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Below are ten key principles about opportunity. These were developed for a speech on finding, creating, analyzing and taking advantage of opportunities given to high school and middle school students on July 20, 2003 and July 27, 2003 respectively.

The Ten Axioms of Opportunity

1. When is an idea an opportunity? An idea is an opportunity when it is timely, attractive, achievable, durable, fills a need, and provides value to the buyer. Timely, attractive, achievable, durable, fills a need, and provides value to the buyer. An idea is an opportunity only if there is reason to believe the market will validate the idea and the management team has the ability to execute the idea.

2. To be a true opportunity a business idea must have a demonstrated need, ready market, and ability to provide a solid return on investment.

3. Opportunity-focused entrepreneurs and investors start with the customer and the market in mind. The analyze the market to determine industry issues, market structure, market size, growth rate, market capacity, attainable market share, cost structure, the core economics, exit strategy issues, time to breakeven, opportunity costs, and barriers to entry.

4. Business ideas are a dime a dozen. What really matters is the execution and the quality of the team. It is not the idea. It is the people, and their ability to execute, that matters. Once you have the people and the execution, then your idea as the potential to become a true opportunity.
5. Too many people wait for opportunities to come to them. Don’t wait for the opportunities to come to you. Create the opportunity for yourself.

6. If you are not ready for an opportunity during the short window it will be there, it will pass you by. You must make personal development a priority so that you will be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities

7. Every adversity comes with it a seed of equal or greater benefit. Through adversity, opportunity will come.

8. The world is filled with opportunities just waiting to be found by an energetic and intelligent person.

9. Making mistakes, learning from them, and being willing to put yourself out there is essential to finding opportunities.

10. With a positive mental attitude, a desire to succeed, a determined mindset, and enthusiasm you can find, create, and take advantage of any possibility and any opportunity that you can dream. If you can conceive it and you can believe it you can achieve whatever you set your sights on.

I hope that you will take these ten tenets to heart and make them part of you. I would encourage you now to read ‘Business Idea & Opportunity Evaluation.’

This Young Entrepreneurship article was written by Ryan P Allis on 2/9/2005

Ryan P. Allis, 20, is the author of Zero to One Million, a guide to building a company to $1 million in sales, and the founder of Ryan is also the CEO of Broadwick Corp., a provider of the permission-based email marketing software and CEO of Virante, Inc., a web marketing and search engine optimization firm. Ryan is an economics major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is a Blanchard Scholar. [learn more.