The most unleveraged side of ‘opportunities’

this morning Alex asked me about ‘the billion-dollar idea’ …

well, right now I’m putting together a proposal for a technology investor … which is scary and exciting;-)

Here’s why I’m telling you this:

the connection to that investor only exists through a ‘random act of kindness’:

a few years ago, someone tried to buy a product of mine from Singapore, and for some reason that particular day their/my Paypal refused to play ball.

Trying to figure out what was going on would’ve (potentially) taken far too long (plus would’ve been a hassle for the guy in Singapore, because it was late evening for him)

… so I just sent him a copy of the product (genuinely not expecting anything in return, except perhaps a ‘thank-you’)

Turns out, …

he wasn’t just extremely grateful (because I’d recognized that fiddling with Paypal would’ve been a real nuisance for him, and I’d made his life a lot easier … it was never about the $7 or $17 or whatever it was) …

… but he’s also extremely well connected in the investment world …

… and that first little gesture on my part (which was never intended to be a reciprocity play) led him to check out my work some more, …

… and he’s now convinced himself (we’ve talked many times since then), that I’m worthy of being introduced to his network of contacts.

Now here’s why I think this is really exciting (apart from the potential investor):

Those ‘unlikely opportunities’ are all around us all the time.

I mean, statistically speaking the odds of

  1. this one guy having trouble with Paypal that particular day, and
  2. me catching his support ticket personally, and
  3. then sending him the product as a gift

… are practically zero.

In other words, there must be another ‘mechanism’ at play.

Perhaps the Universe reaching out after all?


(and as you probably know, I’m not into the woo-woo, ‘think positively and great things will happen’ way of ‘The Universe/The Secret’ at all … hard work goes a long way)

But, in some sense, it feels like the more I give the Universe an opportunity to reach out, the more it does.

Or the other way around:

the more I’m ready to act whenever an opportunity presents itself, the more the opportunities present themselves, and the more the results come in.

The key aspect of ‘being ready to act‘ is this:

‘opportunity’ is typically seen as being an opportunity for you, for personal gain.

The flip-side appears to be ignored far too much:

the opportunity to give, without expecting anything in return.

And it’s odd, because …

… the more you give …

(in an appropriate way, that e.g. doesn’t make you go broke, so please don’t do what many coaches/consultants do: ‘give, give, give … until they (have to) give up’),

… the more you ‘are given’!

The real beauty is this:

what you ‘are given’ is – more often than not – far better than what you would’ve asked for in the first place!

Ever experienced something like that?

Leave your comment below


PS: I recently introduced my Singapore contact to a rather well known marketer, signing off with “no need to keep me in the loop, I hope you get something out of the connection“.

And guess what, … the first signs of “being given” (despite genuinely not expecting anything in return) are starting to appear…



  1. About 20 years ago I was asked for an interview about my software company from a very young reporter just starting out. I said ‘yes’ when most others he had asked said ‘no’. I gave freely because I simply liked his approach. 15 years later he became a journalist on a major UK newspaper. 3 years ago he published he first book. He is now going for president of a UK Chartered institution. In the book, he devotes quite a few pages to me and my response in comparison to others. That simple mention has brought in all sorts of business and benefits. And it’s all because of something I did unconditionally. Whatever this universe is, it’s certainly been good to me.

  2. Matthew Newnham says:

    Love this post, Veit. Although I’ll never be able to prove it, I’d say all – or pretty well near – my most prized opportunities have come about in this vein. Makes perfect sense to me…

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