How To Know When To Take A Madcap Career Chance

**Great article we found on FastCompany.com.**

According to an old Chinese proverb, we’re given three chances to succeed in life. If we use them wisely, we get another three. If not, I’m afraid that’s it. There will be no more.

It’s True: What’s Past Is Prologue

Way back in 1994, on a plane home from giving a talk in Montreal, Canada, the person sitting beside me began chatting about a country I’d never visited–Australia. It was somewhat strange in light of the fact that only just earlier in the day a middle-aged Australian man had approached me, asking if I could give his advertising agency advice on how to crack this new thing called the “world wide web.” Bear in mind that this was 1994, the year Netscape was invented, the very year the Internet as we know it today was born. It was one of those inexplicable synchronicities: two different people from a faraway country approaching me in the same afternoon.

I hadn’t been back in Denmark much longer than a few days when I received a call from the Australian adman. He said he happened to be in Copenhagen and would like to stop by my office for a chat, if that was okay with me. When he arrived he explained that the concept of the world wide web was still preoccupying him. “Martin,” he said, “how do you reckon we should handle this Internet thing at the agency?”

I found the serendipity of the situation hard to resist. I gave it a moment, took out a pen and scribbled a few lines on a napkin: “I hereby employ Martin Lindstrom to oversee all WWW activity for my agency. Signed, Glenn Williams.” I passed the napkin Glenn’s way. He took one look at it and said, “What a splendid idea!” And to my surprise, he signed it. The deal was done, and within a few weeks I was on a flight bound for Australia. My mission was to start up the online arm of BBDO in Asia and Australia.

Identifying Opportunities

As I emptied my desk ready for my new venture down under, a colleague asked, “How do all these interesting opportunities come your way? What do you do?” I didn’t know what to answer then, but I do now. Not only have I always had an eye open to adventure and opportunity, but I have always had a tendency to seize them the moment they occur. Herein lies the problem for many. Too few of us see the opportunities that are presented to us. Even fewer of us dare to meet them head on and run with them.

**To read the rest of this article from the original source, click here.**
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