You might often hear people say that there are opportunities all around us. It’s actually true, but it’s hard to figure out what they are and whether or not they are worth chasing. As an entrepreneur, I have to pay attention to whats going on around me in order to recognize these opportunities. I then have to decide whether or not it is worth working on or passing up.
This article was originally recorded as a video and posted to my blog.
What is an opportunity you saw and jumped on, or perhaps missed? Share it in the comment section.
Hey, what’s up. It’s Jerad with another Thursday thoughts video, and I have five different ways to recognize an opportunity. Now, I started working for myself full-time at age 20. Before that, about three years before that is when I started really trying business things that were outside of just simple things I could do as a team, like mow lawns, or deliver newspapers, or something like that. I had jobs and my first actual managerial job was when I was 16 years old. I wasn’t even old enough to have a manager’s position, but they gave me one anyway.
By the time that I was 18, I really was thinking about how I could start doing something of my own, because I don’t know if it was my personality or whatnot, but I just at that time didn’t like being told that things needed to be a certain way unless I agreed with that way that they should be done. A lot of times you get told to do things a certain way and you know that that way is the wrong way or the slow way. You want to do it your way. If you’re like me, the only way to get to do it your own way is to branch out and do it your own way.
Over the years I’ve had to recognize opportunities quite often because if I just continued to do the same thing forever, I’m going to get ran over by everybody else who recognized the opportunities and the changes that were taking place. Over the year, now I’m 38, so I’ve been full-time entrepreneur working for myself, freelancer, whatever you want to call it for over 18 years now, and a lot of times I’ve had to look for opportunities and recognize them so that I could either add more value to what it is that I’m currently offering or maybe even pivot to something that’s more beneficial to me so that I can avoid a slowdown.
For example, there have been a few major changes in our economy over the years, so I’ve had to recognize opportunities and jump on them when the time is right so that I can continue to not be so affected by different dips and changes in the economy, which thankfully I’ve been pretty consistent. I’ve had some dips of my own, of course, but as long as I’m paying attention to opportunities, I’m able to react and keep afloat during times when other people are being affected big time during economic changes.
Here are five things that you should pay attention to, to recognize different opportunities when they come about.
1. When Someone Tells You No!
The first one is huge. It’s when someone tells you no. Maybe you’re super excited about something. You have this idea or this thought, and you present it, and you get told no. It’s such a good idea and you’re just sold on it, but then you get told no. It’s such a discouraging thing because you got told no. You did all your homework, you really felt that you were on to something, but somebody didn’t recognize what you saw, and so they told you no.
That’s a real pivot moment in your life when you can take that situation and say, “Okay. I see the value in this. That person said, ‘No.’ I was trying to give them this knowledge, this information, this way of doing things, and now I’m just going to take it and do it myself.” I mean, that’s a fantastic opportunity right there if you can recognize what it is that’s happening in that moment. Instead of being mad, instead of going and being like, “Oh, they didn’t recognize my work,” or, “I’m not appreciated,” or whatever. Forget all that. Forget them, forget what they didn’t see in you. Take that and make it something.
I’ve done that several times. I think when you get told no, a lot of times it is an opportunity for you to branch out. Not everybody can see the bigger picture. Not everybody is open to outside of the box thinking like you are. So, when you get told no, look at that as a potential opportunity to take advantage of.
2. When Someone Says “That Won’t Work.”
The second one is someone telling you that that won’t work. Sometimes that goes in with what I said number one is, which is being told no. Sometimes people will say, “That doesn’t work,” or, “That would never work,” or whatnot. There’s been a lot of situations where I’ve been told, “Oh, I don’t know if that’s going to work.” I go ahead and do it, and sure enough, it does work and I end up earning an income off of it, or it ends up being another thing that I can add as a service. I get told that that won’t work so often that it’s funny.
I remember when social media was first taking off. The church I go to, I was telling the pastors, “Look, you need to be on social media because that’s where everybody that goes to church is. That’s where everybody that doesn’t go to church but you want them to go to church is. That’s where all of your kids are that are students in high school and whatnot. They’re on social media.” I got told no, like pastors, “No, we can’t be on there. That’s too risky,” or whatever. Blah, blah, blah. Now, social media is used for everybody and, of course, every church and every pastor and whatever is on it.
You can take that not just for in the church, but I wanted to use an extreme example that I was getting told, “No, that won’t work. Why would pastors want to be on social media,” this and that? “Our kids and our people shouldn’t even be on social media.” They had too narrow of thinking and they didn’t think that social media was going to become what it was. You can take somebody telling you that something won’t work as an opportunity to turn it into something, to make it an article, to make it a video, to make it a business. I mean, if you know something’s going to be a certain way and other people are telling you that it’s not, but you see the future and they can’t see past whatever’s in front of them, that’s an opportunity for you. It happens every single day when you bring something to somebody. There’s always a chance that they’ll either accept it or they won’t. If you think it’s a good enough idea, you can move forward with it.
