Updated: Apr 3
Welcome to What’s My Blind Spot.
If your goal in life is to build #wealth, this blog is a great place to start because it'll help you check your current status, as well as figure out what you need to improve immediately.
If you want to increase your chances of success, getting rich is a combination of many factors that you need to uncover one by one. Don’t worry, I am here to help you do this.
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In this article, I will show you one of the signs of how you are likely to be rich:
You are an Opportunist.
An #opportunist is a person who takes advantage of opportunities as and when they arise, regardless of planning or principle.
When applied to people, the label “opportunist” usually has negative connotations.
Opportunistic people are often also regarded as exploitative. The term is often used to label unscrupulous politicians who seek to manipulate voters in their favor by exploiting certain issues or opportunities in an unethical way.
If you describe someone's behavior as opportunistic, you are critical of them because they take advantage of situations in order to gain #money or #power, without thinking about whether their actions are right or wrong.
Many people remain #poor because of how narrow they view about taking opportunities.
Being an opportunist isn’t about taking advantage of people, but making the best out of the situation.
An opportunist is someone who sees an opportunity and seizes it. The truth is that we are all opportunists. Every time you take an opportunity, you’re acting as an opportunist. In fact, if you’re not an opportunist, you’re leaving a lot of money and success on the table.
Most #Entrepreneurs succeed because they identify and seize the opportunity. An #opportunistic #entrepreneur identifies a need in the marketplace and may or may not have any experience in that particular field but still sets out to fill that need from a business perspective.
The best example of an opportunistic entrepreneur is #JeffBezos, founder of #Amazon. He understood the situation that people don’t want to go somewhere to buy something, they would prefer to get it delivered. This was a situational idea which made him the world’s #richest person.
Other Famous Entrepreneurs who took the opportunity!
Here are some examples of successful entrepreneurs who were opportunists
Back in 1947, Ed Lowe was working for his father’s sawdust company when a disgruntled neighbour knocked on his door. Her cat’s litter tray was empty and she asked Ed for some sand to fill it. He offered her another of her father’s products, an absorbent clay used for factory floors, “more to get rid of her than anything else,” Ed explained.
But his neighbour returned for more and, sensing an opportunity, Ed set about expanding his operation. He offered it around to local pet stores in five-pound bags labelled “Kitty Litter” in grease pencil. It proved a smash success and Ed set up a wholesaler to sell the product to pet stores and supermarkets. He sold his company for $200 million some 45 years later.
ii. George De Mestral
Swiss engineer George De Mestral was taking a morning stroll through the countryside in 1941 he grew curious as to how the seeds from greater burdock became stuck to his clothing. Under closer inspection, he learned that there were microscopic hooks which became adjoined to the softer surfaces.
De Mestral set about employing the technology to create a new fastening system. Velcro was born and, thanks in part to its use by astronauts in outer space, it spread in popularity. De Mestral spent the rest of his life living off the royalties.
iii. Robert Chesebrough
In 1859, Robert Chesebrough was a young man working in the oil industry. He visited an oil well and noticed that workers were smearing an unknown oil by-product on their skin to heal their cuts and burns. Intrigued, Chesebrough took home a sample to test and set about purifying the jelly. He set up a company to manufacture the product, now known as Vaseline and traveled across America to sell the product and within two years, they were selling a jar a minute.
iv. Frank Epperson
On a winter’s night in 1905, Frank Epperson unwittingly discovered one of the great joys of summer. The eleven-year-old left a mixture of water and soda powder in a glass with a stirring on his porch overnight. The following morning it had hardened and, in the process, young Frank had invented the Popsicle.
It took a few decades for Epperson to utilise his idea. He bought the patent and set up royalty arrangements with the Joe Lowe Corporation. Epperson made millions from the product and later sold the company to Unilever for over $150 million.
v. Arthur Fry
Even researchers can get lucky with their discoveries and Arthur Fry is just that. Working as a #3M scientist, Fry attended a seminar in which a fellow researcher mentioned the discovery of a weak but reusable glue he had yet to find a purpose for. It took some time for it to dawn on Fry that he could use this on paper. Originally, the American thought it could be utilised on bookmarks but that product later developed into the post-it note. Today, over six billion of them are sold which led to one very happy #retirement for Fry.
