In my last company my boss was talking about where we were at in our company with a certain product, and that we had a window of opportunity. I really didn’t appreciate the concept at the time (although I believed him). He had been in business for about 20 years by then and I’m sure he has seen his windows close at the wrong times.
My biggest window of opportunity that has since closed was my LinkedIn book and speaking engagements. I still do LinkedIn training and speaking, but when my book first came out I was pretty in-demand and flying around the country (and to Istanbul once) to do trainings. The money was amazing. Being in demand was a lot more fun than being a job seeker. I thought it was great.
And then everyone and their dog became a LinkedIn expert. I use the term lightly… but they were good at marketing their expertise. Phone calls I had started going like this:
“I’m sorry, we can’t afford to pay you to speak at our luncheon. If you can’t come for free I’ll just have my cousin/neighbor/friend do it for free. He feels like a free lunch is the only compensation he needs.”
That conversation is what a window of opportunity that is closing sounds like. Ouch.
Alas, it closed. Local LinkedIn “experts,” niche LinkedIn “experts,” experts who need a free lunch or are looking for exposure… the window is closed and saturated with fog.
In my brother’s job search he had a lot of time to work out, take up running, go to the gym. It was a great time for him to bond with his kids and take care of his body. Then… he got a job, and the time to do that was reduced dramatically.
The owners of the pet rock had a window, capitalized on it, and then watched it close. Boy bands see their windows close, companies evolve because they are always careful to not get caught in a closed-window state, etc.
Closing windows isn’t bad, but it can be surprising. Watch, be vigilent, be ready. If a window is closing, how do you prepare? How do you evolve? Are you looking for other windows?
If a window closes, and you are forced to change, are you ready to make changes?
I’ve learned there are many windows in my life and work. They are all in various stages of opening or closing. Pay attention enough to know what those are, and constantly look for new windows.
Like, when you lose your job, that window is closed. What is the next open window for you?
One thing I’ve learned through this observation is to appreciate the time that you have with an open window… before you know it, you’ll be saying “man, that was pretty fun! I wish I would have appreciated it more when it was happening… :)”