Recognizing Opportunity is the First Step to an Entrepreneurial Mindset














“When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old.” Mark Twain



BY AMY ROSEN | May 29, 2014

For more than 25 years, the organization I run has been teaching young people — mostly high-school-age students — how to think like entrepreneurs. In that time, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) has exposed more than 500,000 students to the power of the entrepreneurship mindset.

Our curriculum is different because our teachers don’t just lecture or assign work. Our teachers guide students through the stages of launching a business. Students buy wholesale goods, retail their products and write business and marketing plans.

More than creating waves of fledgling businesses, we aim to empower generations of thinkers with the entrepreneurship mindset.

Related: Money Is Not What Makes Successful Entrepreneurs Tick

The first step in that mindset — the thing we lead our students to discover first — is opportunity recognition.

While the exact components and essential sequences of an entrepreneurship mindset aren’t accepted by everyone yet, most agree that the ability to recognize opportunity is the first step. It may also be the easiest to understand and identify.

Usually on the very first day of our classroom experience our teachers ask students to think of an idea and pitch it to their classmates. Knowing when you have an idea, and the ability to explain it to others, is opportunity recognition in its simplest form.

More is expected of entrepreneurs though.

We expect entrepreneurs to be innovators. We expect entrepreneurial ideas to be worthy of consumer and capital investment. In the technology sector, the benchmark is that an idea should be transformative or disruptive.

However good or investment-worthy an idea is, the “ah-ha” moment of inspiration is the on-ramp to entrepreneurship. And it can be learned.

Here’s how:

Go out and explore. In our classrooms we teach students to go for a walk. In some cases we literally take our students for walks around their schools or neighborhoods for the purpose of seeing what is not there. Or, more accurately, thinking about what should be there.

Related: This Simple Habit Could Be the Secret to Increasing Creativity

Quickly, students realize that a city block with four dry cleaning stores may not be the best place for another, but may be perfect for a retail accessories store. Or a home delivery service.

Ask questions. Those looking to recognize opportunity can also go grocery shopping. Talk to shoppers and ask what they are buying and why. Ask what product they wish they could buy but isn’t available. If you work in an office, sit with your company’s office supply purchaser and ask the same questions.

At NFTE, our teachers advise our students to start with what they know. We’ve found that those who know the neighborhood or their workplace best have an advantage in recognizing opportunity there.

The success in recognizing opportunity, though, lies in asking the questions about what is missing or what could be better.

Getting good at that mindset takes practice and habit formation. In a short time, students become young entrepreneurs who begin to see opportunity everywhere. Even though it’s just the first step on the path of learning an entrepreneurship mindset, the power of recognizing opportunity is transformative — whether you are in high school and begin to see your neighborhood and future differently or in a C-suite corner office and can visualize your product in a new way.

That’s opportunity recognition, and when you start doing it, you’re on your way to thinking like — and perhaps being — an entrepreneur.

Related: Cultivating The Mindset of a Successful Entrepreneur



A little about me and my expertise – video


commercial / investment real estate / Arizona land specialist


I go to great heights to sell or purchase your land,_Arizona_history


Facts of Arizona – year 1848 to 2013



Feel free to contact Walter regarding any of these stories, the current market, distressed commercial real estate opportunities and needs, your property or your Investment Needs for Comercial Investment Properties in Phoenix.



View my listings and my profile at:


What is a CCIM?


Join My Mailing List



Please go to my web-site and get all the newsflashes and updates in Commercial Investment Real Estate in Phoenix and Commercial Investment Properties in Phoenix daily



Check out my professional profile and connect with me on LinkedIn.


Follow me on Facebook:


Follow me on Twitter:



Follow Me on Google+


Walter Unger CCIM, CCSS, CCLS

I am a successful Commercial Investment Real Estate Broker in Arizona now for 20 years and I worked with banks and their commercial REO properties for 3 years. I am also a commercial landspecialist in Phoenix and a Landspecialist in Arizona.





we are at on the a rise of the cycle in Commercial Real Estate.  so there is only one way and it’s called we are going up and now is the time for you to expand, upgrade or invest in Commercial Properties in Phoenix.  The prices on deals I may get you will not be around forever.



  We barely could give land away the last few years, but times are changing.  Even in those meager years, I sold more land across the state than most other brokers. Before the real estate crash I was a land specialist in Arizona with millions of dollars of transactions, but then I had to change and also sell other commercial investment properties, which was fun, but I am a Commercial Landspecialist in Arizonal, a Commercial Land Specialist in Phoenix and love to sell land, one acre to thousands of acres.


If you have any questions about Commercial Investment Properties in Phoenix or Commercial Investment Properties in Arizona,  I will gladly sit down with you and share my expertise and my professional opinion in Commercial Properties in Phoenix or Commercial Properties in Arizona with you.Obviously I am also in this to make money, but it could be a win-win situation for all of us. 


Please reply by e-mail or call me on my cell 520-975-5207 or Office:480-948-5554




Thank You


Walter Unger CCIM

Associate Broker,  West USA Commercial Real Estate Advisers

7077 E. Marilyn Road, Bldg 4, Suite 130

Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Cell:      520-975-5207   

Office :  480-948-5554

Fax: (480-658-1172


View my listings and my profile at:             


a little about me and my expertise – video


commercial-investment real estate adviser-land specialist


What is a CCIM?



Delivering the New Standard of Excellence in Commercial Real Estate 


  • Commercial Real Estate Scottsdale
  • Commercial Real Estate Phoenix
  • Commercial Real Estate Arizona
  • Commercial Investment Properties Phoenix
  • Commercial Investment Properties Scottsdale
  • Commercial Investment Properties Arizona
  • Land Specialist Arizona
  • Arizona Land Specialist
  • Land Specialist Phoenix
  • Phoenix Land Specialist
  • Land For Sale Phoenix
  • Land for sale Arizona
  • Commercial Properties For Sale Phoenix
  • Commercial Real Estate Sales Phoenix
  • Commercial Properties Phoenix
  • Commercial Properties Arizona
  • Commercial Land Specialist Phoenix
  • Commercial Land Phoenix
  • Multifamily land Phoenix
  • Retail Land Phoenix
  • Industrial Land Phoenix
  • Land Commercial Phoenix
  • Land Retail Phoenix
  • Land Industrial Phoenix
  • Land Multifamily Phoenix
  • Industrial Land for sale Phoenix
  • Land Industrial
  • P
  • Investment Real Estate


Disclaimer of Liability

The information in this blog-newsletter is for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Tax articles in this e-newsletter are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided “as is,” with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.