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A new year….and new opportunities

Let me wish you a most fruitful and prosperous New Year in this, my first post of 2017.

What will this New Year hold? It depends who you ask and focus on.  Some may be so affected by the many challenges of 2016, that hidden opportunities may escape notice.

I don’t want to minimize the challenges of last year, or how some of these are still unresolved. I do, however, hold to looking afresh at this New Year for new opportunities. Consider this quote, “See, when you drive home today, you’ve got a big windshield on the front of your car. And you’ve got a little bitty rearview mirror. And the reason the windshield is so large and the rearview mirror is so small is because what’s happened in your past is not near as important as what is in your future.”   Of course, the rear view mirror is invaluable and indispensable. Yet your journey is meant to be forward focused.

Don’t become so preoccupied with yesterday’s challenges that you miss today’s opportunities.

So how can you better see opportunities? How can you increase the amount of opportunities you see?

To strengthen your ability to recognize opportunities to produce a new product or start a viable business, consider these suggestions:

  • Read books, articles, and papers on the subject. Often, searching the archives of online journals, magazines, and newsletters can yield some helpful information. Also consider reading books written by or about venture capitalists. Their success hinges on their ability to identify and exploit promising business ideas. Take a self-paced online course on the subject.
  • Newspaper idea. A super method of increasing your ability to see opportunity is to allow yourself to “imagine” opportunities that present themselves in a newspaper. Imagine there are no limits to finances. Imagine that you can use adverts; articles; problems and photo’s to develop your opportunities. The big idea would be to generate as many opportunities as possible.
  • Consult an expert. Find someone at school or at work who you view as particularly good at recognizing and acting on opportunities. Ask this person how he or she has improved this ability.
  • Attend a workshop, training session, or course on the subject. Your employer may offer some of these, or may be willing to fund your tuition if you take such a course. Your local adult education programs may also offer such courses and workshops.(Consider an idea generation course)
  • Gain a wide variety of experiences. The more diverse your life experiences, the more you’ll be able to see patterns and parallels across seemingly unrelated fields. These patterns and parallels enable you to identify and seize promising opportunities. For example, an entrepreneur trying to decide how to develop a new wireless networking technology remembers a scene in a favourite science fiction novel involving minuscule devices that achieve a collective intelligence by communicating with each other in a certain way. She conceives of a networking system that works in a similar manner — and the system proves a huge success in the marketplace.
  • View problems through a new lens. Many problems can be turned into opportunities. For example, the swimming pool vacuum cleaner was invented by Ferdinand Chauvier from Springs. Chauvier tried to figure out a way to take the hassle out of pool cleaning. The result was the Kreepy Krauly and the first one was created in 1974.

Here’s to seeing and taking new opportunities in 2017

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