“Most people would not be able to recognize an opportunity even if it bit them on the nose!” (A famous statement from one of my aunts). As an entrepreneur, I’m confronted with so many opportunities that I am often just overwhelmed. It’s like a wave that just keeps rolling in!
A few years ago (one Saturday morning), my wife asked me to go shopping with her near our home in London. (Yes, it happens to me, too; I’m a husband and a dad!) Like most husbands, I got bored after a while and stopped to have a coffee whilst she continued.
After drinking my coffee, I realized I was not carrying cash for the coffee. It was such a small amount.
“Why don’t you just swipe your card?” the shop assistant said.
“It’s called Tap and Pay. It’s for small amounts.”
“Tap and Pay. Swipe.” New terms to me!
I did it, then pulled out my smartphone and took a picture of the device in the shop.
I then sent an email to the CEO of Cassava.
“Take look at this,” I wrote. “This could be a very interesting concept for our mobile money platform. It’s called ‘swipe and pay’.”
“We can swipe using a mobile phone.”
“Let’s see if we can develop our own hybrid model around this concept. Instead of people swiping with a card, as they do in London, let’s change the software to use a mobile phone.”
The marketing guys decided to promote it as “EcoCash Swipe.” It would take months. Lots of iterations. Lots of mistakes, too, including a customer rejection of an earlier model.
It became a huge business for EcoCash and Cassava!
I’m not the only person in our organization who does this. All day we have emails flying up and down with this type of discussion. The more we get, the better it is!
__It is not true that “opportunity only knocks once”!
It is all around you, and the door is wide open! So why don’t we all see these opportunities? The reason is simple: You are not looking for them.
You have to be #WiredForOpportunity!
Keep your (entrepreneurial) eyes open.
The businesses that you see all around you, all started somewhere, and probably just like this.
As a young entrepreneur, I loved reading autobiographies by entrepreneurs on how they got started. And whenever I met an entrepreneur, I just soaked in how they moved from idea to start-up.
It gave me inspiration and it sustained me when things would get tough.
I tell you these little snippets for the same reason: Be encouraged today because you are on your way to building a really good business.
Today is not the day to quit!
To be continued. . .