Turning Obstacles Into Opportunities

Updated: November 16, 2023

A question that I’m often asked is what’s a good business to put up today. This is difficult to answer because there are so many factors to consider.

Their passion and interests, among other things, will play a big role in how well they can run a particular business. For example, someone who loves to travel will probably not enjoy running a generics medicine pharmacy.

Thus, when asked that question, I often reply with advice to look around and observe. And then I ask them, “What problem do you want to solve?”

I’ve always believed that entrepreneurs are problem-solvers. The ones who succeed are those who can turn obstacles into opportunities.

This is the biggest difference between business owners and entrepreneurs. The former is in it simply for the profit, but the latter is doing it to make the world better.

Changing your perspective

Below is a famous optical illusion. Take a look at it and tell me what you see.

Did you see a rabbit or a duck? I hope you saw both. If not, then look at it again.

It’s important to note that both the rabbit and the duck exists in the image. However, it’s almost impossible to see both at the same time.

One has to change their perspective to shift from one image to another. This usually means literally telling our brains to look for the rabbit and ignore the duck, and vice versa.

And as you should realize, it is your mind that decides what you’ll see. You dictate which image you want to focus on.

Choose your focus

Most of our perceptions about things are like this. One image will stand out, but often there’s another image that can be seen if we alter how we look at it.

We face problems, that can be turned into possibilities. Defeat can come to us, or we can look at it as a fresh start.

Take for example, when someone cuts in front of you while you’re in line. The immediate reaction of most people would be to call out the person in anger. A few would even humiliate and insult them for what they did.

However, you can also look at this situation as an opportunity to practice diplomacy, patience, and even forgiveness.

Or let’s say it’s something more serious as losing your job. Are you going to be defeated by disappointment and self-pity? Or are you going to see this as an opportunity to explore new career paths?

You can linger and stare at the door that just closed. Or you can shift your focus and see the other doors that are available for you to enter.

Obstacles into opportunities

A friend wanted to celebrate her daughter’s first birthday. She and her husband are both full-time employees, so organizing the party was a challenge. They both had limited free time and a meager budget.

However, they were able to overcome these obstacles through meticulous planning and resourceful actions. The birthday celebration was fun and memorable for everyone.

A week after, knowing how stressful it was for her to organize the party, I asked if she’d be willing to do it again. She gave a positively surprising answer.

“Yes, because it was worth it in the end,” she replied. “But more than that, I believe that it’s not only me who experience this kind of challenge.”

“There are probably lots of parents out there who want to give their child a happy birthday celebration, but are faced with the obstacles of little free time and a small budget,” she continues.

“That’s why my husband and I talked about it. And decided that I’ll quit my job soon and put up my own events planning business. I’m going to focus on children’s party celebrations.”

Problems to possibilities

The birthday party happened nine years ago. And now, my friend is a successful entrepreneur who turned that obstacle into an opportunity that she proudly runs as a business today.

She could have decided to never again attempt organizing such an event. But instead, she saw the other image and chose to focus on learning and grabbing the opportunity that the situation presented her.

And that is something that everyone can do. Something that you can do.

Take a problem or difficulty that you’re dealing with right now. Then just for a moment, look for and think about the opportunity that’s present in your circumstance.

Is there a door that’s just waiting for you to open? Is there a lesson to be learned in the obstacle you’re facing? I’m sure there is. There’s always is.

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One comment

  1. Mr Fitz, absolutely SPOT ON man. You have highlighted what entrepreneurship is all about. Adversity, lack of a product or daily problems we all face in life become a challenge and possible oppertunity for the entrepreneur. Kudos to your friend held up as the example in this great article.

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