How do you get to opportunities first?

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Brian with giant kob off the Breede River
Brian with the giant kob he caught with rod and reel in the Breede River in the late 1960s. Photo courtesy of his book, “Fish Aren’t Fools” published in the 1970s.

Today’s blog post is dedicated to my father Brian who celebrated his birthday on 31 October. As a dear friend said of my father this week after reading a recent article on the skiboat pioneers in South Africa in SkiBoat magazine, Sep/Oct 2104, “It’s a pity that his real, great legacy isn’t out there for all to see and admire –  like he deserves it to be.” 

My father Brian was a keen fisherman, a pioneer in the skiboating scene in the Western Cape, who chalked up records for catching giant bluefin tuna in False Bay.

As a sideline to his main job of motoring editor of the Cape Times, he wrote a regular angling column for the Cape Times.

We’d go out fishing on his ski boat at, for example, the Bellows or South West Reef off Cape point and get stuck into shoals of longfin tuna.

Out there on the blue water we’d have the shoals all to ourselves or perhaps with one or two commercial fishing boats because he had identified the shoals first.

We’d come back with a boatload of longfin tunny, selling the bulk of the catch and keeping some good “fries” for cooking at home.

But as soon as my father mentioned where the longfin tunny were biting in his regular angling column, ski boat fishermen and the commercial boats would be out the next day forming a virtual flotilla above the shoals.

You know how it is, the shoals of tuna become smaller and eventually disperse. When everybody got to hear about the fish that were biting off Cape Point it was almost a dead cert that the fishing run would be short lived.

A property company owner was explaining that when you see property deals or houses for sale in the newspapers, the opportunity to make good money has almost certainly disappeared. As soon as properties appear in the newspaper, the seller has the upper hand and can play around with offers as they please.

They may even be able to drive the price upwards. It’s better, said the property company owner, to make friends with estate agents who can identify property opportunities before any other buyers get their hands on them. Far better, as he mentioned, is to go looking for property deals yourself, identifying properties that would make good purchases and cold calling on prospective sellers.

Where do you go to look for opportunities that others don’t know about? Have you cultivated sources of information whether in your personal network or contacting people directly to grab hold of opportunities before they become widely available to the general public?

Identifying new business ideas and opportunities is one area that is covered in detail in my new book “Breakthrough Ideas”. If you want to gain a competitive advantage by cultivating your own new business ideas and opportunities, then put your name on the waiting list for when this valuable resource becomes available.

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