By Jared Goetz, founder and CEO of the eCom Hacks Academy
What is an opportunistic entrepreneur? Thought leader and speaker Jesse Torres has described opportunistic entrepreneurs as people who are prepared for any opportunity, don’t aim to be flawless, find opportunities to exploit and are ready to work hard.
I’ve found that some of my best opportunities and successes have come from my ability to jump into new situations without hesitation. Overthinking an opportunity or waiting for the perfect chance can end up hurting your entrepreneurial spirit.
A big lesson that I’ve learned from being a successful e-commerce marketer is that most things work out even better when you don’t have a perfect plan in place. It’s more beneficial to get started and get the creative juices flowing because, often times, things don’t work out as you expected anyway.
So, how do you become an opportunistic entrepreneur? Below, I’ll share the steps that I have taken to set myself up for success.
Expand your opportunistic viewpoint.
The more experiences you have, the more you can develop new viewpoints. Experiences in any capacity are helpful -- traveling, reading books, trying new food and hobbies, and putting yourself in situations in spite of your fears.
Constantly putting yourself in new situations and stepping out of your comfort zone will train your brain to take advantage of more opportunities. You won’t be able to expand your perspective and creativity without new experiences. Getting into the habit of trying new things allows you to search for and discover new opportunities without even realizing it.
Have meaningful conversations with others, research topics that interest you and spend time doing activities that are out of your element. Walk through every door that opens for you. You never know where your next idea or opportunity will stem from.
Travel and expand your world views.
Traveling has been the best way for me to expand my opportunistic viewpoint and world views. It’s so important to learn from one another, meet new people and experience other cultures. Ask yourself this: Who do you think is going to have more opportunities in their lives -; the person who stayed in one place or the person who got out there and experienced new things?
I spent time in China and discovered a product that I could bring to the United States. Was I interested in this type of product before the trip? No, but I saw an opportunity to bring a product into a new market and it seemed like an easy win. I immersed myself in bringing the product to the U.S. I went to trade shows, talked to manufacturers and researched costs. I didn’t overthink anything, I just went for it.
The product ended up being a success in the U.S. market, and it all happened because I was in China putting myself out there and exploring new things. A big part of being an opportunistic entrepreneur is leveraging your world views and experiences.
Never doubt that your experiences will lead to new opportunities.
You never know where your next opportunity will come from, and it won’t just show up and hit you in the face. You have to go find it. Some of the best entrepreneurs have taken advantage of simple opportunities and turned them into something much bigger.
For example, Jim Poss was walking down the streets of Boston when he noticed an issue with trash vehicles and litter. He saw a way to improve this with an innovative solution. This led to him founding his company, which is now a global leader in waste management.
When you see opportunities, don’t get overwhelmed. Take it one necessary step at a time and build something from the opportunity. Start with a problem you have directly experienced in your life. Connect it to your expertise and take a chance -; you never know where it might lead.
Avoid perfection paralysis by jumping right in.
Perfection paralysis is common when you’re trying to dive head first into anything, especially your entrepreneurial goals. I know the feeling all too well. You have a vision of what you want something to look like, and sometimes you get too nervous to start it because of the fear that it won’t be perfect or turn out how you envisioned.
The solution? Take your first step and stop thinking about it so much. You have to embody the action-taker mindset and just do it. Generating any kind of movement is better than any type of paralysis. Generating movement leads to new opportunities, new doors opening and new possibilities. You never want to be stuck in one place because of your fear of imperfection.
Are you ready to embrace your inner opportunistic entrepreneur and reach your goals?
Jared Goetz is founder and CEO of the eCom Hacks Academy, an online course and consulting firm based in West Palm Beach.