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Do You Look For Opportunity?

During the early part of 2015 I decided to pick up and travel. After a short stay to visit a friend, I made my way to my ultimate destination---my first stop, Nashville. This was a city I was eager to explore not only for my love of music, but for the economic growth of multiple sectors. As an entrepreneur it’s important to seize opportunity and I was convinced there was plenty of it in Nashville.

As I arrived, I researched and found several networking opportunities within my niche and some outside of my normal interests.

Lesson one: expand your horizons.

As I mingled with people in marketing, music, social services, education, and several other industries doors opened for me to escort a group and write a story about their philanthropic activities, a “mission trip” of sorts. Another door also opened for me; I was paid to eat. Yes! Neither an offer that I would expect; but, both doors opened due to networking.

Lesson two: network, meet people, and acquaint yourself with the locals.

As I met people during a chamber event, I heard a key staff member of a newly opened restaurant explain that they were struggling to bring in business during two prime dining times. This was extremely costly to a business that was trying to establish its clientele. Because I had a significant following on social media I asked if they would compensate me to tweet and post on Facebook while eating there. Within 10 minutes I had a gift card loaded with a substantial amount and promised that I would frequent the restaurant at the right time. Within the first hour of posting I had a food critic and a TV station following them. Both were the right influencers they needed to draw a crowd!

Lesson three: listen, use your skills, and be creative to find a solution to their problem.

I believe there is also another lesson in the fact that this restaurant now had two local influencers following them. This restaurant desperately needed to increase cash flow during two slow times. An influencer can draw more people in than targeting people from the general audience individually. Don’t look for the masses; look for your ideal client.

Lesson four: target influencers for quick results.

During the times I sat there compensated to eat I established a relationship with the staff, tipped generously, and returned after the gift card was empty. I stayed in Nashville for six weeks and made this place one of my regular stops. As I told the staff my time in their city was coming to a close, they pleaded for me to stay and relocate there.

Lesson five: building relationships will never be a waste of time.

In summary, I believe being open to opportunity, listening to others, and providing solutions outside the box and highlighting your skill set can bring you experiences you can never imagine. It can open doors to business and relationships that have an ongoing value. As an entrepreneur this is the secret to success.

(Royce Gomez shares more of these adventures in her second book, The Spontaneous Journey)

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