Being in control of your current venture, while staying open to opportunities is a huge balancing act.
I recently spoke with Los Angeles entrepreneur and philanthropist, Blake B. Johnson who is the founder of IMCA Captial. I picked Blakes brain to see the ways he balances his current ventures, while simultaneously--and successfully--pursuing new opportunities.
We discussed the challenges entrepreneurs face when trying to consistently achieve such high goals, and make the most of their opportunities. This made me wonder about what it takes for an entrepreneur to be successful in both their current endeavors while staying open to new possibilities.
If you are an entrepreneur who finds yourself closed off to new ventures or areas of improvement, here are some two crucial ways to stay open to opportunities that come your way.
1. Strong entrepreneurs look for openings in the market.
One of the primary ways entrepreneurs grasp new opportunities is to look for pain points in the market. This is the foundation of most business plans. Still, many entrepreneurs also explore and invest in niche ideas.
What products or services do your ventures not currently provide that you see an audience for? How could you grow your businesses so that they become more affordable and inclusive for more and more people?
Blake Johnson explained that he--and most other entrepreneurs-- finds that it's critical to think about how new opportunities could benefit other people. As a philanthropist, Blake frequently contributes to organizations like the International Justice Mission, Big Brothers and Sisters, the Boy Scouts, and more (he even sits on a few boards). This is in line with his venture, Currency Capital which aims to provide equipment funding for hard-working small businesses.
Entrepreneurship is not only about financial gain for yourself but finding a need in the market. A lot of times this need can help people and positively impact their lives.
Opportunities like this can serve entrepreneurs public relations, social good, and networking needs all in one. By giving your time or your money to causes and organizations who have nothing to do with your companies goals, you open up space to be a part of new experiences. You provide yourself with opportunities to learn about real impact. For an entrepreneur, adding this value into your life can completely transform the way you work, learn, and grow into your success.
2. Being a good entrepreneur means prioritizing your learning.
One of the hardest parts about entrepreneurship is being able to focus on the task at hand while staying open to new business, and learning opportunities. Still, entrepreneurs who master this duality are the ones who continue to succeed. Being able to do this not only makes you a better leader, but it also makes you a more knowledgeable entrepreneur all together.
Mark Cuban said it best when he stated, "It's not about money or connections--it's the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone...And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time."
To be a successful entrepreneur you need to be extremely passionate about outworking, and outlearning everyone else in your industry. A brilliant way to do this is by always being open to new opportunities. You can't let your endless schedule shut you off from those new business and growth opportunities.
Make time for conferences where you can learn from others, even though it might eat up your weekend. Go to networking events where you can make connections, and pick the brains of other titans in your field. Thinking about jumping on the blockchain bandwagon? Offer to be an advisor on someone in your networks ICO. Always be working to find new opportunities that you can learn from.