How to turn obstacles into opportunities

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

No Electricity so what?

2 years ago a problem with Egypt's Economy and infrastructure have lead to serious shortage in electricity. For the first time in our lives we started witnessing electricity going off for 6 hours each day. In some areas electricity went out for 8 consecutive hours.

Everyone was complaining about that electricity problem. After all its almost impossible for us humans to live without electricity in the 21st century. But few men decided to turn this obstacle into an opportunity by looking at it from a different angle.

Those men founded a company that sells generators and achieved tremendous success in a very short period of time. People rushed to by generators in order to keep the electricity at their homes and shops stable.

The way of looking at a problem can either make it a great obstacle or a great opportunity depending on the angle it was looked at from.

How to turn obstacles into opportunities

The one fact you might not know is that so many of the great inventions that we use today are the result of an opportunity that was found in obstacle.

years ago i was passionate about psychology and i used to read online articles everyday for hours. And then i came across a serious obstacle; most of the advice i was reading was not practical enough. I then saw an opportunity in creating a psychology blog that provides practical information and the result was a successful online business. (see also How i did it)

Everything that you are complaining about today is actually a hidden opportunity. If there a common problem that most people are complaining about then its the right time to think of the business that can solve that problem.

There was a guy in Lebanon who always complained about not finding fast food to eat in many popular area's of his city so he started a small Chain called Frank's where he used mobile kiosks to sell sandwiches where they were needed the most. Within a short period of time he had branches in almost all Lebanon.

It all began by facing a problem that didn't have a current solution.

An obstacle could be your way to success

If you don't like a product that you use, if you are getting poor service or if you are facing an obstacle that is making your life intolerable then you need to look at this obstacle in a different way.

Think about the solution that everyone is looking for instead of complaining about the problem. In my article 3 things that will happen to you when you stop complaining i said that your mind will hardly think of solutions before you stop complaining.

Complaining makes you think that the problem is out of your hands and that nothing can be done about it thus it kills creativity and hope.

The next time you face an obstacle think of what can be done in order for that obstacle to become an opportunity.

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