Posts Tagged ‘opportunity’

Spin a new idea

November 3, 2009

You’ve seen them on every corner – the sign spinners that seem to combine dance, rap, skateboarding and surfing.  And yes they do get your attention.  Max Durovic and Michael Kenny, now 25 and 26-year-olds, devised stunts with signs simply to stave off boredom in their simple sign-holding jobs.

We tend to think that any great idea needs to be complicated, using sophisticated technology, and requiring venture capital or at least a big bank loan.  Max and Michael now train others in the moves that are leading their company (Aarow Advertising) to a projected $5 million income this year.  Their 500 spinning employees earn at least $25 an hour, but a real virtuoso will command $70.  Justin Brown, Aarow’s director of training, says, “Sign spinning is a lot like ballroom dancing, except your partner has no life of its own.  Giving the sign its life and personality is a spinner’s true task.” 

Now think about the subtle difference between poverty and prosperity.  I’ve seen guys all over town here in Franklin, TN – guys with not much going on who are paid $7 an hour to stand on a corner with a sign.  Often you see them with the sign propped up while they listen to their iPod or read a book.  The thinking is likely – Hey I’m not paid much, I’ll just take it easy.  How much difference is there in education, age, work history or intelligence between a $7 an hour worker and a $70 an hour one?   That’s right – none of those things makes any difference.  But somewhere someone with a $7 an hour job saw an opportunity to be different – to stand out from the crowd.  And to potentially earn 10 times what they had been making. 

How many people now mowing yards, flipping hamburgers, filing papers, cashiering at Mapco, cleaning hotel rooms, changing oil, dispensing movie tickets, sweeping up popcorn, washing windows, directing construction traffic, or driving a mail route are one idea away from a big opportunity?   Where the chance to do it differently would give them 10 times their current income?

And now the last question:   Are you sitting on top of your opportunity?


March 21, 2009

Remember the old carnival game – Whack-a-Mole.  You would hold a mallet of some kind in your hand and when the little mole popped up, you’d whack him on the head.  However, as soon as you whacked one, another one would pop up someplace else. 

This week Joanne and I want to the annual Lawn and Garden Show here in Nashville.  We always love getting new ideas for our yard. This year we talked to several companies about building a water feature right in front of our house.  The entire show was bursting with activity.  It appears that while people are traveling less they are now more interested in improving their homes as the place for physical and spiritual restoration. 

And so it goes.  I see the same phenomenon in business that we see in Whack-a-Mole.  When one business lags, another explodes.  If your business is suffering, what is the counterpart that is thriving?  Can you benefit from that?  If appliances aren’t selling, then you can be sure appliance repair is up.  If new car sales are in the tank, used cars are thriving. 

In Think and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill said, “Every adversity, every failure, and every heartache carries with it the Seed of an equivalent or a greater Benefit.”

Have you found the greater benefit flip side of your current adversity? 

Incidentally, I won 7 Teddy Bears one time in a 30-minute stand at the Whack-a-Mole booth at Opryland years ago. My eye-hand coordination served me well.  And I believe that moles do pop up like that – but so do great opportunities for all of us in business.

Disaster or Opportunity? — You Decide

May 5, 2008

At 44 years old Phil had attained an amazing level of career success. Growing up in a family without TV he had developed an early appreciation of books. Now after 25 years in the publishing industry he was head of an $80 million division of one of the world’s largest and most respected publishers. He knew that being there was part of his calling. And yet he recognized a “growing dissonance” with the pressures from New York stockholders on the bottom line at the expense of product and customer focus. However, he assumed he needed to “suck it up, and stay – out of fear and a sense of responsibility.”His unrest was addressed on a fateful day in 2004 when, rather than receiving an expected promotion, he was given a severance package and the invitation to clean out his desk. While that experience was “scary and humbling,” Phil says his thought was, “You’ve answered the prayer of my heart – not my lips, but my heart.” He says he would never have taken the “risk” of leaving on his own.

Today Phil has capitalized on an exploding trend in publishing – downloadable audio books. His company, is a leading provider of audio books and Bibles. You may notice that he is one of our 48 Days recommended businesses. He simply found a new, innovative and fitting opportunity with even more potential for both time freedom and income than anything he had experienced in previous positions. In place of the challenges of a traditional publishing house, his “store” is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no employees, no physical inventory, and no limits to expansion. He is using every bit of his background, his valuable relationships and his unique expertise. He is still in publishing and, more importantly, is still fulfilling his same mission and calling in his life.

What a great example of taking one of those unexpected yet inevitable transitions that life brings us and using it as a springboard for even greater success – personally, in relationships and in creating balanced, fulfilling, purposeful and profitable work. Many of you are walking through similar transitions right now. Was losing your job or business a tragedy or a blessing? Are you expecting to use your background to create a more fulfilling new season in your life – or are you expecting less? Remember the Biblical truth: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

Check out Phil’s special offer for 48 Days members and readers of No More Mondays for The Word of Promise Audio Bible. You’ll hear the scripture come alive with readings by well know actors such as Jim Caviezel (Jesus in the Mel Gibson’s Passion movie), Richard Dreyfus, Lou Gossett Jr., Michael Smith, Rebecca St. James and others.