I have experienced a lot of good fortune in my life. This may be dumb luck but I don’t think so. I may have exceptional talent. Again, I don’t think so. In my experience, business opportunity comes as a result of two broad criteria:
- You are paying attention, and
- You aren’t afraid to take the risk.
Be engaged in your life and career
To see a business opportunity you need to be paying attention, you need to be engaged. Ask yourself “why?” when something happens or someone does something. Even if it’s just business as usual. Or, ask “why not?” The absence of something, although harder to see, is often a source of great opportunity.
All opportunities aren’t equal
If you see something that looks interesting, assess it’s value. Will this change materially improve things? Is the opportunity solving a problem that needs it?
If an opportunity will have a significant impact by all means consider it. But, before you charge full tilt into the windmill, is this something you want to pursue? The grass isn’t greener across the fence. It may not even be that different. Weigh the pros and cons of following this path against what’s important to you.
Don’t be afraid to try
There are lots and lots of good reasons to not do something. Steven Pressfield calls this the “the resistance.” If you believe there is a business opportunity that’s worth the risk, then go for it. Have no fear. Success comes from the doing not the waiting.
The circumstances will never be perfect. And with the energy that comes from doing something there is energy to correct course. Successful entrepreneurs see the positive, sometimes to a fault. They are “successful” because they tried, not because they are lucky.
Cut your loses quickly if it doesn’t work
Try hard to keep emotion and ego out of the equation. Do your research, assess the opportunity for its potential to generate positive change and for its fit with your personal objectives, then go for it. But, even with all this, sometimes it just isn’t the right time. Don’t fight it. Set a specific “get out” point and stick to it. Seth Godin wrote The Dip (affiliate) about this. Being willing to exit is hard but it is the key to long-term success.
Pay attention and you will see business opportunity around every corner. It’s inside every problem you face day to day. Fight the resistance, take the risk. What’s the worst that could happen?