Don’t you wish opportunities would show up with a large ribbon and a sign affixed to them proclaiming their greatness (or to stay away)? Many times opportunities are disguised as ordinary events. While it’s tempting to dismiss some of these, true entrepreneurs will recognize that this just might be the lucky break they’re looking for. How do you know what’s in front of you?

Before I attempt to answer, let me share two stories: the first is of an opportunity lost and the second, of an opportunity seized. Two days before Christmas I was in a local jewelry store with my son, Ben. He needed to have his new watch resized (it was a present from his sister and he was excited to wear it). I knew it was a simple and quick request so we popped into a jewelry store that we had passed by many times before, but hadn’t been inside due to its poor location. The holiday spirit was not alive in this shop. When we entered this really tiny shop (so small you have to make an effort to overlook customers) the owner somehow managed to completely ignore our presence. It was rather awkward standing a few feet away from him and being totally ignored but he was with a customer (who was having some very expensive jewelry appraised) so we were patient. After five very long and uncomfortable minutes he finally managed to look up and tell us he would be with us shortly. Lesson #1 – if your store is no wider than 10 x 10, at least say hello to entering prospects (Duh!)

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