3. You Spent Time Researching Something
The third is that you spend time researching something. That time either didn’t end up getting used, that research didn’t end up getting used, somebody didn’t want that research, it ended up not being a part of the final product or whatever. There’s a lot of times that we spend time researching or looking into something and then we feel like we ended up wasting our time. Maybe we were told that we needed to research this heavily and then it didn’t end up getting used in any way. That’s information that you’ve acquired now, and you can take that and maybe there’s an opportunity in it, in that information.
You may have researched something and now you can turn that into a white paper that you could share with people that’s going to inform them on a specific topic, or maybe it’s information that you can package together in an ebook. There’s a lot of times that we end up researching something and then just letting that research go, or maybe we don’t even think we’re researching. We’re scrolling the internet just going down a rabbit hole, per se, and you’ve accumulated information about something. If you don’t do something with that information, you might have lost it.
There are times we go down these rabbit holes and the information just leads us to a dead end and you just leave it at that. But there are a lot of times you find something interesting in that and you continue to go down that and head towards it. It might not be applicable to your job, or it might not be applicable to other things in your life, but there may be an opportunity there. It doesn’t hurt to look into that a little bit further and see if there’s an opportunity there for you to do something with that. There are always opportunities, you just have to go and look.
There’s a video I did on finding video or blog ideas. There are three tools that I talked about there, so if you go and check out that video and article, I’ll post it in the comment section … I’ll post it in the description below. Check that out because you can use those tools to also validate research ideas and stuff like that.
4. You are Continuously Asked About Something
Number four is somebody asks you about something or maybe even repetitiously. I recognized an opportunity when I started getting into cryptocurrency mining. I put it out there on social media to my friends and family that I was messing around with cryptocurrency mining. I had people coming out of the woodworks asking me questions about it. Because that doesn’t happen that often, that people just randomly are contacting me even people that I hadn’t talked to in five or six or more years, I saw an opportunity there, the fact that people are really wanting to know about this. I saw that opportunity as a way to teach them about it. I produced a course on how to build a mining rig, a mining computer, and that course has made me a couple thousand dollars over a period of two months.
If it wasn’t for recognizing that opportunity because people were asking me questions, I would have never thought to come up with that course. When people ask you about something or maybe even more than a few people ask you about stuff, people are coming out of the woodworks to ask you questions about something, that’s an opportunity to do more than just answer their question, but come out with something whether it be an article, or a video, or a course, or maybe a whole business to solve that.
5. People Are Complaining About Something
Number five is people are complaining about something. The number one way that new products and services are developed is to solve a problem. I mean, problems are being solved every day. I mean, Apple felt like the iPad was solving a problem, that the iPhone was solving a problem. This mouse that I use has specific buttons and a configuration on it to solve a problem, which is like navigating your desktop in a better way. There are new things coming out all the time to solve problems.
What’s a problem that you’re constantly having? How can you turn that into something? Or maybe there’s a problem that you’re always helping other people with. How could you turn that into a product, or a service, or an article, or a video, or something like that to where you’re adding value to where you’re fixing that for them? The whole reason that our economy exists is that there are problems and there are solutions.
A lot of times there are solutions that can be made to problems that people don’t realize they have. I mean, did we all sit around and realize that we wanted an iPhone and so Apple made one? No. They saw an opportunity. They saw a need that they could make us have, in a sense. We didn’t need smartphones, I guess, but they came out with smartphones. They gave enough value and added enough cool things to them and now all of us have one.
You don’t even necessarily have to wait around for people to complain about something, you just have to see an opportunity to add value. But when people are complaining about something, maybe something is a constant problem, that’s an opportunity for you to say, “Okay. Well, how can I fix that or how can I package this together as a fix and sell it to people or make it available?” It’s definitely an opportunity that arises all the time in many different facets of your life. Maybe not just work, but with your kids, or with your family, or with the hobby that you’re involved in, or something like that.
There are lots of opportunities there to be had all the time. That’s one of the reasons that the Shark Tank show exists. People are coming to the sharks with solutions to problems and they want money so that they can expand this and sell more of their solution to somebody’s problem. That’s how the beginning of pretty much every pitch starts out.
That’s going to do it for this Thursday Thoughts post. Consider subscribing to my newsletter to get updated when I post new articles.
If you have any thoughts or anything that you’d like to add, the comment section down below is a great place for us to communicate. For us to talk about opportunities, and share them, and work on them together down in the comment section. Let’s do that. Until next time. I hope that you’re having a great day and I hope to see you back here soon. Thanks a lot.