If you’re trying to become an entrepreneur, then one of the things you might have wondered is this: how do you know when it’s the right time to seize an opportunity?
The answer that I have come to after many years of running my own business—several of them, in fact—is this. The right time to seize an opportunity is when I can see it through till the end.
This is important to consider because there are so many opportunities that will come your way in this lifetime. Just last night, I got a call saying, “Why don’t we do this, Sean? This business idea seems great, and there’s another big company doing this. There’s still a lot of room to grow in the market and we can come in as a new player.”
It’s a common experience for me, and I’m sure you’ve experienced the same. But, I said to this person “Well yes, that does seem like a good business, and I can help with the digital marketing, sure. But what’s going to be our differentiator? I don’t want us to be a “me too” business.”
Now, why did I shoot this opportunity down? It’s because if we’re a “me too” business with no selling point, and no way to stand out from the sea of other “me too” businesses, then our clients will be crappy.
They’re the ones that didn’t go for the best in the industry or the biggest supplier. Because of that, they’re going to be tough deals. They’re going to either lowball you with their price or not pay you on time. Worst case scenario, they’re not going to pay you at all.
There has to be a unique differentiator and core competence for me to say, okay, that’s a good business, let’s do it. Otherwise, I’m just going to focus on growing my company—SEO Hacker—because that’s a good business. It’s where I really know the work I’m doing, and I really know where we should go, and where we can grow.
Because my company has these things, it also gives me the most returns. I’d rather be working here than investing my time and money into other businesses, rather than becoming a board member in a company that I don’t quite believe in.
I feel this way especially when this opportunity means I’ll have to be an industrial partner—where I have to strategize, execute, and simply get more work done to see returns. I’d honestly rather invest all of that into SEO Hacker.
So these are the things that go into my mind before I try to seize an opportunity that comes my way.
And, I learned that sometimes the best way to seize an opportunity is to say no. So you seize it and you throw it away. Get on. Just say no because you’re going to waste your time, resources, and ultimately your life chasing all of these opportunities.
So just make your opportunity which you can control, and make it grow, blow it up to as big as it can. And then someday, when people want you to invest, and you see it’s a good investment, just invest small amounts and become a silent board member.
I went into business because I want to have more time for myself and for my family. I don’t want to become a billionaire. It’s never been my dream to become filthy rich, so I don’t invest in so many of these other opportunities, whether in effort or money, because it will steal away from what matters most to me.
So I’ve covered how I know the right times to seize opportunities, but how do you even come across them in the first place? Well, 100% it all comes down to your connections.
Let me tell you a story. One of my first biggest clients was Uratex. How did I get to close this deal? It was a serendipitous moment, right? I was on the LRT, and here I saw an upperclassman—Harry Uy—and we got to talking during the ride. He asked me what I was doing at the time, and I said I was working at HP and doing SEO on the side, and by chance, his aunt was looking for that service. He referred me, I got to meet with Uratex, and they became my client for five years.
It’s no exaggeration when I say that connection and closing of that deal helped me start SEO Hacker. Before that deal, I only had two clients. And not only was Uratex a great client, but they also connected me to their sister company, Roberts Automotive Parts Manufacturing, which is still our client today.
I appreciate that loyalty from them, to be honest. I appreciate Uratex so much. And, I appreciate Harry so much. And all of these serendipitous events were made possible by number one, because of God’s grace. But number two, because of my connection with Harry Uy.
And before that, connections were helping me grow my small business. The very first big client I got was Scuba World, and that was possible because I met a lady in Hong Kong, and we just happened to sit beside each other.
We made small talk, and she said her uncle needed SEO, and that she would refer me. Now, I didn’t expect anything out of that interaction since we had just met, but she remembered me anyways, and referred me to her uncle, just like she said she would.
And that was how I was able to close my first big client—and make my breakthrough in the industry.
You can see how connections are a very, very big deal. And up until today, I’ve made it a point to get my ass up from the couch, out of my house, and connect with people.
So, that’s two things for you to keep in mind if you’re trying to find and seize opportunities and grow as a businessman or entrepreneur. First, keep making connections. Once you have that, opportunities will come your way. If you’re like me, I highly recommend waiting for a business you can see following through till the end, and investing small and becoming a silent board member in these great opportunities.