Years ago, two salesmen were sent by a British shoe manufacturer to Africa to investigate and report back on market potential. The first salesman reported back, “There is no potential here – nobody wears shoes.”
The second salesman reported back, “There is massive potential here – nobody wears shoes.”
A situation may be viewed in two extremely different ways – negatively or positively. This is the reason why most of us do not identify an opportunity.
How can we identify an opportunity?
- Think positive: Our thoughts matter a lot. This is what I alluded to in my previous post. Positive thinking helps us seize the opportunities that come our way. Even in the current times of COVID-19, an unprecedented health and economic crisis, people have managed to explore opportunities. We see plenty of examples during lock downs – learning on line, sharing skills on line, working on line as well as helping others – that are truly inspirational. Even people not comfortable in using technology have managed to learn and use it. This proves the immense potential of human beings to learn and adapt.
- Take action: Do what you can in a given situation, no matter how complex it is. This however happens only if we think positive. Staying positive and focused, enables us to take action whereas negativity brings in despair and inaction. No matter how strong the winds are, a skilful sailor keeps his destination in mind or changes the destination to sail towards a new horizon.
- Seek help: It may be difficult to handle a complex situation alone. Rather than feeling frustrated with a problem and giving up, talk to people and seek help. Richard Branson has advised well, “ If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.