Boot CampMan on a Mission: Archives

Boot Camp – Accessing Awesome Opportunities

About a few years ago, I stumbled upon an awesome slideshow presentation. It was a slide summary of The Start-up of You by Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn.

It opened my eyes to various different insights but one thing stuck with me over the years and has become a battle cry for when things become unclear.

It was about opportunity.

Many times we desperately search for opportunity but it seems ephemeral, vague and formless.


“I’m sure this is the one I need. Nothing could possibly go wrong.”

Reid Hoffman said something incredibly simple that forever changed my life, my perspective and my business:

“Opportunities are connected to people.”

Seems obvious, but it’s something most people forget. All opportunities are tied to a person. So instead of looking for opportunities, maybe we should start looking for people who can give us access to those opportunities. And more importantly, nurture our relationships with those people.

I started to look at my own experiences. Three years ago my company, SPIN, created a free network event called the Collaborative Caravan (a part of our Collaborative Series ). I sent out random messages, some to people who were simply online on Facebook chat.


 I stole my mom’s curtains and bought cellophane to help create ambiance
(Photo from Jen Horn of

The funny thing is that I can trace most of the major breakthroughs of my life and SPIN to this small event.

I invited Jen, the founder of Muni, we worked together about a year earlier (she was online on Facebook chat and knowing her advocacies I thought I should drop her a message).

Jen invited several people, two of those people became really close friends and partners: Noreen, the co-founder of Jacinto and Lirio, and Patch, the co-founder of The Spark Project.

Never would I have known, at the time, that a simple Facebook message would create breakthroughs. Noreen would later be the person who nominated me to be a Global Shaper, the youth arm of the World Economic Forum.

And, The Spark Project (through Patch) would later be the platform where we launched our successful crowdfunding campaign for UPSTART, the board game that I created with SPIN that teaches people how to set up and sustain their own business.

Imagine what would’ve been possible if I was intentional about the invitations?

So here’s the exercise:

1. Identify an opportunity that you’ve been waiting for

2. List down 5 people in your immediate network that you think could possibly help you find that opportunity (a quick scroll through your phonebook, Facebook friends and LinkedIn should help)

3. Send those people a message (or better yet call them)

4. Please share your results and breakthroughs in the comments section! Here’s an opportunity – I’ll give away a copy of my book, “Gets?”, to a random commenter who is also subscribed to the newsletter (so comment and subscribe on the right). 

Bonus Merits: Go to a networking event. Networking events with specific intentions and projects in mind can be the most effective way to use your time and access opportunities

Bootcamp is a series of exercises/drills in blog form to help founders, entrepreneurs and changemakers create the impact they want to make out in the world.

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