Cultivate Enterprise to Take Initiative and Seize Opportunity

We can put ourselves in situations or environments where we are more likely to encounter opportunity. We can teach ourselves to better recognize and evaluate opportunity. If we want to seize and exploit an opportunity, however, we must take initiative. We must act.

A bias toward action, the willingness to do something different or difficult, the eagerness to embrace a bold undertaking – these are the hallmarks of the enterprising person.

Some people are more naturally enterprising than others, to be sure. They are inherently driven, ambitious, self-starting go-getters. Others need to look a little harder to find their motivation.

No matter. Regardless of where we fall on the action orientation continuum, we can cultivate the quality of enterprise. We can develop specific tendencies that will move us to act when action is needed.

Overcoming Cultural Constraints on Your Success

Late in 2018, actor Alexander Skarsgard appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote the release of the miniseries The Little Drummer Girl, in which he plays an Israeli intelligence officer.

Colbert reminds Skarsgard that since his last appearance on the show, the actor has won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his Perry Wright role on the HBO series Big Little Lies.

Colbert suggests that even though Alexander comes from a storied acting family, maybe he could lord his most recent awards over the rest of the Skarsgard clan.

Entrepreneurial Alertness for Everybody

Entrepreneurship is essential to economic development and prosperity.

Entrepreneurs create jobs and wealth, fuel income and economic growth, increase productivity and market competition, respond to unmet market needs, change how we live and work, and drive innovation.

But for entrepreneurship to contribute so much to the economy, entrepreneurs first have to recognize opportunity. The ability to see opportunity where others don’t is sometimes referred to as entrepreneurial alertness.

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