Saturday, December 26, 2015

Opportunity Wherever You Live

I'm often ask what it take to be an entrepreneur.  My answer is always the same:  looking for the opportunity and then having the persistence and follow-through to make it happen.  Know yourself and follow your passions.

When looking for the opportunity, you want to solve a "pain point." Can you create a solution to a problem that other people don't want to do or can't do ...can you eliminate their pain. What are some things that are causing you pain and that you would be willing to pay other to solve?  The more of a pain, the more valuable your solution. Can you be innovative and creatively solve the problem.  The answer may be just around the corner.

The find pain points, you need to become aware of others and what others are experiencing.  Observe, interact and interview others as to what things they don’t like and what they would like to be easier or simpler.  You don’t have to solve the pain point at this time; just make a list of your observations and interactions.

By writing these ideas down you are allowing your conscience and subconscious to percolate on these problems, looking for solutions.  You can later evaluate you list to see which are most viable for you to solve, given your strengths, passions and networks. Keep that notebook next to your bed so in the middle of the night, you can write down your solutions.

Keep up on social and technological trends.  Read newspapers, magazines, listen to public radio, podcast, and what the news looking for trends and inventions.  Imagine the future and how this new technology will be used in the future to solve problems.  Can you combine two or more existing technologies or product to help ease the pain of others?

Think outside the box and say yes to all possibilities.  Suspend your current reality and create a reality where anything is possible.  Do not limit yourself by self-imposed constraints. This will help you spur on your creativity to come up with solutions.  Write down your solutions so you can research the possibilities and evaluate the probable success at a later time

Entrepreneurship requires dedication, persistence, long hours and an uncertain future.  You have to know your strengths and weaknesses to be successful.  Hire or partner with people who complement your strength, not people with the same strengths.  Tom Rath’s StrengthsFinder 2.0 is a great source to help you uncover your strengths.

Know your passions and what drives you.  Your passions will help you overcome obstacles and keep you going when others say no and think you are crazy. You passions will keep you working 60+ hours a week. To discover your passions, what would you do if money was not an option? What do you currently do where time flies by? Pay attention to your daily life to find your passions and strengths.

Entrepreneurship is turning your passions into profits by solving other’s pain points and creating a product or service of value.  When you turn your passions into profit, you never have to work another day in your life.

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