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Don't Be a Waiter — Be a Creator. 5 Ways to Create Opportunities for Yourself In 2024 Prioritize yourself and build your dream life. Don't wait for someone else to do it.

By Maha Abouelenein Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Key Takeaways

  • Identify what you truly want to do, find the how, and start with small steps.
  • By doing so, you can open up opportunities you never thought possible.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In life, you can either be a waiter or a creator. Waiters wait for others to bring them opportunities, prefer not to make decisions, and stick to what they know. They're afraid to take risks and stay in their comfort zones. On the other hand, creators go out and own their choices. They're brave enough to make tough decisions, even if it makes them nervous.

Creators don't need permission to grow; they do it on their own. You can't just wait for good things to come to you; you must make them happen. Nobody will prioritize your success, so independence is key, especially in today's changing business world.

Going from a waiter to a creator is doable and essential for success as an entrepreneur. From someone who's done it, here are five ways to create opportunities for yourself.

Related: Don't Wait for Your Luck to Change: Make It Work for You Today

1. Be curious

Being curious is a crucial trait that propels individuals into action. Curious people don't wait; instead, they actively learn new skills and explore interests they never knew they had.

Curious about playing the piano? Watch a YouTube tutorial, ask your network if they know how to play and can give you recommendations, or invest in lessons. This proactive approach puts you in a position to embrace new experiences and create opportunities. The more you learn about the world, the better equipped you become to generate innovative ideas.

2. Know what you're good at and 10X your strengths

Boost your personal and professional growth by finding your "secret sauce" and focusing on what you're good at — your strengths.

Consider the strategy of "10Xing" your strengths. Instead of dwelling on weaknesses, celebrate the positives. List everything you excel at and pay attention to what others appreciate about you. This positive shift helps you discover growth opportunities.

For example, if people like your advice, consider coaching, or if you're good at learning new things, spend time exploring a topic you're curious about. By emphasizing and expanding your strengths, you can develop a more positive mindset and uncover unique qualities that benefit your personal and professional life.

Related: 5 Steps to Building on the Strengths of Your Sales Team

3. Explore your options

Embracing exploration and stepping outside your comfort zone is essential for creating opportunities – and it's more rewarding when you create them yourself.

Don't worry about the end result when you're trying something new. Whether crafting a proposal for a potential client without a specific request or taking on a project without guarantees while attracting new clients, focus on bringing value and leaving a lasting impression. Many entrepreneurs face this challenge, but it's worth the risk, time and investment because it presents an opportunity to acquire new knowledge and develop new skills, which is a win.

4. Get an accountability partner

Having an accountability partner is highly beneficial to creating your own opportunities. Sharing your goals with someone else helps you stay committed and provides a valuable support system to keep you on track and focused. Discussing your plans with another person creates a sense of responsibility, increasing the likelihood of following through on your intentions.

Are you aiming to run a 5k or making a career move? An accountability partner is a valuable resource, offering motivation and assistance in achieving and maintaining your objectives.

Pro Tip: Create a personal board of directors who genuinely care about your progress. This enhances accountability, ensuring regular check-ins, honest discussions, and valuable feedback to keep you focused on your goals.

Related: An Accountability Partner Makes You Vastly More Likely to Succeed

5. Don't be afraid to dream

Imagine big things for yourself, especially if you're an entrepreneur or aspire to be one. Dreams don't just happen independently; instead, try to dream big by thinking about your ideas, writing them down, and coming up with more thoughts about them. Let your imagination go wild as you explore what you could achieve.

Being a dreamer is essential because it helps you be creative and turn your ideas into tangible goals. This mindset is extra important for entrepreneurs because it sparks new ideas and keeps you excited as you face the ups and downs of running a business.

Identify what you truly want to do, find the how, and start with small steps. By doing so, you can open up opportunities you never thought possible.

Be a creator, not a waiter, in 2024.

Maha Abouelenein

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CEO of Digital & Savvy

Maha Abouelenein is the CEO and Founder of Digital and Savvy, a global communication consulting firm with offices in the US and Dubai, and a member of the Global Board of Directors for The Associated Press. She hosts Savvy Talk Podcast and her book, "7 Rules of Self-Reliance," releases in 2024.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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