The Entrepreneur and the Opportunity

leadership education, leadership training

Should I be doing this business?

The entrepreneur spoke to me.  “Opportunities are all around us.  Find one, and make your success.”  I have heard this message repeatedly over the last year.  I spoke to men and women who started their business, who haven’t worked a job in years, and who believe in the power of the intelligent and dynamic spirit to launch an enterprise that pays.

I see opportunities – occasionally.  I don’t find opportunities so vast that I take them for granted.  Perhaps that is just my perception that isn’t working optimally- yet.  I know that perceiving an opportunity, acting on an opportunity, and being lucky enough to make that business idea grow like Jack’s beanstalk – well, that break hasn’t come my way yet.

I long ago decided that multi-level marketing businesses might be real money making programs – but the critical question for me is, “is this what I am good at?  Is this what my mission is all about?”  The harder question is, “should I be doing this business?”  If the opportunity is far from my core competency, I should pass on it.  Otherwise, I will be distracted by the opportunity.

My friend John built up an interesting import business by buying up name-brand shirts in the Orient, and selling them in the American market.  To do this, he had to move his product through customs – where he would lie on the customs forms and declare that the shirts were all for his personal consumption.  If this business becomes successful – and that is the goal, isn’t it? – eventually the law will discover the shortcut, and life will become miserable for the owner.

A better approach for the focused professional is to know what one is good at, and what one’s passions are.  If he or she has a personal mission statement, follow it.  Evaluate every business opportunity in terms of one’s mission.  Ask, “Will this opportunity let me follow my mission?”   If so, then maximize it.  If not, then keep looking.

It is worth my time to keep looking.  I want to do those things I am excellent at, do those things where my talent makes a difference, and perform in ways where I don’t mind working long hours – especially since that will be required to build a lasting success!  While I am looking, I sharpen my focus, telling other people about the area of my talent, and increasing the chance that I will find the right opportunity.

I will prepare my mind for creating those opportunities by asking myself questions like,

“Can I make a difference for people by offering this service?”

“Am I uniquely qualified to offer this service?”

“Will this business opportunity be a distraction or a synergy with what I am already doing?”

The prepared mind sees more.  Have you directed your mind to find a business opportunity that is perfect for you?   Think about what your mission is, how you uniquely can bring value to other people, and think about the questions that will help you find what you should be doing with your work.

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Steve Broe is an executive coach and author.  He lives in Scottsdale Arizona.  He answers the question, “How does leadership help people become successful?” in his new book, Leading the Way Up Mt. Olympusnow available on Amazon.  

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