By Arionne Alyssa Nettles, AviBrand’s Chief Pilot
It may be November, but there’s no reason you can’t find opportunity as the temps start to drop, and everyone gets into holiday mode. In fact, it is the perfect time to take advantage of other people’s slowdown and find opportunities within your field to stand out.
The best way to do this is to work toward a new accomplishment, which is actually easier than you may think. So, snuggle up with your laptop and red-cupped Starbucks, and get to work this month.
1. The Brainiac
A great way to find opportunity is just to be better — better than you used to be and better than the competition.
In every industry, customers and clients want the best option they can get. It’s why no matter how hard tech companies try, not a single one has been able to take away Apple’s massive market share. In just the mobile phone sector, for example, the iPhone has over 44 percent of smartphone subscribers, according to a July report by comScore.
Be like Apple: be the best at what you do. Commit to taking classes or trainings and practicing your skill multiple times a week.
2. The Problem-Solver
Businesses are built on need. If no one needed anything, your field wouldn’t exist. So if you can find a way to solve a problem that is currently affecting your industry, you’ll be a winner.
The problem you address doesn’t have to be a large one, either. Just look at Warby Parker. (Raise your hand if you hate going to the eye doctor for fear that you’ll have to sell your first-born child for a new pair of specs.) WP sells only one product: glasses. And not just any glasses, but an array of well-crafted and designed glasses at a much more affordable price. The company takes it a step further with its social responsibility — providing eyewear for those in need around the world.
Be on the lookout for problems that you can solve effectively, giving value to your customer. This same approach works both as an entrepreneur and while working for others.
3. The Advancer
Sometimes, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just make it better. If you can take something that’s just okay and make it amazing, you’ll be seen as the star that you are. Really.
We see this a lot in the social media tech space. Whatever company can capitalize on what people want at the moment wins. Twitter’s Vine platform took people’s love for video and ran with it. Then, Instagram hopped on the train and added it to its app. Later, Snapchat came through and realized that people want to share their whole lives and have it disappear in 24 hours. Periscope took advantage of people’s desire be where their favorite influencers are and made live streaming popular. It might become social’s newest phenomenon. Go figure.
Whatever company can stay on top of what people wants, wins so don’t be afraid to make something better. If you don’t, someone else will.
4. The Innovator
Sometimes, the market doesn’t know what it wants. In the words of Henry Ford, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Note: there’s a ton of debate as to whether or not Ford truly said this phrase, but its meaning remains true. Nobody was checking for cars until Ford created the Ford Model T in 1908. Why? Because they didn’t know what a car was.
It all sounds simple, but being ahead of the curve is a trait that few have and even fewer people act on. If you’re in touch with your industry, you know what people want before they even do and there’s opportunity in going that extra mile to push that new thing.
- List at least three opportunities in each category that your industry needs. Don’t worry about execution or feasibility yet, just brainstorm.
- Choose the opportunity in each category that appeals to you the most. Are there any that you’re excited about?
- Out of the four, choose the opportunity that you can execute (either with resources you have or that you would want to get).
- Save this idea and start to think about how you can get a running start on it in the next two months. We’ll use it later for more planning!
Arionne Alyssa Nettles is AviBrand’s Chief Pilot and a professional storyteller—journalist, business writer, and content marketer—who specializes in helping people and businesses share their stories. She loves to help brands create content that can leave a mark with their target markets, but as founder and editor-in-chief of Urban Shake Magazine, journalism is her real superpower. When she’s not training for a race or enjoying a good “champagne campaign,” she’s teaching Chicago-area teens the power of words through Write Chicago’s “sicker than your average” writing workshops.