Show value, don’t talk about it.
My Instagram account has over 1 million followers. So naturally, I get a load of DMs every day and even more emails. People try to sell me shit all the time. I can safely use the word “shit” to describe it because these messages show me absolutely zero value. They talk about it, but they don’t show it.
Here’s a message I got the other day.
“I’m a big fan of your Instagram account, I can create 3 pieces of content for you for free. If you like it you can pay me for more.”
First of all, I’ve posted over 3,600 posts on my account. Why would you think I need to buy content? Second, if your content is so amazing, why not just create the posts and cold-email me those instead of your empty promises? And last but not least, don’t say you’re a big fan if you don’t even follow me.
These DMers are desperately looking for opportunities, but the way they approach me means those opportunities won’t come. It’s funny because, with just a few minor tweaks, their cold-DM turns into a pretty convincing sales pitch:
“Hello there, here is a post I’ve created for you to use for free. If you like it I can keep making you these posts and you pay me for every single post that outperforms your current content engagement-wise.”
Notice the difference? Sell me on the value you plan to deliver, not on something I don’t even need. That’s how you get access to the right opportunities that will grow your income and your business.
Allow opportunities to present themselves to you.
A great example that proves this concept is my current virtual assistant. He got my attention because he bought an ad from me. This got him a foot in the door. He then offered to partner on a new business page where he would take care of the content creation and the upkeep and I would just provide the traffic towards the new page. The crucial thing is that he didn’t ask for a paycheck – he wanted a percentage of revenue in the new business. For me, having 50% of a growing asset will always beat having 100% of nothing.
My assistant didn’t know that I already owned another business page with 100,000+ followers at that point. I knew it was a valuable resource but I wasn’t fully leveraging it simply because I lacked the time. The proposal came to my inbox at exactly the right time – my problem was the solution to his problem. We forged a deal.
My assistant did exactly what I’m preaching. He presented a value proposition focused on my benefits. He put in the work. And by previously buying an ad from me he also built credibility. Now our arrangement benefits both of us.
I did a similar thing earlier. One of my clients who owned a clothing store decided he wanted to get rid of his inventory and focus on something else. I had worked with him for about two years before then, focusing on creating a steady cash flow from his webshop. When he told me he wanted out and was looking for 50% of the total inventory worth, I didn’t have to think long. I was already familiar with the concept since I built the webshop myself. So I made him an offer he accepted, adding a new profitable business to my portfolio.
This process is value-oriented, repeatable, and gives both you and your potential partner a win-win scenario.
Opportunities arise when you get out there and work for them.
A lot of the biggest businesses got their start just because they were in the right place at the right time. It’s easy to look at that and call it luck. The truth is you have to do a lot of hard work and have an exceptionally clear vision of your future for your “luck” to be that good.
Start with the hard work. The more hours you put into whatever your business is, the more likely you are to be the first to find out about a potential opportunity for yourself. If you know the business inside and out, you’ll be ready to spring when any potential chances crop up. You’ll also be first in line, because of your familiarity and credibility.
But make sure to follow with awareness. You also have to be open about your goals with your partners and bosses. If you rent a place and you let the owner know you’ve got big plans, you’ll be the first to hear it when the owner wants to sell. The same if you work in a business and the owner plans retirement. Or if you buy ads from an Instagram page and the owner thinks about selling.
Right place, right time, right awareness.
How to create the right opportunities
Entrepreneurs, side hustlers, and businesses thrive on the right opportunities. You can waste your time pursuing the wrong ones, or pursuing them the wrong way. But if you figure out how to create the right opportunities for yourself, you’ll see how quickly you can begin to succeed.
Here’s the four-step process I use, my assistant used, and I recommend everyone use if you want to grow your business or income:
- You go out to work and give it your best effort, no matter what you’re doing.
- Open yourself up for opportunities. Make sure you are listening to the people you work for and with. Ask them what’s on their minds all the time.
- Don’t make a secret of your personal goals. If you plan to buy the building one day, make it known.
- Act on it when the opportunity arises.
If you lead with value, you’ll get value in return.