Identifying Opportunities

Recently a potentially huge opportunity landed in my lap.  The most interesting thing about it isn’t that I was able to see the opportunity and was in a position to seize it, it is that other people not only didn’t take the same opportunity when it was presented to them, but they ran in the other direction.

We both saw completely different things in this opportunity.  To me it is a low risk business opportunity with limited up front costs, in partnership with someone with the skills and business network to make it successful.  The other person perceived massive risk with an untrustworthy business partner who would somehow rob all their money.

How can two people (same age, similar backgrounds) have such polar opposite reactions to a potential business opportunity?

The biggest thing is that having read lots of books about success – Think and Grow Rich, by Napolean Hill, Richest Man in Babylon, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and many others.  And having been to networking events with hundreds of ambitious entrepreneurs I was able to quickly put this guy into a category.  He has all the personality traits of the prototypical successful entrepreneur.  To such a degree that I knew if he wasn’t already wealthy it was inevitable that he would be in the future.  And I had both the technical skills and the business savvyness to relate with him.

The other person was weird-ed out by someone with lots of different things on the go.  Anyone who on a whim would get into the iPhone apps business is too surreal to be believed and it raised red flags.  Anyone with money to spend on side projects must be doing something sketchy.  It was all too out of the ordinary to be real.

It’s still too early to tell how all this will pan out, but that is the life of an entrepreneur.  Take lots of calculated risks.

The key in this case was that I was able to see the opportunity and had enough experience to take advantage of anything that came my way.  If it had been contract work – I already have a business set up, if it was a new business venture – I know a bit about what it takes to register and set it up.  I have enough practical experience with monetization, marketing, and sales strategies to be able to intelligently discuss them.

Luck comes to people who keep their eyes open for chance events and take action on them when they present themselves.

Stay hungry. Stay foolish.