When a person or a company becomes successful, opportunities soon begin to present themselves. These so-called “opportunities” come in many different shapes and sizes. I believe there are two characteristics which help a person to effectively distinguish true opportunity from potential hazards and identify the true gems worth pursuing. The first such skill is that of laser focus. I have never been one who believed in diversification in the traditional sense. I believe the most successful people in a given field are the specialists among specialists. And I have built an extremely successful real estate investment company by specializing in a niche within a niche. Raw, unimproved, vacant land. In fact, my definition of diversification is owning land in many different geographic areas, states and counties.
The second skill is the ability to say no – to look at the myriad “opportunities” coming one’s way and to have the discipline to say “no, that doesn’t fit into my specialty”. I firmly believe that one of the great differentiators between those who are successful and those who are not is the opportunities to which they say “no”. If an opportunity doesn’t have a powerful relationship to what I am now doing or doesn’t add a valuable component to what I know already works, I prefer to simply say no. But every once in a while – rarely – a great opportunity or concept does reveal itself and, upon further investigation, it is discovered that yes, it does make sense. It does closely resemble what we are doing now, and it is a variation of what we are already expertly doing. Yes, it is based on sound assumptions and we can competently, successfully, and professionally add this to what we are already doing. Yes, we believe it will work and be profitable. Bringing common elements together in such a way that the whole is more valuable than its individual parts. Synergy. This is the concept I am describing.