In business, everyone has dreams. We dream of starting successful companies and creating innovative products that make life easier and better for everyone. We dream of leaving the 9-to-5 world to pursue our own interests in business.
Dreaming big when it comes to business is good for you. But turning a dream into reality takes work, and it takes courage. You need to be able to recognize opportunities and to seize them when they come along. Thinking back over my own life, I can give you some examples of times that I've needed to overcome fears to seize opportunities:
- To move to the United States.
- To list my first real estate listing.
- To become a cast member on "Million Dollar Listing."
- To broker multi-million dollar deals.
- What are some of the steps you can take to recognize and seize opportunities?
Getting motivated in business
To succeed in business, you must be motivated. Motivation is the root of all action, and to take advantage of opportunity when it comes along, you have to be ready to act. To get motivated, you need to set specific goals based on your dreams.
If you're dreaming of starting a business, what steps will you take to get that moving? You'll need to create a business plan, think about funding and space for your business, recruit personnel and kick off your marketing to bring in customers. Each of those components requires motivation and thorough planning.
If you want to ask for that promotion, formulate a specific plan for approaching your supervisor; know what you will say and specifically what you'll request.
Motivation comes from inspiration and excitement. Talk to other people who are doing what you want to do, and find out how they did it. Read inspiring books, listen to podcasts and watch TV shows that get you excited about your goals.
Using integrity in business
Integrity is the core of what makes you unique. It's your commitment to honor values that are important to you, whether that's honesty, accuracy, persistence, empathy or other virtues. Using your personality characteristics such as empathy can make you successful in business, for example, by understanding customer needs and taking action to meet them.
Conquering your fears
Everyone is afraid--it's human nature. What sets you apart is acting in spite of your fear. It helps to take a step back and figure out what you're truly afraid of. Do you fear failure? Decide what failure means to you; what's the worst-case scenario? Do you fear ridicule from others?
When you take a big step in business such as starting your own company, you will be afraid. To succeed, you'll keep moving forward anyway. Naming and confronting your fears helps you conquer them and move on.
Where some people see an obstacle, others see opportunity. As humans, our survival instinct makes us prone to seeing the bad in everything, and we get overwhelmed easily. When you're feeling discouraged and ready to give up, see it as an opportunity to try a different method. Learn something new, take on a new project, talk to different people--the possibilities are endless.
A crisis can often be an opportunity wearing a disguise. When you lose a job, it can feel like the end of the world. But in reality, it could be a new beginning for making your dreams come true. To act on opportunities, you first have to recognize them.
Whether you believe it or not, you are creative. In meetings, speak up if you have an innovative idea. Don't stifle your creativity because you're afraid of being wrong. Even if your colleagues don't agree with your ideas, they will begin to view you as a creative person who consistently uses their brain power to try to better the company.
If you can unleash that creativity that's inside you, it will help you in any number of situations. Use it when you're coming up with ideas for your business, for finding funding and for getting past various obstacles--or seizing opportunities.
Be willing to fail
To take the first step toward opportunity, you have to be open to the possibility of failure. Forbes magazine even points out the benefits of failure.
Failure makes us recognize what's most important, the magazine notes. It reveals who your true friends are, and it forces you to brainstorm new possibilities and uncover new resources. It also makes you resilient, and it makes you humble. It absolves you of the responsibility to be perfect all the time.
Find the benefit of starting over
Nothing can motivate you in business like a fresh slate, a new beginning. Is it really possible to start over in business? Absolutely! But you have to do it with a plan in mind. You must learn from what went wrong before. You have to look at life with fresh eyes and see opportunities where before, you saw only obstacles.
An old proverb says that every end is a new beginning. If you're starting over with a new dream, you've probably learned some lessons in life. Use those to muster your motivation to start fresh. Remember that you are making your own choice to start anew.
Perception can create reality
Dreams are the stuff life is made of, especially in business. Whether you want to climb the corporate ladder, find a new job or start your own business, you can make your dreams reality. But it's going to take courage to spot and seize opportunities that come your way.
You can conquer your fears. To do so, find your personal motivation by setting goals. Know your own character and what integrity means to you. Work to recognize opportunity, even if it looks like an obstacle. Use your creativity to find new ways of doing things. Learn from failures, and be willing to start over. You can find the will to turn your dreams into reality. I'll be rooting for you.
Fredrik Eklund is the star of Bravo's Million Dollar Listing New York and the Nation's #1 Real Estate Broker. His new book, The Sell: The Secrets of Selling Anything to Anyone, is published by Avery Books and is available NOW. For more information, visit www.fredrikeklund.com. Connect with Fredrik on Twitter and Instagram @FredrikEklundNY.