Tag Archives: Vision

Assess Opportunities Wisely

assess opportunities wisely

As we begin a new year many of us will be looking for and assessing new opportunities,  I know from experience that when a new opportunity crops up, excitement kicks in and sound judgement and wisdom can sometimes fly out the window.  There are a few things I’ve learnt on the matter along the way (sometimes the hard way) that I thought I’d share with you.

When I was just starting out in my career I used to grasp at every opportunity that came my way with zeal, I was beginning at ground zero and felt that I needed to take and make the best of every opportunity that came my way. A few years later, I’m equally as grateful for the opportunities I’m given, just a lot more cautious about those I pursue. As the saying goes I’ve gotten a little older and wiser, and I’ve come to realise the following:

1.  Not every opportunity is a legitimate opportunity

There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death
- Proverbs 14:12 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Some opportunities sound great on the surface but if you dig a little deeper you’ll soon fnd out that they’re not quite the opportunities they’re made out to be. Here are a few examples that come to mind;

  • Ponzi schemes that are often presented as a great way to get rich quick
  • 100% mortgages that were all the rage in the early 2000′s
  • That job that looked so great on paper but turned out to be a living nightmare

2.  A good opportunity may not be good for you

Sometimes good opportunities may come your way that sound great and really are great, but they’re just not right for you. Perhaps the timing is wrong e.g. maybe you get a great job offer just as you decide to start a family. Or a great investment comes your way, but as good as it is, raisng the capital would put your family under a great deal of pressure.

3.  Not every opportunity will come to fruition

People will offer you opportunities sometimes with the best of intentions but for one reason or another they just dont happen. Perhaps people pull  out, circumstances change or the opportunity just disappears, so best not to count those chickens before they hatch.

Like I said in a previous post, I think 2015 will be a year of amazing opportunities that will be worth pursuing, but I also believe wisdom and prudence are always necessary. So here are some tips I’ve found useful when it comes to assessing opportunities wisely:

1.  Assess the opportunity objectively

Make sure you know all the facts and  that you have a complete picture of the opportunity at hand. Ask as many questions as possible, some that come to mind include:

  • Who are the people / who is the organisation behind the opportunity? Are they credible?
  • What is required of you – e.g. time, money?
  • What are they offerring you (in detail)?
  • How will it impact your image, reputation and credibility?

Always be sure to request information in writing so that there is a paper trail of some kind.

2.  Consider how it fit’s into your own vision

Too often we let opportunities dictate the vision and we go wherever the wind blows. In fact you should already have a vision for your life and sense of the direction you want your life to take. That vision should be the benchmark upon which you assess the opportunities that come your way.  This is linked to my third point above.

3.  Seek advice and counsel

Where no wise guidance is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
- Proverbs 11:14 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Before making an important decision it’s always wise to seek advice from those you trust and or have more experience than you do. They often have a more objective perspective and often have experience to pull from that you may not.

As a Christian, for me assessing opportunities wisely also means prayer and delving into the Bible, as it is most definitely my guide book for life.

I hope you find these tips useful and here’s to pursuing some great opportunities this year, with wisdom and sound judgement.

Speak soon,
Katrina

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Listen To Your Market But Don’t Lose Sight Of Your Vision

vision

I was led to write this post based on this quote I recently read in a book called Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days:

“ It’s good to be market-driven in the sense that you should know what’s going on, but you can’t let your customers drive your product development. You need to be able to develop on behalf of your customers, but they often don’t know what they want.”  - David Heinemeier, Partner at Basecamp (formerly 37 signals)

A lot of times when starting out in business we will do anything to get and keep a customer, because of cause no customers equals no business.

However, it’s so easy to get caught up in just getting a customer that we lose sight of the type of customers that we actually want. All customers are not created equal, some customers are better for your business than others.

Think 80/20 rule,  in most businesses 20% of the customers drive 80% of the revenue, so focus on finding and taking care of those high value customers that have needs that are perfectly suited to what you offer. The best place to start is with buyer personas, what do your ideal customers look like? This ebook 101Handy Questions to Ask When Developing a Buyer Persona will help you to build a picture of your ideal customers that you can use as a benchmark for everything you do.

But before you even get to your customers it’s important to define your vision what is the image of your business that has been placed on your heart?

I like this quote from a book I’m reading by Myles Munroe – The Principles and Power of Vision;

“To find your vision you have to look within yourself where God has placed it. The key is this: God’s will is as close to us as our most persistent thought and deepest desires”

Don’t let anyone distract you from the vision not even your customers. I say this because many business owners have ended up with businesses that they never intended to have, because they allowed customers or others to dictate or derail their vision. It’s great to get customer opinions and a lot of times their suggestions will make parts of your business better. But it’s important to know when to say no. If you realise that a customer wants something beyond what you offer, if it’s outside the scope of your vision for your business, don’t be afraid to direct them to a competitor that may be better suited to accommodate their needs. Often you’ll be doing yourself a favour and them too in the long run.

We have been conditioned to think that the customer is always right, in actual fact they are not. As stated in the quote at the beginning of this post, quite often they don’t know what they want. How many of us knew we needed a smartphone or tablet before Apple came up with the iPhone and iPad?

It can feel as though the customer holds all the cards especially when starting a new business and every new customer feels like you’ve won the lottery, but remember a business transaction is mutually beneficial,  yes the customer is paying you but you are also offering something of value.

My point is this, have a vision and stay true to it – build the business you want not the one you’ve been railroaded into creating. Don’t let gaining customers cause you to lose sight of your vision and the dream that has been placed in your heart.

So I’ll leave you with this, a beautiful example of a company that’s decided to stay true to it’s vision.

Speak soon,
Katrina

 

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