It's hard to believe we have almost completed the first decade of the new millennium. In less than 10 years, we have seen the promise of the Internet fulfilled, the financial industry grow to epic proportions, only to blow up like the Hindenburg, and the election of the first African-American president of the U.S.
With unemployment skyrocketing and the number of bankruptcies climbing on a daily basis, the big question is where are the job and investment opportunities? There are seven ways to source opportunity:
1. Government: We already know from President-elect Barack Obama's speeches that the federal government is going to be spending major bucks on transportation, infrastructure, energy and education. The place to find out about government contracts is the Commerce Business Daily.
2. Surveying: If you are in business or want to be in business, it's a good idea to survey businesses already in the space as well as consumers to ask them what do they plan to spend their money on in the next year. A good way to conduct a consumer survey, if you have a few thousand dollars, is through Greenfield Online, which guarantees at least 500 responses.3. Publications: Consult industry, scientific and technology magazines to find out the latest trends.
4. Listening: Sitting on a train, plane or at a bar, you can hear all kinds of interesting conversation. You hear people's concerns, interests and needs.
5. Help wanted: Go to the help-wanted section in newspapers and online services such as Monster.com and look at what types of jobs are in demand.
6. Stock analyst: Reading reports by industry analysts will tell you who are projected to be the big winners and losers.