Recognizing Opportunities

Don’t you hate when you see one of your “ideas” become successful… but someone else did it instead of you??  In this article, I wish to share with you a story that was told to me.   Although I don’t know the history behind this story, nor do I know if it is true or not, but there definitely is a lesson.

Recognizing opportunities is half the battle when working your small business, acting upon them is the other.  The challenge is that we are often blinded of recognizing opportunities and even when we do see them we don’t always take action.  For example, I know a lot of people would take a complaint or a bad review personally and let it “bug” them.  A slight few, however, would recognize this as a constructive opportunity to correct the situation and learn to avoid it in the future, thus making them more efficient and more professional going forward while gaining the trust of an irate customer.

Before I share my story, I thought this quote was fitting for this article.  I believe the successful entrepreneur needs to be an optimist!

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill.

The Story!

A long time ago there was a shoe company who was looking to expand its client base to an underdeveloped country.  The owner of this shoe company had 2 sons.  He decided to send his 2 sons to this country to investigate and do a bit of research in order to gather some market research data.  Not a bad idea.   A few weeks later the sons returned and presented their findings.

  • Son #1: Dad, after spending some time in this country I believe it is a waste of time and resources.  It would be very difficult to market the idea of wearing shoes because NO ONE wears shoes, they probably wouldn’t entertain the idea.
  • Son #2: Dad, what an amazing opportunity we have here!!  Can you believe it, NO ONE wears shoes here, it is a perfect opportunity to educate and expand!  A true Gold Mine!

I think it is easy to see who is the pessimist, and who is the optimist in this situation.

The Lesson:

Although the story makes it quite obvious, it’s easy to see that we all recognize opportunity differently.  I am a huge fan of “Think Tank” sessions or “Mastermind” sessions with people you can trust.  Having conversations with these people or consulting with an expert can often help open your eyes.  We all have our blinders on to a degree.  What might not seem like an opportunity to you may just be your next big break, you just couldn’t see it.

Are you seeing all the opportunities you have to grow your business?  Help your customers? Increase sales?  Gain a new client? Having the right systems in play and knowing the right questions to ask are other elements to consider in your Marketing.  Networking and doing “Think Tanks” and “Mastermind” sessions can be worth its weight in gold.  What will your next opportunity be?

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