#Asia How to identify unique opportunities as an entrepreneur

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Forging your own specific path is a vital step in becoming a successful entrepreneur

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I cannot help but think about this idea on a daily basis: The world seems full of people who are generally at peace with doing the bare minimum, climbing whatever ladder they happen to fall on and then complaining after. “I have no money!” “I have no freedom!” “I hate my job!” Sound familiar?

Entrepreneurship is all about being able to identify opportunities at the right time and having the wherewithal to make the best of them. It is not easy to make it big in this arena, nor is success guaranteed. So many people still hold onto their dream of being their own boss and running their own business because entrepreneurship offers a challenging, highly creative environment where there is virtually no limit on success. A successful entrepreneur is a creature like no other, an individual who is willing to explore opportunities that no one else would dare approach, a person who is not just willing, but keen to do the thing nobody else will do.

From inspiration to business launch

Many successful businesses began as an inspired idea. Who would have imagined that a flea market would capture the world’s fancy and catapult the originator to global fame and financial success? That is exactly what happened with eBay. The idea was simple and it was not novel. However, the multimillion-dollar business took shape only because of Pierre Omidyar’s unique ability to draw inspiration from the ordinary and transform it to cater to the present day market. Despite probably being laughed at when first proposing the idea, today Omidyar is a 31-year-old billionaire.

Spotting the gaps and bridging them

Winner of the UK’s Kalixa Pro Outstanding Small Business of the Year Award 2014, Sam King talks about how she set up Limelace.co.uk when she realised that people would love to buy gifts and home interiors that were way out of ordinary. The marketplace for gifts or home décor may have been saturated, but within this segment, King realised that there is little in terms of exclusivity. She made the best of this opportunity to position herself firmly in this gap. By looking beyond the obvious and navigating through all the noise and clutter and by being a creative hustler, King did what no one else was doing and made her business idea a success.

Also Read: How to actualise your next big business idea

Embracing challenges

Challenges are the lifeblood of entrepreneurship. When you prepare yourself to face them, you also prepare to overcome the single most troubling obstacle to success. The entrepreneur’s biggest enemy is fear of failure. All too often, a startup owner who is on the verge of a breakthrough takes a step back just out of fear, when a single step ahead would have taken them to crowning success. Risks are always present, but it is necessary to remember that these risks may just be screening incredible opportunities. There are many situations when doing the right thing or the practical thing or doing what everyone else would have done is just not the best you can do. These are times when you should forge ahead and do what no one else will to achieve successes that come only to the truly gifted entrepreneurs.

Committing to do what no one else will

Writing this, I am reminded of my constant progression to go above and beyond. Not in a high-brow kind of way, but in a “if everyone is going right, let me see what happens if I go left” way. It is very reminiscent of advice a mentor has told me over and over again: “If you do the same thing as everyone else, you will get the same results. But if you strive to do things differently than everyone else, expect different results.” Whether it is in developing my consulting business, working with brands on their strategy, or even looking at pricing models for my SaaS mobile app, I do what can to be different and stand out from the crowd.

Steven Picanza is an Entrepreneur and Brand Strategist with a core purpose centered around connecting people, products and organisations with their core audience. With 10+ years experience, it is his “glass is always full” type of attitude coupled with his sheer candor and entrepreneurial spirit that drives him to bring authenticity back into the industry, serve as a catalyst for progress and inspire the next generation to do the same.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organisation comprising the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship programme that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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