There’s no shortage of ideas, inventions, and incredible discoveries. 3.3 million patents were filed in 2018. There are plenty more inventions yet to be invented. There are solutions out there for every problem yet to be solved. Successful businesses arise from meaningful problems being solved at scale, and yours could be next.
Never miss another opportunity
Here are five ways you might be missing great opportunities, and how to never miss another one.
1. Waiting until the conditions are perfect
Perhaps you’re waiting for summer, or winter, until you have a fixed amount in the bank, or when it feels right. Timing is certainly important, but multiple parameters being in the way will lead to inaction turning into a habit. There’s always a way of getting closer, or learning more, or preparing better. There’s always a way of testing or soft-launching or researching. Of gathering information to set up your success.
Ask yourself this: are you secretly hoping something crops up? Is that thing you’re waiting to do actually something that terrifies you? So much so that you’re looking for any valid excuse not to do it. Left long enough, someone else will get there first, or it will become irrelevant, or the world will move on. Is that what, deep down, you really want?
The conditions will probably never be perfect and waiting for them to be is futile.
2. Chasing non-starters
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Vertical integration is a merger strategy applied by a company acquiring another directly up or down its supply chain. Horizontal integration is when a company acquires another operating at the same level. Both have their merits in business growth. Conglomerate integration involves a business acquiring those in entirely unrelated industries. It’s a strategy for diversifying in an attempt to minimise risk.
For an individual, conglomerate integration is not desirable. It means starting from scratch, entering unknown territory or juggling and representing unconnected entities. It’s confusing and it means you miss the opportunities you’re in a better place to capitalise on. When exploring opportunities, stick to within one or two iterations of your expertise. Combine your exceptional knowledge with technology to scale, or use your tried-and-tested methods to form partnerships. Sustained success is built on longevity and mastery, and you might be on the edge of something great right now.
Chasing random, harebrained schemes rarely wins over calculated and planned moves.
3. Dreaming too small
Being short-sighted means missing great opportunities. It represents nothing more than a lack of imagination or self-belief. It’s easy to overestimate the competition when you walk past their swanky office every day. It’s easy to believe that everything is terrible when you read fear-based tweets. It’s easy to believe there are no customers for your idea if you spend too long with a Debbie Downer.
Picture yourself rising up, away from your desk and laptop and to a high place of clear vision and total perspective. Put all the small worries going around your head aside and think about what might be possible if you just considered it. Allowing yourself to get lost in detail means mediocre goals and lacklustre plans. You’ll be so busy in the admin you’ll miss what could be around the corner.
Never miss another opportunity
Unsplash – Bruce Mars
4. Holding limiting beliefs
We were told things as children that we believed without question. Without realising, we took on the limiting beliefs of anyone around us. Phrases like, “money doesn’t grow on trees”, “‘I want doesn’t get”, or the assertion that something is “too good to be true” are limiting beliefs that, as adults, we might find ourselves repeating without questioning.
Many limiting beliefs we hold are unconscious. Repeating them, however, reinforces their message and means we operate based on their meaning. It’s possible you are holding limiting beliefs based on a mindset of scarcity. That there isn’t enough to go around, that it’s “dog eat dog”, or that amazing things don’t happen to “people like us.” Not questioning leads to missing opportunities.
There’s no reason why you wouldn’t find a great opportunity, you just need to believe it’s possible. Once your eyes are open to the potential, you might find them everywhere.
5. Inflexible with your plan
You might be missing opportunities because you are fixated on your plan and absorbed with seeing it through. You can’t see another route to the goal you’re trying to reach because of the tunnel-vision you’re demonstrating. Whilst commitment and perseverance are great qualities to have, do you know for sure that this is the only route you should be pursuing? Have you had the feedback to warrant this focus?
If you’re sticking with something for the wrong reasons, you might be passing up opportunities far better suited to your skills. Sunk cost bias is a real thing, so make sure you don’t have a case of it.
Incredible opportunities are everywhere, and they’re waiting for you to seize them. One could be found in the next person you meet, the next conversation you have or the next idea that pops into your head.
Open up your eyes, mind and heart to the amazing chances that could be in store for you. Don’t wait to start looking for them, avoid distractions, and dream bigger than your limiting beliefs want to let you.