How can we learn to discover these acres of diamonds in our own backyards?
- Maintain a ready mind. Be open to the possibilities around you. Don’t let preconceived notions cloud your judgment. We often overlook the value of something because we believe we already know it.
- Look at the familiar in new ways. Conwell lists some important inventions — the snap-button, the cotton gin, the mowing machine — and notes that these were created by everyday people who found new approaches and new uses for commonplace objects.
- Learn what people want, then give it to them. Discover a market, and the provide a good or a service. Too many people do this the other way around. They develop a good or a service and then try to market it, try to manufacture desire. You’ll have more success if you see a desire and then try to meet it.
- Knowledge is more important than capital. Lack of capital is a common excuse for not starting a business venture. How often have you heard, “You need money to make money.” Nonsense, says Conwell. He gives anecdotes of wealthy people who started with nothing but an idea.
- Don’t put yourself down, and don’t belittle your environment. Don’t compare yourself with others. “Believe in the great opportunities that are right here not over in New York or Boston, but here — for business, for everything that is worth living for on earth. There was never an opportunity greater.” Find the best in what’s around you.