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Opportunity Doesn't Care About Your Timing

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MJ DeMarco

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Opportunity Doesn't Care About Your Timing

Good news! Opportunity drives through your neighborhood quite frequently. So when it does, seize it.

The bad news is: Opportunity doesn't care about your timing. It comes and goes in its own will. It has a mind of its own.

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Russ H

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Jul 25, 2007
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Great post, MJ!

And so true.

When I was 27, I quit my job at a local hifi store.

Over the next few months, I expanded my small business to do more than just hook up VCRs and install church sound systems and an occasional movie theater. When I'd meet with someone at their house, I'd describe how I could run speaker wire to any room (just like I'd done with the churches)-- and showed them how one, centralized sound system could play throughout their entire home.

People loved it. And instead of selling $2000 sound systems at my job (and making about $200 each time), I was now selling $50,000 sound systems--- and clearing about $30,000 on each one! Much of the total price was labor, and I was running all the wire myself.

A year later, I had scraped up enough money to take a business trip to the Consumer Electronics Show. I was sitting in the audience at a seminar, looking up in awe at people on stage: Lucasfilm THX, Paramount Pictures, and some very large electronics manufacturers. I remember sitting there and wishing I could be a part of what was happening- I was literally witnessing the birth of home theater.

Two years later I was the moderator on that stage, having invited my (now) colleagues from Lucasfilm THX, Dolby Labs, Paramount, and a number of high-powered mega-electronics manufacturers. The room was packed-- standing room only.

That past year, I had helped found a brand new non-profit trade organization, and sat on the executive committee of their board of directors. I'd been interviewed by the New York Times, the Wall St Journal, and more than a dozen architectural and home magazines.

As the chair of the industry's Home Theater Committee, I now met regularly with my new friends at Lucasfilm (out at Skywalker Ranch), working with them, Dolby Labs, other movie studios, and lots of big-name electronics manufacturers as we built the framework of the new home theater industry.

It was like a dream come true for me.

None of this would have happened if I didn't grab at every---EVERY-- opportunity to get to know people and grow my industry. I wasn't in it for "me"-- and a lot of folks saw that (including the press).

It was one hell of a ride. :)

Over the next few years, I saw our fledgling trade group grow to take a commanding presence in the industry. Our "Expo" (trade show) went from 500 people the first year, to 999 the next, to over 20,000 people within 10 years.

To this day, I look back and shake my head in wonder at all the amazing things that happened to me during those early years.

Once I got into the mode of recognizing --and grabbing-- opportunities, there was no turning back. It was a roller coaster ride, and I was having a blast!

By the time I retired (about 12 years later), I was getting paid more than $50,000 a day for teaching workshops. I was a columnist for 3 different magazines (all at the same time), and I had a client list that sounded like an episode of Entertainment Tonight. I still had a small business, and outsourced my work. And I pulled in mid-six figures each year.

But I wanted to start a family.

So I cashed out, and bought a small B&B in the Napa Valley.

And I planned on taking it easy, and focusing on the good life . . .

Problem was, I kept seeing these dang opportunities . . .

-Russ H.
 

nomadjanet

Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
310
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26
TX
Thanks to MJ & Russ for reminding us that opportunity is there for those that are prepared to take advantage. You seldom regret the opportunities taken and often regret the opportunities missed.
Janet
 

WheelsRCool

Contributor
Aug 12, 2007
447
51
25
Great post, MJ!

And so true.

When I was 27, I quit my job at a local hifi store.

Over the next few months, I expanded my small business to do more than just hook up VCRs and install church sound systems and an occasional movie theater. When I'd meet with someone at their house, I'd describe how I could run speaker wire to any room (just like I'd done with the churches)-- and showed them how one, centralized sound system could play throughout their entire home.

People loved it. And instead of selling $2000 sound systems at my job (and making about $200 each time), I was now selling $50,000 sound systems--- and clearing about $30,000 on each one! Much of the total price was labor, and I was running all the wire myself.

A year later, I had scraped up enough money to take a business trip to the Consumer Electronics Show. I was sitting in the audience at a seminar, looking up in awe at people on stage: Lucasfilm THX, Paramount Pictures, and some very large electronics manufacturers. I remember sitting there and wishing I could be a part of what was happening- I was literally witnessing the birth of home theater.

