In the last three weeks, 2020 turns around to be a good year. After my business as a web development freelancer was slowed down by Covid-19, I got a new promising opportunity. I do not want to talk to you about it right now. But this idea hooked me up. It is such a promising opportunity that I think about it every night. Probably in March 2021, I will show you the new business I am talking about. Thinking back at the beginning of 2020, I felt stagnated. Everything I did was fun, of course, but a breakthrough was not to be seen. Nonetheless, I kept my head high, my heart filled with courage, and my ambition burning like always. Because I know one day a huge opportunity will meet me down the road. And it came. Here are: 10 tips on how to spot business opportunities in time. So, you will never miss a life-changing opportunity again.
10 Tips on how to spot business opportunities in time
1. Self-Reflect and see what is around you
The most important change you must undertake is to self-reflect on your current situation. Moreover, you need to understand what is going on around you at the present moment. Become an independent observer of your life and reflect each day on the situations you were in, the people you were with, and the activities you undertook. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I currently happy with my life?
- Are these the people I want to share my life with?
- Am I on the right way?
- Were there any opportunities I might have missed?
10 tips on how to spot business opportunities in time: #1 Enhanced the awareness of your surroundings by self-reflection.
2. Who are you?
Before you look for opportunities in life, you must understand yourself first and best. Here I am coming back to the circle of competence. Understanding your weaknesses and strengths plays a huge part in defining your future life. Because opportunities are everywhere. But it does not mean that any opportunity suits you. How do you identify what you will love? By understanding who you are and what you want in life. Ask the following questions:
- What are the activities that I do every day?
- Are there activities I do for hours but feel like minutes?
- What are the traits my friends and family love about?
- Are there things I will never do?
- Is there a dream I always want to fulfill and enjoy the process as well?
By setting clear what your strengths and weaknesses are you can more specifically look for opportunities.
10 tips on how to spot business opportunities in time: #2 Define your core values and goals. Only then do you know what you want to do and what kind of opportunity you are looking for?
3. Build Competence and Experience
After understanding who you are and what you want to accomplish, it is time for action. Creating a plan and only talking about it will make you a dreamer. People will not take you seriously. And therefore, they will never offer you a life-changing change. That is why building up your competence and experience is key to creating more opportunities in life. And more importantly, do it in silence.
Building up your competence differs immensely. Depending on your professional and personal field, training is individual for each of you. Some people need training in their social skills, some others need to learn hard skills. This is what you need to find out: what suited you the most and what you want to develop further.
After building a solid fundament of skillset, either soft or hard skills, you need experience. By experience I mean, you need to challenge the world if your learned skills are good enough. For example, I learned a new programming language Golang. Within a month, I understood it and I could work with it. However, I am not a Golang Developer. Because I have not done a big project yet.
So be careful. Better learn and gain experience in silence. After having numerous results in your professional field, you can tell the world.
10 tips on how to spot business opportunities in time: #3 Become an expert in your professional field. By that, you not only build up confidence but also provide value to your future businesses as well.
4. Fail a lot and Fail fast
In my early 20’s I did not understand this quote. Every time I read this quote, I felt confused and a bit angry. Why the hell do people tell me to fail? Shouldn’t business coaches tell us to succeed no matter what?
8 years later, I give this quote as advice for everyone. Since then, I have opened 2 businesses. And they failed. The first business I launched was a small restaurant. I was excited that I could call something ‘my own. I put every saving into it and with the help of my mother I was a business owner. It was hard but it was fun at the same time. I learned a lot about taxes, the application process for commercial areas, and all the small things about business and how to run it. It cracked my heart when I decided to close down the restaurant.
In my second business, I launched an online shop. It was at the start of 2020. For the same reason, it was fun and hard at the beginning. I could make some money. However, it was nothing for me. One of my strengths is to interact with people face-to-face. In an online shop, it was impossible.
I realize that these two businesses did not suit me. The first business failed because I lacked the passion to continue, due to my mother’s inability to bring the restaurant to the modern time. The second business did not suit my personality. I have to work with customers or at least other people together.
To summarize, failing a lot, and failing fast will not only bring you tons of experience but a huge insight into which opportunity you want to work further.
10 tips on how to spot business opportunities in time: #4 Fail fast and fail often guarantee you experience, knowledge, and insight on how you perform or/and if an industry suits you.
5. Consistency is key
This is the next step. After defining who you are and gaining a lot of experience, it is time to be consistent. In other words, now it should be clear which path you are heading to. More specifically, by now you should know how and when you will accomplish your goal. The most difficult part is to continue your way. It sounds easier than it sounds.
