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Professor Thomas Harrell at the Stanford Business School spent 20 years examining Stanford MBAs looking for the success factor. He concluded the only identifiable predictor of success is something he called “social extroversion” – the ability to speak up.

Could success be tied to something so simple? Something anyone can do whenever they want? Think about the people you consider successful. Do they speak up? Think about yourself. Do you speak up? Often enough?

Successful people know that opportunity never knocks. They know opportunities are everywhere but you have to go out and find them. They’re not going to knock on your door, jump out through your computer screen or spring from your cell phone. They are everywhere – and they come in the shape of people.

Just in case you were wondering, this is what juicy opportunities look like:

  • Look in your mirror. That’s one third of the opportunity equation right there grinning back at you.
  • Look at your calendar. Today, right now, that’s another third.
  • Look out your window or around the office. See all those people? That’s the secret ingredient! That’s the other third happening all around you as far as the eye can see – and beyond. All you have to do is get out there and speak-up.

You have all the resources inside you to handle or create any opportunity. The internal building blocks successful people use to create their opportunities are the same building blocks you have inside you. Success and struggle are only a matter of how you stack and use them. We can all think, ask for help, change our habits and motivate ourselves – once we make up our minds to roll up our sleeves, get out and speak up.

Make today your day to speak up. Look in the mirror, look at your calendar, open the door, step outside and speak up.