I had to make my own living and my own opportunity. But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.
~Madam C. J. Walker African-American Entrepreneur & Philanthropist
Founder & CEO of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos was browsing one day and then discovered that the internet was growing at an annual rate of 2, 000%. With his experience at Fitel where he succeeded in building a financial trading platform for the company, he could immediately see the market potential for ecommerce! What does he sell? He compiled a long list of items and then narrowed them to two: books and music. With the startling fact that 1.3million books were in print as against 300, 000 music titles at the time, he is on record to have said, “I will change the economics of the book industry. That was what led him to quit Wall Street and head for Seattle. Amazon.com named after the world’s largest river in South America opened its doors for business in July 1995.
Business opportunities are all around us, but it takes those who are well positioned to be able to discover such. For instance, there are countless stories of Ghanaian entrepreneurs who spotted and maximized business opportunities that others did not pay much attention to. We believe their stories will inspire you. This is just a few of such entrepreneurs: Kwasi Twum identified an opportunity for private radio station in 1995. Having identified the broadcast media space as his main entrepreneurial gift, he has focused on it and grown bigger over the years into the current Multimedia Group Ltd. Koby Asmah started TYPE Company Ltd when he realized that the printer market in Ghana was characterized by poor standards and dissatisfied clients. He decided to venture into printing with difference in quality having relied on some print shops in Accra New Town for years. Mrs. Elizabeth Villars started Camelot when she identified an opportunity to produce customized pay slips for VRA in 1974 to set up her own company. Successful entrepreneurs know how to seize opportunities in the marketplace. We cannot overemphasize the fact that, opportunity seeking is an integral component of entrepreneurial success.
Your attitude towards life’s opportunities will determine how far your business can go as an entrepreneur. Richard Duncan, President of Rich Duncan Construction in Salem, Ore advises that: “Successful entrepreneurs must be willing to “take the bull by the horns.” An entrepreneur willing to take on great new ideas or adjust to changes as fast as a bull will charge will prove successful in his or her business. As there is often a fine line between success and failure, an entrepreneur must manage the fear of failure, as well as balance it with the excitement of success; finding the correct balance to fight the fear and bravely take on the challenges will have great reward. The most successful entrepreneurs think independently, being certain “that I can do it better.” This independent and confident thinking is crucial to your success. It will motivate you and manoeuvre your company to success by allowing adaptability to flourish. Being nimble and allowing change when and where it’s needed goes hand in hand with success; independent thinking accomplishes this required mind-set”.
Adolf Dassler at the age of twenty founded Adidas, sporting goods company. The company today is the world’s second biggest sports equipment manufacturer (after Nike with products ranging from footwear to clothing accessories, focusing on running, football, basketball etc. It possesses one of the world’s most iconic brands, a distinctive logo of three stripes. It remains the leading brand in Europe and is number one worldwide for sports apparel. The company seems to have lived to its slogan that says, “Impossible is nothing”. Adolf is credited as the first entrepreneur to use sports promotion to raise awareness of his products. German –born Adolf Dassler, nicknamed Adi, was an avid sportsman with a passion for extreme sports, having even built his own ski jump. A keen runner as well, like many other entrepreneurs, spotted a gap in the market-the need for better shoes–one that enhanced performance and went beyond functionality. Adi had originally trained as a baker, but he had a heritage steeped in shoes as his father was a cobbler. With a vision to produce ideal sports shoes, it seemed his destiny was set for him to follow in his father footsteps.
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