Why "Hot" Opportunities Suck

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Scenario: "Dude, we can't sell __________. It's not hot. Let's build a social networking site like YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook. It's the new thing. Yay!" Uh-oh. What would happen if social networking businesses decline in popularity, and something else becomes the "next big thing?" You'll probably jump ship to find that "elusive" pot-of-gold.

The Classic Entrepreneur's Cycle

It goes a little something like this:

  1. Hot trend.
  2. Johnny builds a business on that trend.
  3. Two years later, that trend declines.
  4. Johnny repeats cycle with a new hot trend.

Hot Trends Never Stay Hot

Think computer hardware, consumer software, real estate, search engines, donuts shops, biotechnology, coffee shops, discount retailers, etc. What's the common theme? What the media once considered hot now ignores it as blah-blah-blah. It's happened to every "killer" industry. Yet, when the media's not watching, most industries still experience record growth in sales, profits, employees, productivity, etc., etc. Sure, you could go on a research rampage to discover what's the next big thing. But, before you could build an established business that generates record profits every quarter, something else comes along -- ruining, you think, your "opportunity for billions." So, you'll jump ship again. It's a sucky strategy. Instead, realize this gem:

You Can Build a Billion-Dollar Business Selling Donuts

"Oh-mutha. Fo-shizzle?" You bet your badass you can. Most aspiring entrepreneurs -- and we still love 'em dearly -- get so caught up in trying to discover what's hot, that they forget: "Hot" opportunities exist everywhere. That is, your future billion-dollar business can come from virtually any established industry. The Fortune 500 itself has 75 different industries.

Do What You Enjoy + What Where You Excel

Forget those "hot" opportunities. Oftentimes:

  1. You hate doing it.
  2. You suck doing it, anyway.

The ingredients to building a freakishly successful business goes beyond that. Find the industry where you've spent an inordinate amount studying, loving, and praising. (Or if you want, find a totally new industry that piques your curiosity. Just keep in mind: you'll need to spend years studying it before you could excel in it.) Too many sad-faced people run businesses they dislike. You don't need to be one of them. You're too much of a badass. Instead, just follow what the founders of Fortune 500 companies did:

Do what excites the begeebees out of you.


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Posted on November 13

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