One of the earliest pieces of business advice I got as a teenager was, “opportunities abound everywhere; you only have to train your eyes to see them.” I heard that from Innocent Usar, a life coach on his evening radio show, Innocent Minds. I was about 14 or 15 years old then.
Although I didn’t fully believe it because, how can opportunities abound everywhere and the majority of the world is still poor? I still couldn’t forget it. It rings clearly in my mind today.
However, I now strongly believe it. Opportunities truly abound everywhere and only those whose eyes are trained to see them will ever see them.
While these steps apply to every kind of opportunity, I’ll be limiting his article to money-making opportunities. Here are four steps I have used to spot opportunities in situations and places others don’t see.
1. Switch on
One mistake many people make is that they expect opportunities to find them. Yes, opportunities do find people, but there is no certainty it will find you since it is not in your control. You’d want to be in a place of control.
Also, if it happens to you, your life might have been spent already. So instead of waiting, switch on like LinkedIn’s, “I am open to work” feature. Let your whole being know you are in search of ideas.
Now I don’t mean you enter every room thinking what opportunities can I find here. It is more of just staying open and alert— entering Seek Mode. The easiest way to do this is to have some sort of goal you want to achieve or questions you are seeking answers to.
For example, if you leave home thinking, what can I do to pay off my mortgage, and you are truly seeking answers, you will naturally pick up conversations about mortgages than you would have done if that question weren’t raised in your heart. It is like the day you put on a red shoe and your eyes naturally spot people on red shoes.
So switch on and move to Seek Mode. Send an “I am open to opportunities” signal to your being. A tuned mind will create trained eyes.
Finding an opportunity is basically linking what is obvious with something not obvious. For example, it is obvious that apples fall off their trees after some time, but why that happens is not obvious. Isaac Newton was able to trace why to the law of gravity because he has been immersed in the sciences.
If you are someone like me who has read the Bible more than any other subject, you would have traced why apples fall to the mysterious power of God and that will be all. But what Isaac Newton had immersed himself into determined what he deduced.
The obvious is always obvious but the unobvious you see comes from what you are filled with. If you want to spot money-making ideas, you must immerse yourself with money-making information.
I had been reading about product creation and sales for some months so once I thought about the fact that Dr. Myles Munroe’s books are quite bulky and his ideas a bit unconventional, I immediately thought about creating a product that can help summarize all his concepts into a single digestible bundle.
Your eyes will be tuned towards the direction your mind is channeled. If you want to spot more coaching opportunities, immerse yourself in coaching.
3. Study opportunities
Something I have noticed about opportunities is that they follow patterns. Starbucks saw a strange coffee model from a distant country and brought it to the US. Ray Kroc saw a strange Burger model in a distant city and brought McDonald’s all over the US and several others like that.
The more you study the patterns of how successful people maximize opportunities, the easier it would be for you to identify such opportunities when the pattern is coming up in your situation.
Remember your mind is in Seek Mode already and you have immersed yourself in your industry. So when a pattern is repeating itself around you, you are all ready to embrace it and create your wonder. This is why it seems only the people who have spotted opportunities continue to spot opportunities because they are so used to the patterns.
The pattern is not just about bringing a strange model to a different location. There are several opportunity patterns that exist. Most successful tech companies started in a particular pattern. The more opportunity patterns you study, the more situations you will be able to maximize.
Your mind will develop a kind of muscle memory of what follows after what.
4. Join the complain party
Since we are focusing this article on money-making opportunities, I need to add this. Money always comes in response to satisfying a need. If you can solve people’s complaints, they will give you their money.
What better way is there to know what people are complaining about than to simply listen to them tell you? Thanks to the internet, everyone is complaining about something.
Simply find groups and forums where people are complaining in your niche and listen. If there are no complaints, raise a complaint and see if you are the only one complaining about it. Complaints are simply unmet needs.
Instead of joining them in complaining, rise up as the savior you are and come up with something that can meet their needs and they will worship you with their money.
Opportunities abound around you right now, but you will only see what your mind has been trained to see. Apply these four steps and tune your mind to find opportunities around you. If you need help coming up with ideas, I have written a guide to living in a pool of endless ideas here- How To Get Ideas: Infinite Ideas Loop
Olusegun Iyejare is a career coach and certified counselor. He helps individuals discover and maximize their potential to live satisfying lives regardless of obvious limitations holding them back.