We’re in Las Vegas for a conference (honest) starting on Monday. When we were here two years ago, in June 2008, there were many construction cranes still operating at full tilt. When we arrived in June last year those same cranes were still standing, but idle; their projects having succumbed to some of the worst effects of the Great Recession. This year the cranes are gone and, with the exception of a few derelict properties those cranes used to stand over, the Vegas skyline looks pretty clean.
The cab driver said the housing industry is still in the tank, which is too bad for those whose home value got upside-down with their mortgage requirements, resulting in thousands of foreclosures here. But as with any ecosystem or economy, the misfortune of one is opportunity for another. In Vegas today, as in many markets around the U.S., the foundations of future fortunes are being laid by entrepreneurs who are buying foreclosed properties to rent and hold as unemployment wanes and home-buying waxes.
As we continue to move - day by day - from recovery to expansion, there are similar opportunities appearing in virtually every industry. But in order to take advantage of them you have to: 1) be looking, which means you’re not still hunkered down in your bunker; 2) recognize the opportunity; and 3) develop a strategy to take advantage of the opportunity in a way that allows it to become a growth event and not a catastrophe.
Today, everything that is happening in Vegas doesn’t have to stay in Vegas. Open your eyes and look around; the foundation for your next fortune may be right in front of you.