The Rich Create Trends, They Don’t Follow Them
Rich dad said, “Your job is to position yourself and be ready when the opportunity presents itself. It is okay to be five years early, but not one day late.”
The most successful entrepreneurs in the world are those that know how to pay attention to the little details. The details are where the opportunities are. I’m not talking about the little details in your business, such as the expenses, who is excelling as an employee (and who’s not), or trends in sales. Those details are important, and you can’t be a successful entrepreneur without paying attention to them. I’m talking about the little details that separate a good business from a great business—the little details of life, and the opportunities that they bring.
One of the things I love most about the world is that it’s full of opportunity. The problem is that most people don’t notice the opportunity. Instead, they only notice what they don’t have or what is wrong.
But the difference between those who are successful in life and those who are not is noticing what’s wrong or missing in the world and finding opportunities in it.
Here’s an example:
A couple of decades ago, many business people lamented the slow process of going through the traditional mail service for important documents and letters. FedEx recognized the frustrations with the postal service and came up with overnight delivery through their fleet of planes in the early 1980s, coining the term, “When it absolutely positively has to be there overnight.” Cornering this market sent their sales to over $1 billion annually in less than a decade as a business—the first U.S. company to reach that mark so quickly.
A couple of things were at work here. First, FedEx noticed a problem and saw the opportunity. While many people are content to live with the problems and just complain about them, successful entrepreneurs see the problem and let their discontent push them to innovation. They solve the problems of others and make money because of it.
Secondly, FedEx knew what differentiated them from competitors and made sure others knew as well. They built a very successful advertising campaign around the fact that they delivered overnight when you “absolutely positively” needed it.
A Successful Entrepreneur Pays Attention to Detail
In order to be a successful entrepreneur, you must pay attention to the little details in life and figure out what your company can do that nobody else is doing. Then, you must make sure everyone knows.
When I wrote Midas Touch with Donald Trump, he described how one small thing became a big thing:
“Trump Tower was nearing completion, and I wasn’t sure what to name it. I told a friend I was thinking of naming it “Tiffany Tower” because of its proximity to Tiffany’s. He asked why I’d use someone else’s name instead of my own. That was a good point. The alliteration was similar, and so it became Trump Tower. This little thing, a detail that was almost an afterthought, became a big thing as my name eventually became well known. It was the beginning of my brand.”
Today, take some time to look at the world around you. Notice the little details that can be opportunities for you and your business, and start thinking about how your business can do what no other business does.
Learn to See Opportunities
A while back, Donald Trump invited Kim and me to visit him at Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles. The now, President was giving us a personal tour of the gorgeous oceanfront golf club, he stopped in front of the main ballroom and said, “I’ve got to tell you a story.”
Some of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from Donald Trump and other successful investors and business people are through their personal stories. The story began with a problem: The main ballroom at Trump National had seating for a maximum of 150 people, so they could not compete with other venues for requests for parties larger than that number. The folks at Trump National began looking for a solution.
The most apparent answer was to add an addition to the existing ballroom. The bids started coming in. When the final numbers were tallied, the total cost of the addition, including additional chairs and tables, came to an estimated $3 million. The project would probably take six to nine months to complete. $3 million and nine months is a lot of money and time.
One evening Donald was walking past a large party in the ballroom. He paused for a moment to observe the celebration, thinking about the problem of how to expand the ballroom to accommodate more people. He noticed an older woman struggling to get out of her chair. The ballroom chairs were very nice, but they were big and heavy. They were awkward to maneuver.
That’s when the idea struck Donald. Instead of building an addition onto the ballroom, why not get smaller chairs? The next day his team started researching this idea.
The final result?
They found smaller attractive chairs that increased the seating capacity from 150 to just over 250 people. On top of that, they were able to sell the existing large chairs for more money than the new chairs cost! Trump National increased the capacity of their ballroom so they could now handle parties of up to 250 guests.
Instead of costing Mr. Trump $3 million, he actually made money on the deal. Now that is putting your creativity to work while adding considerable value to your property.
Successful people rarely focus solely on the “obvious” solution. While it may be true that the obvious solution can be the right one, successful people also explore many avenues that may bring a much more considerable upside to a deal.
Only entrepreneurs can see the future and bring it to life—risking, losing, and winning—over and over. In the process, they create new industries and opportunities for people all over the world.
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily