How to Find Opportunities in Life

Text from my newsletter of 16th August

Like many, I harboured ideas of starting my own business from early in my employment career.

My problem was that I did not have any particular skill or passion from which I could see how to make money. I was heavily into equestrian sports in my teens to 30s, but they were serious money grabbers, rather than money earners!

So I generally had visions of becoming a consultant of some type.

Then along came the dot com crash in 2000/2001, and I was out of a job and in danger of losing my Hong Kong visa.

The importance of having a specific skill that I could use to support myself was suddenly made extremely clear!

Eventually, I did manage to get another job (6 days before my visa expired) and went back into employment.

I still harboured dreams of becoming self-employed, but still without any clear idea of what I could do.

Then, through talking to a friend one day, I took an interest in online marketing, which eventually led to me learning how to build websites. That is now my core revenue stream.

Here’s my point: the business I eventually ended up starting was completely different from what I had originally envisaged doing.

In fact, the Internet, and website development, was not even a twinkle in anyone’s eye when I first thought about starting my own business. The public Internet was still 12 years away.

But as long as you have a vision for where you want to be, even if you don’t have a fixed idea of how to get there, you will find that opportunities you had never thought of come popping up out of nowhere.

The trick is to keep an open mind so you can recognise and grab them when they show up.

This week’s links

This week I’ve linked to two articles on finding and starting a business in your 50s, the first one of which looks at 5 different businesses and how they started and grew.

Since marketing, and digital marketing in particular, is a necessity for any business these days, I’ve also linked to two articles on that subject: one on how to efficiently create effective content for your social marketing activities (I particularly liked this one), and one on how to make the best use of Instagram.

Over 50? Time to start your business

In this article Jeff Opdyke explores 5 successful businesses that were started by people who were all over 50, and all of whom had been employed up until then. Each business is in a different industry.

He covers 6 broad areas you need to consider when starting your business, and looks at how each of the 5 businesses he wrote about addressed them.

A long read, but worth it!

Over 50? Time to start your business

Top 10 businesses to start in 2021

Yes, I know we’re already in the second half of 2021, but the reason I linked to this article is that there’s a simple quiz at the top of the article that will identify the type of business that would suit you.

Just a heads-up: in order to get your quiz results you will need to give them your email address.

Top 10 business ideas for 2021

How to save time creating effective social media content

I’ve talked about the need for social media marketing many times, but I’ve also warned that social media can be an absolute time-thief.

In this article, Amanda Holliday explains what sort of social media content you need to create in order to meet your goals, and how to do so as efficiently as possible:

How to save time creating effective social media content

5 Instagram tips for small businesses

I have only recently started using Instagram. It’s a highly popular platform and, if your business is visual – you’re selling fashion items, craft items or similar – it’s very powerful.

In my experience, pictures taken while you’re actually doing something (hiking, kayaking, etc) get the most response (likes, follows and comments). So if you’re able to combine those types of pictures with your product or service, Instagram will work well for you.

In this article Amy Fischer takes you through 5 things to focus on that will make your Instagram activity more effective:

5 Instagram tips for small businesses

Fun flashback

The Travelling Wilburys brought together 5 musical legends of the 60s, 70s and 80s. They never took themselves too seriously, but they produced some wonderful songs.

Tom Petty, one of the Wilburys, described them as the only band with 5 rhythm guitarists. (A bit unfair on George who was the Beatles’ lead guitarist!)

Here they are with ‘Not Alone Any More’:

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Martin Malden

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Website owner: Martin has been working online since 2006 and focuses on two areas: 1) affiliate marketing and 2) designing and building websites based on WordPress. He has his own WordPress agency, and serves clients in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK.