3 Pre-requisites to Spot Great Opportunities

by Vijay Peduru on September 4, 2009

spotlightWhy do some people always seem to find new opportunities and new solutions, while some don’t. We all know that the first step is to keep looking. But sometimes even if we keep looking, we cannot recognize opportunities. However hard we work and think, we cannot spot opportunities.  The reason is we don’t have the right knowledge. Consider this story.

Two friends Jack and  John traveled to a foreign country for the first time and Jack took care of all the arrangements. One day, both of them were taking an evening walk enjoying the soft, cool breeze. As they went about chatting during their stroll, a paper floated gently in front of them. John ignored it as it was just a paper, while Jack ran after it and grabbed it. John was perplexed and he asked jack whey he was running after a piece of paper, Jack said that it is not a piece of paper but it was a local currency  equivalent to a US $100 bill.

What just happened? Well…  since Jack already had the knowledge of what the local currency looked like (remember? He made the travel arrangements), he was able to spot the opportunity, while John was not.

Each one of us live in our own worlds. Millions of people still believe that this world should appear the same to everyone, but scientists have proven that this is not the case. The world appears differently to different people based on their knowledge, which is a pre-requisite to spotting great opportunities. So, the question then becomes – How do we accumulate knowledge relevant to us so that we are in a position to spot great opportunities?

Here are 3 steps:

1. Decide what is important to you :  First we have to decide what is important to us in our life. There are 7 main areas in life. We can write down the goals in each one of them, commit to them and set out to make them real.

  • Social
  • Financial
  • Family
  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Spiritual
  • Career

2. Look for Fundamental Knowledge : Once we know what is important to us we need to get down to acquiring fundamental knowledge in those domains.

Here’s a small example: We know that all humans have an inherent need to belong to communities. This  is fundamental knowledge about humans.  Once we know this, we can understand why people become members in  myspace, facebook and other social networks.  Then we see trends… like Myspace slowing down. Why does that happen? Well… fundamental knowledge again… its the same need of humans to belong to communities; only now the community is moving to facebook.

So, one of the important areas you can consider to focus on to accumulate fundamental knowledge is study humans and how they behave.

3. Look for Practitioners: In the entrepreneurial world, Practitioners are entrepreneurs who are successful and who are willing to teach. They don’t have to teach you one on one –  you can learn from them by looking for any books, blogs which they write and/or following them. Keep looking for fundamental knowledge from them as they too rely on fundamental knowledge through which they interpret the world… and chances are you will learn a lot quicker and a lot more with them around you than without them!

Special thanks to Robert Kiyosaki for the inspiration for this story.


Vijay Peduru is an entrepreneur in the bay area and is the co-founder of a bootstrapped startup. His interests are bootstrapping, leadership and spirituality.

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