Two years later I was the moderator on that stage, having invited my (now) colleagues from Lucasfilm THX, Dolby Labs, Paramount, and a number of high-powered mega-electronics manufacturers. The room was packed-- standing room only.

That past year, I had helped found a brand new non-profit trade organization, and sat on the executive committee of their board of directors. I'd been interviewed by the New York Times, the Wall St Journal, and more than a dozen architectural and home magazines.

As the chair of the industry's Home Theater Committee, I now met regularly with my new friends at Lucasfilm (out at Skywalker Ranch), working with them, Dolby Labs, other movie studios, and lots of big-name electronics manufacturers as we built the framework of the new home theater industry.

It was like a dream come true for me.

None of this would have happened if I didn't grab at every---EVERY-- opportunity to get to know people and grow my industry. I wasn't in it for "me"-- and a lot of folks saw that (including the press).

It was one hell of a ride. :)

Over the next few years, I saw our fledgling trade group grow to take a commanding presence in the industry. Our "Expo" (trade show) went from 500 people the first year, to 999 the next, to over 20,000 people within 10 years.

To this day, I look back and shake my head in wonder at all the amazing things that happened to me during those early years.

Once I got into the mode of recognizing --and grabbing-- opportunities, there was no turning back. It was a roller coaster ride, and I was having a blast!

By the time I retired (about 12 years later), I was getting paid more than $50,000 a day for teaching workshops. I was a columnist for 3 different magazines (all at the same time), and I had a client list that sounded like an episode of Entertainment Tonight. I still had a small business, and outsourced my work. And I pulled in mid-six figures each year.

But I wanted to start a family.

So I cashed out, and bought a small B&B in the Napa Valley.

And I planned on taking it easy, and focusing on the good life . . .

Problem was, I kept seeing these dang opportunities . . .

-Russ H.
You know Russ, there's a custom home theater franchise called Theater Xtreme: http://www.theaterxtreme.com/ I figure since you have such a knowledge of home theater and contacts too, maybe this is an opportunity you could get into, you could be a competitor for them maybe? Maybe you could provide services they can't? I just figured I'd point this idea out to you in case you were unaware of it:)

EDIT: Apparently this has been tried other times and failed, TX seems to be a newcomer doing well though, so there's a right and wrong way to do it, here's an interesting article on this portion of the industry: http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:vbSoauTDXqoJ:www.theaterxtreme.com/press/cepro_sept05.pdf+theater+xtreme+founder&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=6&gl=us&ie=UTF-8
 

Yankees338

Bronze Contributor
Jul 24, 2007
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NJ/MD
Great posts. Not only do these relate to business, but they are also pertinant in life. Your plan will never go as fully planned. You have to be able to think on the fly and recognize opportunities as they come. Again, great posts and thanks for sharing!
 

Diane Kennedy

Bronze Contributor
Aug 31, 2007
795
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49
Luck is simply preparation meeting opportunity.

When my husband and I were active in real estate (building net worth) we often were criticized for acting too quickly on deals by people who didn't understand what we did. To an outsider, it might look like we never did due diligence before we locked up property. But the fact was that we were always researching back then. We could tell in a second if a property was a good deal or not because we'd done all the homework ahead of time. We often locked up property without even seeing it, because we could tell from the numbers if it was a good deal or not. More than once I bought property without ever seeing it.

That's the preparation that gets you ready for a good deal...that gets you ready to seize an opportunity quickly.

Hey, MJ - Do you still plan to write a book? If you ever get stuck and want some tips on getting through writer's block or how to fast track a book, let me know. My 8th book, "The Maui Millionaires for Business" is coming out later this month. None of them ever came easy, but with some tricks of the trade it gets easier to get the books written each time.
 
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MJ DeMarco

MJ DeMarco

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Hey, MJ - Do you still plan to write a book? If you ever get stuck and want some tips on getting through writer's block or how to fast track a book, let me know. My 8th book, "The Maui Millionaires for Business" is coming out later this month. None of them ever came easy, but with some tricks of the trade it gets easier to get the books written each time.
Yes, Diane I am. This forum is to support and promote the book. I'm encouraged to see folks already using my terminology, like "fastlane" and "slowlane" which I use throughout the book; much like at RD where people exclaim "I am an S" or an "E".

Ill PM you.

Thx
 

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