Your Job Is to Make Opportunity, Not Wait for It

Small wins are the only breakthroughs we need

Niklas Göke
5 min readOct 8, 2020


Photo by Charles “Duck” Unitas on Unsplash

One time, a Hollywood agent emailed me out of the blue. Somehow, he had landed on my newsletter, and boom, there he was, sitting in my inbox. Then, he asked to have a call.

At first, I couldn’t believe it. I double-checked the photos. Yes, that’s him with Mariah Carey. And Elton John. And Lionel Richie. Jesus! I wonder what he wants from me.

On the call, he wasted no time in introducing me to a senior editor at Deadline Hollywood. I was floored. I could barely scrape together my elevator pitch. Eventually, the connection broke. I followed up with her via email but never heard back.

After that, we stayed in touch via email. Then, we had another call with his business partner, who runs — get this — a publishing agency. “I’m pretty sure he wants to sign you,” the partner said. “You could write a book with us.” I also heard some variation of “We’ll make you rich” in there. Maybe I just imagined it, but the result was clear: My entire life was about to change.

The partner was supposed to have a layover in Munich, and I was meant to meet him at the airport. I crawled out of bed at 6 AM and hopped on a train. This was it! I would shake his hand, have a 9€ sandwich, and then — hopefully — ink a book deal. Or any other deal that would skyrocket me to fame and success.

Halfway to the airport, the phone rang. “Nik, I’m not gonna make it. My plane got delayed.” Okay, no biggie. I got off the train, swapped platforms, and took the next one — right back into mediocrity.

We kept emailing. Slowly, the collaboration talk faded. I kept waiting. “They must bring it up again soon.” By the time the “poof” sound of my shattering dreams arrived in my ear, a few months had passed. Eventually, it dawned on me: This was not my big break and, actually, just like that plane, that break would never come.

If you’ve gone through any form of traditional education, from kindergarten to college, from high school to piano lessons, you’ve had your natural desire to create opportunities systematically trained out of you.

All children are creators. They make things. It’s the only thing they care about…



Niklas Göke

I write for dreamers, doers, and unbroken optimists. Read my daily blog here: