In my book, Pretty Smart: Lessons from our Miss Americas, I talk about the importance of seizing opportunities when they present themselves, so I had to follow my own lesson.

A few evenings ago I was returning from Manhattan to Connecticut on MetroNorth. A group of seven people got on behind me chatting among themselves. As one man sat beside me, another, sitting in the row in front, turned and said to me, “I hope you don’t mind, but I’ll be talking to my friend.”

Now, I’ve always been one who prefers to insert my nose between the pages of a book and tune out the world on trains, planes and boats. But the lesson in my book says you better show up and be open when opportunity knocks, so I said, “Well, you can talk to me too.” And he did.

They were all full of energy having just come off a weekend seminar on pursuing your purpose from the Landmark Forum. Since I’m shameless about talking about Pretty Smart, I said that I had just published a book about the very same thing and pulled out a copy from my bag.

Before I knew it the man in front had taken my copy of Pretty Smart and handed it to his wife who is a fiction acquisition editor for a publisher, Sourcebooks. And by the time I got off the train, she gave me her card and said I must send a copy to the non-fiction acquisitions editor at her company.

Who knows where this will lead, but nothing would happen, if I didn’t show up.