Successful business leaders consistently articulate that they are always looking for and seizing new opportunities to expand their business. Of course on the surface this seems obvious, but if it were, why do so many business professionals fail to see new opportunities when they arise? What is it that sets apart those who are quick to see opportunities and seize them? In my discussions with those business owners, I identified the following traits:
1. They are curious about many things but choose to only focus on those few things they are passionate about. This sounds very much like Steve Jobs’s mantra and we all know how that worked out.
2. They constantly ask themselves who and how? Is doing what I do better, and how are they doing it? Just take a look at Green Mountain Coffee’s move to acquire Keurig and how it revolutionized Green Mountain and coffee service.
3. They surround themselves with positive productive people in all aspects of their lives and business. We all know that who you surround yourself with and the messages they deliver profoundly impacts personal and professional outcomes.
4. They realize all opportunities, no matter how large or small, require understanding, buy in, support and collaboration with their team. For this reason they focus on leading their organization vs. owning it.
5. They are avid learners. They realize that the average person in business reads one book per year, which puts things in perspective as to why they are average.
In Summary:
Based on the above findings, how would you rate yourself on a scale of 1-5 (1-lowest, 5-highest)? No matter what your score, we can all improve on seeing and seizing opportunities. As Milton Berle once said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

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