How to create your own opportunities

I started my own business in July last year on a part-time basis, and this year will be the first year of 100% focus on building the business.

It made me think about beginning this year’s range of articles by offering some thoughts on starting your own business.

I love the quote on opportunities by Les Brown. He writes, “Opportunities do not happen, you create them.”

Here are some thoughts on creating your own opportunities:

● Clarify what you want to offer

Ideas to start are plentiful, yet it is those offerings that help solve a problem or meet a real need that have the edge. This also helps to bring focus to your business. I incorporate this principle in the three offerings within my business. I am confident that they offer real solutions to clients.

Marie Forlea also adds this thought, “Never start a business just to make money. Start a business to make a difference.”

I have found that by getting this right, I wake up each day with purpose, knowing I am adding value.

● Be prepared to work both hard and smart

There are no short cuts to building a sustainable business. There is no “magic pill” or process.

A mentor and friend, Allon Raiz, said this: “For one to succeed as an entrepreneur in the long run, one requires ever-increasing commitment to your mission. Every year that passes requires more commitment as the honeymoon phase disappears, competition increases, mundane tasks become vital, and the mission becomes blurry.”

I used most of 2022 to build a runway for this year. I created key lists of tasks and goals to complete, and a list of things I had to grow in personally.

I invested in various tools and associations and did quite a lot of sowing of seed so that I could begin to harvest in this year.

I revisit my why for starting regularly, so that I can hopefully continue to offer relevant value to my clients on an ongoing basis. I want to build a significant and successful business.

As they say, it is only in the dictionary, that success comes before work.

● Support

I have been involved in entrepreneurial development for two decades now. I must honour the people, organisations and institutions that have helped shape and form the business I now lead.

From informal mentors, to paid-for services, from exposure to new ways of thinking and opportunities to grow, I can say with much gratefulness that many have formed a strong support base.

So, what about you?

Here are three organisations who could help with various forms of support.

It is up to you to engage and see how.

● Start-up accelerators/incubators in the Western Cape

● Western Cape Government: Starting your own small business guide.pdf (

● City of Cape Town:

The Business Hub, which is the business helpdesk for all Cape Town entrepreneurs and business, is available during work hours on the call centre – 021 417 4043, and the email address

The City of Cape Town offers a range of free workshops/training sessions for small businesses in various functions of a business. Visit these links:

● The Supplier Development Programmes:

● The Cape Town Entrepreneurship Academy:

● Steve Reid has started his own business in support of entrepreneurs, leaders and incubators and may be contacted at