#1715 When Opportunity Knocks…


In our last couple +1s (here and here), we’ve been exploring some wisdom from Greg Harden’s great book, Stay Sane in an Insane World.

Today we’re going to spend a little more time with the guy who has coached HUNDREDS of THE BEST ATHLETES in the world while he was at the University of Michigan—including 400 future professional athletes, 50 NFL first-round draft picks, and 120 Olympians from over 20 countries.

PLUS a couple of GOATs…

Tom Brady and Michael Phelps.

🐐 🐐

Note: Those goat emojis remind me of the two mini-goats we got then gave to our neighbor: Fred and Winston. I paid Eleanor and Emerson for the naming rights. 🤓

Fun fact: Winston is a unicorn-goat. (Check out this hilarious picture.)


With that important information from the Johnson Ranch out of the way…

Let’s get to work!

We’re going to talk about what to do when opportunity knocks.

Greg tells us: “People talk about luck, but the luck I believe in happens when opportunity knocks on your door and you have already done the work required to make the most of it.

Because here’s the problem: If you think that whatever happens to you is just a matter of ‘good luck’ or ‘bad luck,’ then whenever you run into an obstacle, you’re going to believe that it’s out of your control. ‘I’m just a victim of fate!’

You don’t want to be that person.”

He continues by saying: “You want to be the person who sees that obstacle as just another kind of opportunity. You want to believe that the hard work of practicing, training, and rehearsing for success will give you the right mindset to turn troubled times into valuable lessons that get you closer to your goal.

When opportunity and preparation come together, you can do almost anything. Being prepared for opportunity is a lot better than wishing, hoping, betting, or playing the lottery.”

And, he says: “Ultimately, you must believe in something larger than luck. You must have the focus to set goals. And you must have the determination to work hard, to be deliberate and intentional in everything you do, so that you will be prepared when opportunity knocks.

Opportunity will knock. I guarantee it. Who will answer?”

That’s from Chapter #4: “Control the Controllables.”

This is the chapter in which Greg walks us through Tom Brady’s UNBELIEVABLY inspiring story.

According to Wikipedia: “When he initially enrolled at Michigan, Brady was seventh on the depth chart, and struggled to get playing time. ... He worked closely with assistant athletic director Greg Harden, who met with Brady every week to build his confidence and to maximize his performance. Brady told 60 Minutes in 2014: ‘He will always be somebody I rely on for sound advice and mentorship. He has helped me with my own personal struggles in both athletics and in life. Greg really pushed me in a direction that I wasn’t sure I could go.’”

Brady was drafted as the 199th (!) pick in the 2000 NFL draft.


He KNEW he was ready to take advantage of that opportunity. In fact, Greg tells us that Brady “famously told the owner of the Patriots, Robert Kraft, ‘I’m the best decision this organization has ever made.’ Then he got to work.”

In Call Sign Chaos, the great U.S. Marine General Jim Mattis talks about being ready when an opportunity presents itself and quotes Winston Churchill to make his point.

Churchill once said: “To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered a chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.”

In Leadership in Turbulent Times, Doris Kearns Goodwin tells us: “Any man who has been successful, [Theodore] Roosevelt repeatedly said, has leapt at opportunities chance provides.”

The very last Note I created before this one was on Matt Higgins’s Burn the Boats.

He echoes this wisdom when he tells us: “Opportunity is not an inexhaustible resource, and when you see an opening you have to take advantage.”

And, he tells us: “I’ve seen hesitation kill more deals than speed ever will. And when you hesitate, or when you hedge, or when you divide your attention between your goal and the safety net you think you need to build, it all just begs the question: What are you waiting for?”

That’s Today’s +1….

Let’s shine a spotlight on YOU!

Are YOU doing the HARD work to make sure YOU’RE ready when opportunity knocks?

Fantastic. Keep on crushing it.


Answer the call when opportunity knocks.

It’s Day 1. We’re ALL IN.

Let’s go!

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