He soon resold them as historical and rare political memorabilia for as much as $25 per item.
This is an excellent example of an ethically opportunistic mind-set. True, the young man's one-time windfall profit did not result in a major industry breakthrough. But what is important is that he had the opportunity-focused attitude that is needed to see an opportunity where no one else did. That young man, by the way, was Bill Gates.
August 11th, 2011. Chiba, Japan.
A mix of confusion and awe as I step off the platform.
I must have made a mistake. But maybe a good mistake.
Birds caw and cicadas click gently, filling the warm afternoon air with sounds of nature. The train platform is open to the air and on the other side of the tracks is a high fence. Beyond it, a bicycle and walking path leading to a park.
Children are running around and playing in the park, but surprisingly quietly. Very Japanese.
I was at a party earlier tonight, talking to a guy who had lived in rural China for a while. The girls there, he told me, were naturally very beautiful, but didn't take care of their hair or skin. All I could think was what a huge opportunity existed for those girls: be the one girl who breaks convention and spends a bit more time on those things, and you could be the prettiest girl in your town.
No, my advice for young people isn't to be the prettiest girl in town. Hang on...
Opportunities often hide behind rocks of convention. Women, traditionally, haven't made up more than a few percentage points of poker players. But when a woman DOES play, she actually has a significant advantage, because the men she's up against will assume she's not very good. Sure, she still has to be a good player and learn the game, but the rewards for her effort are probably higher than a man's.