Spotting opportunities is one of those skills that have to be honed. Some people have a gift for it, and others have to work hard just to become adequate in it.
Thomas Edison said: “We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
I perfectly agree with him.
Often times opportunity rarely presents itself as a straight line to happiness. It’s more like a nudge in our brain or a hello from a stranger. It might be something we failed at. A new problem. A disappointment. Or feeling so stuck that remaining the same simply isn’t a choice.
We simply might not see it.
And it’s not just how we see the world. It’s how we think about ourselves that can blur possibilities.
But you can change that.
Let me show you how.
By the way, this is not one of those articles that will tell you to go fishing but wont tell you how. It’s not one of those articles that will tell you to believe in yourself when you simply don’t know how to believe in yourself.
Here, I’ll show you simple ways to identify opportunities with examples.
An opportunity in plain terms, is a chance to make a difference for yourself and/or for someone else. That’s it in a nutshell. We can change something — usually for the better.
The form it comes in is specific to what matters to us as individuals. And whether we can see it or not depends on how we think and act.
There are opportunities everywhere, whether you see or not. All you have to do is to open your mind.
To spot opportunities, we always have to consciously be on the lookout for them. This requires an intensive mind shift. Look at it this way. If you walk into a dark room, you are not likely to find an office pin dropped on the floor unless you consciously and deliberately put on a torchlight to search for it. Only then will you find it. Get it now?
Okay enough of that.
Here are a few things to actively lookout for in your everyday life in order to spot new opportunities.
- A large gathering of people (Human traffic)
- A product or service people are unhappy about (Complaints)
- Something people are talking about (Trending topic)
Everyday of your life, look out for these things and you’ll be amazed to discover how many opportunities to make life better flying around you everyday.
Let me give you examples.
Why do you think brand marketers install billboards at strategic locations where there are lots human traffic? It’s because it’s an opportunity to sell. Why do you think there are traffic hawkers? It’s because a queue of people in traffic is an opportunity to sell. While some people were complaining of the inconvenience and tragedy of the Nigerian Immigration Exam conducted last year, some others who knew how to spot opportunities made a lot of money on that day selling white vests and snickers, photocopying, measuring candidates’ height and weight on scales etc….
Talking about disappointments and complaints, Linda Ikeji once posted the story of a lady who ordered for her wedding cake and was disappointed by what she got. See the story on Linda Ikeji’s blog.
Typical of Nigerians, people were insulting both the baker and the patronizer.
However, any good baker who knew how to spot opportunities and tap into them could have baked an ever better cake, and sent the picture to Linda, (of course with their brand name). That would have been a big opportunity to market their bakery skills on LIB. Well, that’s just a simple example. There are many cases of unhappy people posted daily on various blogs. You could watch out for them.
Jon Schultz bought the domain ebola.com, some years back and then during the epidemic in Africa last year, he sold it to a Russian company at a whooping $200,000!
Well, ebola virus was trending, the world was talking about it and we were all scared and unhappy about it. Need I tell you more?
The examples are endless.
Finally, you must be ready to act. Think about how many people who thought of Google years ago but never did anything to make it happen. Don’t be one of them, do something about your idea.
Spot that opportunity around you and act on it today.
In summary, there are two kinds of people.
Those who simply complained about the NIS Exam last year, those who insulted the baker and laughed at the cake posted by Linda Ikeji, and those who were just scared of contacting the ebola virus.
Those who rendered useful services to candidates during the NIS Exam last year, those who probably improved on the cake posted by Linda Ikeji, those domain squatters who bought off all domains relating to ebola and those who rendered useful services during the scare.
You can belong to either of each group of people. The choice is entirely yours.
In fact the way I look at it these days is this:
There possibly are no nations with more opportunities than Nigeria. It’s a highly populated nation with lots of problems, complaints, trends and unhappy people. It’s an epitome of opportunity. What more can one ask for.
And I’d like you to see Nigeria that way.
It’s a fun puzzle! Spot the opportunities. Act. Now.
By the way, let’s play a fun game . What opportunities can you see around you?
I see Boko haram, I see ISIS, I see power failure in Nigeria, I see high unemployment rate, I see poor education system, I see cancer…… What do you see? Drop a comment below.
Good luck folks.