July 5, 2017 2:04 pm
Successful careers and businesses are built by those professionals that stand out from the crowd. Regardless the niche, what they all have in common is the knowledge of spotting new investment opportunities. Whether starting a business, investing into one or a skill, or forging key relationships, they know timing is crucial for opening any window of opportunity, that will bring them closer to the desired goal.
Several times I tried to think about how to present the metaphorical “window of opportunity”. One day I thought back to my days in San Diego California. There I had lots of discussions with a number of hardcore surfers who were explaining their passion for surfing.
Surfing was full of rugged glamour. The dedicated and patient adventurer spent countless hours figuring out with the acquired knowledge, passion and a little luck when and where the big curlers will be forming waves.
The more I thought about these surfers, the more I realized there are valuable lessons to take from them. Surfing is similar, to a large extent, to business and careers. Studying how surfers catch the big wave brings any professional closer to appreciating when new investment opportunities arise.
There are about 1.7 million surfers (big debates range from 5 to 23 million) in the world with a very small proportion of those who are hardcore. In the early 1900s, a Hawaiian named Duke, a noted Olympic swimmer, was instrumental in making surfing a respectable sport.
3 things surfing can teach about spotting new investment opportunities
Do your wave research
Any good surfer does his research before paddling out. He watches first how waves break and tries to understand their nature.
I found some really crucial facts about surfing like storm watching, onion ring high pressure zones, conditions such as sandbar, wind direction, currents, and most of all, for those who invested their lives in the sport, the spiritual connection.
Similarly, in any business and field, you need to know what you are getting yourself into. Study the market to understand the easiest points of entry and which are the places where new investment opportunities usually appear.
Surf the small waves until the big one comes
It is not really possible to just ride the big waves when they are big. You need to know when and where a swell starts to build, and to be just ahead of it and to start paddling.
In the same way, you might come across a lot of investment opportunities. And you could ask yourself which one of them is your big wave.
But for this, you need practice and experience. Catching waves is all about timing. Moreover, it requires an understanding of which wave is going to produce the ideal conditions for that big wave you are waiting for. Not all waves are surfable. But how are you going to distinguish between them if you don’t ride the small ones too?
Don’t wait forever for your big wave
Take advantage of the wave that’s in front of you. If you are waiting for that big wave, you might be missing out on a lot of fantastic ones too. A surfer in the know always understands that if you want to catch a big wave, you just can’t wait only for the big ones.
It’s all about timing…a fortune of one becomes a small dividend between the many
The surfer with an eye for opportunity strikes out early paddling ahead of a swell. With the right conditions, he will build up rapidly and catch the wave. In business, the right conditions for new investment opportunities could come from making new connections that eventually lead you to the big one.
To sum up, the window of opportunity is best described as catching waves because it is all about timing. Observe, assess and move, before others see it coming. Once formed and in front, there is no riding that beautiful wave, just a feeling of an opportunity breaking away.
The parallel as I see it is that surfers like professionals can study and become learned about many things. However, it is the leap of faith combined with instincts and experience that spells out the difference between landing an opportunity and just being an observer of one happening.
Riding the big wave is for those who start just before the opportunity become obvious, and move at a speed that puts them squarely before. So as it goes, when investment opportunities are obvious, the masses are aware and a fortune of one quickly becomes the small dividend shared between the many.
Article written by Christopher Richardson, ONEm CEO.