I was in a bookstore the other day and saw a copy of an old Opportunity Magazine I hadn’t read in years. I picked it up and browsed through it for a moment. Same old stories with different titles you might say. It was hard to believe that I was once an “opportunity junkie.” Actually, I wasn’t alone. I had a handful of friends who were habitual opportunity seekers at the time, too. Opportunity seekers and business builders are, in my opinion, two separate breeds of people (much like gamblers and investors). One habitually looks for the big score while the other understands the need for an investment in time, energy and resources.
FAST, EASY MONEY
When you get right down to it, who wouldn’t want to make a nice chunk of fast, easy money? Quick, easy money, however, is usually generated from an established mechanism or system. And guess what? It takes time to build the mechanism or system.
If you’re in debt and need cash fast… it’s much easier to sell something you already have than it is to take money you can’t afford to lose and “invest it” in an opportunity. This is a hard pill for an opportunity junkie to swallow. If you’re an opportunity junkie, more often than not, your overnight return turns out to be nothing more than the stuff dreams are made of.
The opportunity that seemed alive and well within the sales material disappears in the light of reality – taking the cash with it.
Chasing “opportunities” when you’re in a financial crisis is a fool’s game and the list of people playing this game seems to get longer every day.
So what should you do?
I recommend building your perfect business.
When I say “perfect” – I don’t mean perfect in a literal sense… I’m talking about the business that’s right for you.
A business basically does one or two things. It either sells a product that people either need or want. Or, it performs a service that people/businesses either need or want. You can either create the product yourself (manufacture it), or buy a product that someone else manufactured. With service oriented businesses, you can either perform the service yourself… or you can pay someone else to do it.
When you strip away the outward facade, business is fairly simple.
What do you enjoy providing to others? Or better yet, what would you really like to be providing to others? What type of product? Is it something you really believe in? Is it something others need? Or does it fall into the want category? You’ve probably already noticed that you have more energy and enthusiasm being involved with certain products or services than you do others.
In my own case, I will naturally work harder in some areas than I will in others. In fact, in some areas, the work doesn’t really seem like work to me. Yes, it still takes time and effort, but the drudgery element isn’t there.
When it comes to building the business that’s right for you, it’s going take some energy and commitment, so you may as well get involved with a product or service that interests you as much as possible. Without that, you’re more apt to fall by the wayside if things don’t go as easily as planned. When it comes to real-life business, sooner or later things don’t go according to plan!
If you ask a lot of people who are currently considering starting their own business in the midst of today’s economy, they’d tell you the perfect business for them is one that makes “a lot of money.”
That’s a given. No one goes into business with the hopes of only making nickels and dimes. The question is, what type of business is within your reach – right now? Do you already have the resources necessary to take the next step? Do you actually have a plan?
PALO ALTO SOFTWARE
Palo Alto Software produces a program called “Business Plan Pro.” If you find yourself challenged in the area of creating an easy to follow blueprint for yourself, programs like these can help you. They also produce a program called “Marketing Plan Pro.” If I’d used a similar program when I was in my early 20’s, I could have saved myself from going through some of the trial and error process.
Software programs like these were designed to assist you in the planning process. It doesn’t do it for you… it’s just another tool to help you in the process. Once you go through the process once or twice, you may find that it starts to become second nature to you.
MOVING FROM ONE BUSINESS TO ANOTHER…
Many successful people ultimately get involved in a variety of businesses over the course of a lifetime. The difference between them and the compulsive opportunity seeker is – they become successful and establish themselves in one area before moving on into multiple business ventures and investments.
A friend of mine once told me, “The realization that I could be mediocre at a dozen or so things or great at one changed the entire course of my business and personal life.”
If you’re an opportunity junkie… this may be some of the best business advice you’ll ever receive.
*(Artwork By Lori Frary – www.FraryGallery.com. Art Sarasota)