Managing Opportunities



The Model and The Opportunity

We learned about marketing. We learned about sales. We even understood a little about personal branding.

We post on Facebook, advertise events, tell the world about our virtues and yet, big opportunities do not seem to present themselves.

We go to a job interview, where there is an opportunity… And nothing happens.

We meet someone “important” and another big opportunity seems to be in front of us… And still, nothing happens.

So what is the skill we need for developing our business and career?

The answer is the skill of managing opportunities; a skill which demands clever training and cannot be acquired during a four-hour workshop.

This skill can only be acquired through learning from a master in this field.

Here is the story of a person who is well skilled at managing opportunities and contacts. This person is me, but it can definitely be your story.

A good friend of mine met a guest from abroad and told him: “I’d like to introduce you to Opher, he is an expert in this.”

We met at a local restaurant, developed a warm personal connection and understood each other’s needs.

This guy contacted his partner and next thing I knew, I received an invitation to Los Angeles for coffee… So I travelled to LA.

I met the guy, who is one of the marketing geniuses of our time.

We developed a warm personal connection and understood each other’s needs.

In the following six years, I helped him manage his professional and personal opportunities… I was his mentor.

He introduced me to some of his friends. One particular friend became a close friend of mine and we understood each other’s needs.

Three years later, this guy asked me to meet two of his friends at the Hilton hotel in Tel Aviv for coffee, so I went. We developed a warm personal connection and understood each other’s needs.

Hold on, don’t quit on me now. You must read this story through to get to the surprise and the insight.

Three months ago, these two friends introduced me to a business man who needs advice on Skype. We developed a warm personal connection and understood each other’s needs. I said to him: “Let’s meet”. He replied: “I live on the island near Spain.” I said: “Are you free this weekend? I’ll come by and we can grab something to eat.” “This Saturday is not really convenient…”, he said, “How about meeting in London next week?” And since I love spontaneity, I said: “See you there.”

So there I was, in London, with my girlfriend, Maya. We went to a party, where many important people mingled. Maya said to me: “Opher, you are the king of networking. Why aren’t you making rounds and handing out your business cards?”

My reply was simple: “Maya dear, I told you this is not my method. When I know who the right person is in this room,  you will see me managing the opportunity.”

And so it was.

I heard a person behind me say something which made it clear to me beyond any doubt: this was the right person!

I came up to him and within 30 seconds, we made arrangements to meet for breakfast the next morning. We met… We developed a warm personal connection and understood each other’s needs.

A week later, I returned to London to advise his company. I met ten crucial business people in the London business scene, developed warm personal connections with each one and understood their needs, just as they understood mine.

Two weeks before my London visits, a friend in Germany introduced me to another friend of his. We met in Israel, developed a warm personal connection and understood each other’s needs.

A week ago, after meeting in London as well, I visited this friend of a friend in Germany. He organized for me the opportunity to give two lectures to the right people: 200 business people and 70 musicians. I met more people, we developed warm personal connections and understood each other’s needs.

Many opportunities opened before me: 26 new potential projects in five different European countries, as well as in Canada.

Now the most crucial thing is to manage these opportunities correctly… And that’s exactly what I have been doing during the last three days.

By the way, because of the large number of new projects abroad, I will not be teaching any courses in our CareerSchool during the coming year. A final and wonderful class will graduate next week.

Those who wish to learn how to manage opportunities will have to do it through personal work with me. But I can only work with a limited number of new clients, so please write to me only if you are very serious about it and I will explain to you how the process works. My address is:

[email protected]

I also invite you to check my new website. Take a look and share your comments, ideas and insights with me.

Thank you.


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Reinvent Yourself Or You Will Disappear

English: CALEXICO, CA, 4-4-07 --- Hundreds of ...

In the last eight years, I have been pointing out in my lectures, courses, workshops and articles that the large industries will merge in the near future and decrease the number of their employees, because technology is slowly but surely replacing manpower. What seemed fictional or unthreatening twenty years ago is a tangible threat for employment these days. The earth’s population has been rapidly growing and many people graduate from universities and colleges with excellent grades. and still, technology is slowly but surely replacing human effort and work.

The facts speak for themselves: there are hundreds of thousands job seekers, hundred of thousands of unemployed people, and large companies have decreased the size of their manpower. The different markets change constantly and become a fertile ground for competition. The saddest fact of all is that more and more people find themselves fitting the title of Overqualified; people aged 40+, who lose their job and cannot find a new one.

I say again and again in my lectures: this is NOT a temporary concept or a passing trend. I worry that almost every person who gets to age 45 will find herself without a job. (Perhaps 80 percent of the 40-50 age bracket will become unemployed.) These are excellent professionals who still have plenty to offer and contribute. I meet tens and hundreds of people in this situation every month; people who have lost their jobs, meet rejection over and over again, but still hope to find a new job. I find it hard to believe they will find a job at the same level and with the same salary and benefits as the one they lost, if at all!!!

This is an era of entrepreneurs. I see the sheer number of start-ups opening around the world, the small businesses swallowed day in and day out by the large companies, which purchase them for millions of dollars. This is definitely the flourishing time of small and mid-sized businesses, of entrepreneurs and independent thinkers.

Every person has knowledge she  acquires throughout her life. The people who find themselves unemployed at age 45, have a few options of what to do with their knowledge: sell the knowledge as information through teaching, consulting, etc; turn it into an electronic product, such as an application, an Ebook or a website, and sell it; or simply abandon the entire accumulated data and reinvent themselves. A person who works for 25 years and loses her existential security finds it very hard to reinvent herself. She finds herself in a tough, discouraging place, without professional support for making the necessary change. We must also remember that working under someone else for over 20 years becomes a habit and a way of thinking. This person will need to change her entire thought process in order to become a successful entrepreneur.

The year 2012 is a turning point for the entire world. The world of marketing and advertising has changed. Businesses and industries which used to sell programs for thousands of dollars, now sell the same programs, and even more advanced options, for relatively small prices – less than $50. A program or application which costs $14 is considered pricy today. Anyone can write a book these days, upload it to Amazon, sell it by themselves and market it with no help. There is an entirely new profession these days: the Social Media manager. People are hired for the sole purpose of managing the Facebook page or any other social website presence of businesses and companies in order to generate more customers.

We mustn’t follow trends only, but we should understand the direction of the market. If you only follow trends, your competition will increase and you will not be able to shine over your competitors. If you note the trends and invent a new strategy, you will leave your competitors far behind you.

I worry that without understanding these new developments, people won’t be able to survive in the next 20 years. They won’t disappear from the world, but their income will shrink and their buying power will decrease. The competition will grow and many people will find themselves in a lower class.

People should use their skills and talents, create new initiatives, start small businesses, offer services of different kinds. The problem is that many don’t know where to start.

There is no place for guesses, no space for dreams or unfounded hopes. You must take decisive and precise action, based on knowledge of how to start a start-up or small business and how to reinvent yourself.

I want to wish you and yours a happy new year, full of joy, abundance, and good health!

Opher Brayer

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