How to Spot a Business Opportunity?

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The question that many people ask me is that how do I come up with some marvelous entrepreneurial idea that can change the face of this world? How do I provide a service that no one else has ever provided or a product that no one has even imagined about manufacturing yet?

Many people fall into the miserable trap of assuming that unless they have such an idea, it would only be wasted efforts to pursue any opportunity and also that someday such a brilliant idea would be revealed onto them sitting under an apple tree as in the case of Sir Isaac Newton.

If you think that’s going to happen someday, forget it. The opportunity is only available for those who are willing to practically do things and focus on act, rather than dream. I am not at all trying to imply it’s futile to dream, but to keep dreaming could be disastrous. Businesses have been established to satisfy fairly small needs and wants of select group of people such as servicing of hearing aid equipments. Businesses have also been setup of things that are fairly commonly available and consumed such as selling potato chips.

The fun part is that you need to see beyond the obvious – the latent need and establish a business to fill in the gap. As long as there is a gap – and there are innumerable gaps still – you can come up with the relevant business idea and make it a fair success. However, neither waiting for the right idea to be bestowed on you nor jumping in to start anything regardless of the demand-supply gap would work for you.

Keep looking and you’d find many possible gaps around you. You just need to see with a different perspective.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.

– Marcel Proust, French novelist

Trying Again…

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I read an inspirational story somewhere that I would like to share for everyone’s benefit:

As I was passing  by  the elephants, I suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from the ropes they were tied to but for some reason, they did not.

I saw a trainer near by and asked why these beautiful, magnificent animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away.

“Well,” he said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

I was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

Moral of the Story: Try, try and try again, until you succeed

On Responding to Crisis

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Most people project their confidence and charisma through their posture, the way they walk, their ease of communication, their choice of words and most importantly, their eyes.

I happened to bump into an old employee of a corporation earlier in the day who had been asked to leave as a result of corporate restructuring. Having spent a total of 37 years in service, I could clearly see the fear in his eyes when he told me his story; he insisted, “I still had 5 years of service left.” I imagine this person was serving in the lower hierarchy of the company and wanted to desperately meet someone who could change his fate and let him continue for another 5 years.

It’s strange how people give in to fear to let others decide their fate, but it is human nature, isn’t it? I have seen many businessmen go through their dips in life, but rarely do I see that fear in their eyes even in the worst of conditions.

It all has to do with an attitude in life, not with the state of affairs afterall, I conclude.

Someone’s Everybody!

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In your pursuits in life, you may become Everyone’s somebody, but can never become Everyone’s everybody. Why not, then, go for becoming Someone’s Everybody.

This works in career, academics, relationships and life in general. As far as work is concerned, one doesn’t need to be an expert on everything, but certainly being the best in some focused areas in life helps! This will give you more respect in the long run and happiness & satisfaction all along the way.