For example, I started this blog for many reasons. One of the reasons is to reach out to people like me. However, after two years this blog reached its limits. By that I mean there was no significant improvement. No more subscribers, no more comments, no more shares. I was irritated about how to deal with it. Were my blogposts garbage? Did my writing style confuse my readers? What is the problem? And I could find no answers to that. Because I was split between two decisions: Change or Continue.
I struggled for weeks to decide which way I must continue. At last, I decided to change minor things. Setting some things for free, a new logo design and most importantly, I started to promote my blog via Instagram daily inspiring quotes related to my weekly blog posts. Instead of changing everything, I realized I did not do every possible way to make this blog successful. So, I continued, and after one week I saw small results already.
10 tips on how to spot business opportunities in time: #5 The Secret of success is to be ready when an opportunity comes – Benjamin Disraeli. This is possible due to consistency. Keep on even though it is hard. And one day a huge opportunity will knock on your door.
6. Meet like-minded people
For two years, most of the time I was alone. Of course, sometimes some people had the same passion. However, I felt like I did not belong to them. One of the reasons was a fight among us. Another reason was the difference in professions. I am a web developer, but my friend who was in Starbucks often was on another level. In other words, it was a coexistence. We helped where we could and joked where we can. But summarized, we will not work together.
That is why all the points mentioned before are so important. Because I did all that, I met people just like me. By meeting them we realized that we have the same mindset. These two Vietnamese in the second generation shared the same interests and values as me. That is the reason that they gave me a huge life-changing opportunity. Therefore, I would not have this opportunity if I did not follow tips 1-5.
Meeting like-minded people, or in other words, meeting new people is a huge opportunity. Moreover, if they are people who are better than you that you can learn from them.
10 tips on how to spot business opportunities in time: #6 Working alone is harder than in a group. Moreover, when the group consists of like-minded people. You can learn from each other and offer each other opportunities.
7. Ask simple and stupid WHY-questions
Most of the inventions are born from simple questions that seem stupid at first. I bet that Jeff Bezos the founder of Amazon asks himself: “Why can’t I buy all the things I want in one place?” Many narrow-minded people would shut down this idea with ignorance. ‘Because it is not possible!’ Instead, he might find a solution by himself, draws many ideas and concepts. With time he found an opportunity, stuck to it and now he is the richest living person in the world.
If you want to fill your life with opportunities, ask many and simple why-questions. By doing this, you break the illusion that the world is unchangeable. I heard many people that they do not believe in progression. Especially, since our world has reached its limits. But this is stupid. For example, soon we can travel to Mars, visit planets, AI will play a huge step in our evolution as well. There will always be opportunities to invest, to change, and to develop.
10 tips on how to spot business opportunities in time: #7 Looking for business opportunities is simple by asking simple questions. Furthermore, the internet offers much information about what potential customers are unsatisfied with. Just do your research.
8. Let your Ego at home
Another important aspect is to be open-minded about new ideas. Even when ideas sound bizarre, there is always an opportunity in them. Yes, it might fail but at least we learn from this and go on. Therefore, let your ego be at home and do not think that you know everything better. Stay humble and listen to everything that might be an opportunity for you.
10 tips on how to spot business opportunities in time: #8 Every person you meet is better than you in some way. Never expect to be the best in the room. Although if you are, you are in the wrong room. Stay humble, let your ego be at home, and be open-minded.
9. Build Compatibility with others
To discover new opportunities with others, you need to build a rapport. Promoting your skills and goals is normal for anyone who is looking for new opportunities. But never make the fatal mistake of starting before we are on the same vibe or understanding as another person. It is commonly known not to speak about controversial topics. You do not want to risk opportunities because you disagree about politics.
Moreover, there is nothing worse than speaking with someone and suddenly they force their business card into your hand. Because you now know they only speak with you because you are a potential business or money-making opportunity.
People only do business with people they like and respect. To be respected means you need to be competent. To be liked you have the same vibe as them.
10 tips on how to spot business opportunities in time: #9 Build a vibe that all of you enjoy. Only people who are liked will receive opportunities.
10. Be trustworthy
Honesty, trust, and respect are the three things you should live by. Being a trustworthy person you will find many potential opportunities, be they be partnerships, friendships, or business. Being trustworthy at the start will grant you more opportunities in the future. Maybe some opportunities will fail but the people you work with remember your honesty, trust, and respect. People do business with people they love and like. For example, my business partners turned away much more promising potential partners than I am. But they chose me. I have now money, some notable experiences, but I have the mindset as them. I burn for their ideas already. Moreover, they trust me that I do not only have a big mouth.
10 tips on how to spot business opportunities in time: #10 Be trustworthy and real, and people remember you for who you are. And they might come back to you for another chance.