Opportunists in real life
We should always be opportunists, but honest opportunists. I don’t advocate doing anything that is unethical, unfair, immoral or illegal. One can be an opportunist without being a jerk.
In one case that I know, a cosmetic company was expanding and was looking for someone to travel and train their new associates. They had a hard time finding people who were interested in their products and willing to spend three quarters of a year flying around. The receptionist decided to apply and she became very good in that work.
A few years later, she became the head of global #sales because of her extensive experience all around the world! Talk about taking up that opportunity!
Being an opportunist is more about your #mindset. It is about being strategic, looking ahead and deciding which opportunities are worth taking. It involves being nimble and a lot of forward thinking. It requires balancing the pros and cons of an opportunity.
Being a successful opportunist also requires a wide perspective. Not all opportunities should be focused on work. Being an opportunist means focusing that mindset on all elements of your life: business, professional, #family, #community, church and #personaldevelopment.
Apply your opportunist mindset to your personal life. How much better would your life be if you took more #opportunities to #spendtimefamily ? How much fuller would your life be if you took more opportunities to serve your community?
The other thing to consider is that opportunity requires balance. Opportunities, like creativity, benefit from cross-pollination. Taking advantage of opportunities in a different area can lead to new, previously unseen opportunities. Success in one area feeds success in other areas. Hyper-focused opportunism in one area creates a tunnel vision that becomes limiting.
How can you train yourself to take on new opportunities?
First assess yourself
Taking on new tasks or changing your habits can be daunting. You can understand how far you are willing to go by understanding yourself through #personalitytests. There are plenty of free ones available but none of them are accurate enough that you will want to base major life decisions around them.
I use #Identi3profiling for seventeen years now and research extensively with it.
Most opportunities are people who are higher in this #traits. If you have not had your personality assessed, try taking the IDENTI3 profiling tool now. #Psychometric tools like this one helps you identify your #weakness and your #blindspots which are more important when it comes to understanding yourself!
ii. Expand your opportunistic viewpoint
The more experiences you have, the more you can develop new #viewpoints. Experiences in any capacity are helpful -- #traveling, reading books, trying new food and hobbies, can help you overcome your initial fears. The more you expose yourself, you become less fearful.
iii. Meeting new people
Sometimes we can get too comfortable in our own world, so it’s good to get out there and hear different opinions and perspectives. There are takeaways we can get from talking to new people – we may learn something new or get fresh new ideas. The things you learn from others may range from cultural interests to travel tips, tasty recipes to random facts. At the very least, you’ll be better equipped for your next trivia night or party conversation!
iv. Mindset matters
If you are unsure about something but feels that there might be potential, your attitude towards it matter. This is one of the difference between people who made it and those who only talk about it.
Often having a positive attitude towards the opportunity, willing to make sacrifices along the way will increase your chances of success.
What about real experiences?
When I was 19 years old, I saw the potential of the internet. I quickly learned what was required of it including basic programming skills. I set-up a website targeting specific users and brought in venture capitalists.
My second opportunity was one to do with paper. The paper supplier to the company that I worked for, had a machine that could cut paper which could be folded into shapes like tables, chairs, furniture etc. I started developing products based on that.
The third and current opportunity was how I could help individuals and companies with discovering their blindspots and improve performance. This is where www.WhatsYourBlindspot.com and www.TheGeniusMatrix.com come in.
Hold your horses
After reading this, you may be motivated by jumping into the next opportunity that comes along. But wait a minute!
While over analyzing can be a source of procrastination, jumping straight right in can be foolhardy.
You can help yourself by:
Doing ample research
Talk to the right people with #growthmindset
Wait a while to see if it might be a #scam
Ask yourself if you want to do this (business idea) for life and if you have the hard work to go with it?
Then after all has been done, it’s time to take the plunge!
What was the biggest opportunity you had walked away from? What would have changed if you had taken it? If you had not taken any opportunity, how can you prepare for the next one that comes along?
The Author is one of the principal consultants of IDENTI3 - Jace Tan. He has set-up a few companies and more than 20 years of entrepreneurship. His books are found onwww.TheGeniusMatrix.com