"Who wants this hundred-dollar bill?"
The speaker at the podium held up a hundred-dollar bill and
"Who wants this Benjamin?"
I had never been to a seminar before. My eyes darted around the room and I saw some hands go up.
Again: "Who wants this hundo?"
I raised my hand high. A few people responded, "Me, Me."
"Does anybody want this hundred-dollar bill?"
"It's a new, crisp hundred-dollar bill. Want it?"
"Who wants this hundred dollars?"
Everybody knew that we all wanted it, so where was this going?
The enthusiasm waned. Hands started to drop.
"C'mon. Who wants it?"
"Fuck this," said my co-worker Stan Perlmutter as he stood up.
I watched Stan walk down the aisle toward the podium.
The room got very quiet.
I watched Stan approach the speaker.
I heard Stan say, "I want it," as he took the bill out of the speaker's hand.
I froze. I don't think I was breathing. The room was still and silent.
My co-worker Harry, slowly shook his head.
"If you want something, stand up and do something for
When we heard the speaker say these words, Harry and I looked at each other.
"Freakin' Stan," Harry murmured as he started a slow clap. In moments, the entire audience was applauding.
When Stan got back to his seat, grinning ear to ear, he brandished his windfall, pointed to the portrait on the bill and said, "Drinks are on Benjamin Franklin tonight."
I've carried that moment throughout my working life. I've told it to others, including my kids. Always reminding them not to overlook opportunity and to grab it when it presents itself.
If opportunity is presented to you, boldly stand up, walk past the other people who don't recognize it for what it is, and take it.