Yesterday, after a Toastmaster’s meeting, I had brunch with a few other club members. One of them, Mario, shared a story about the second business he operated.

In the early 2000’s, the market was in a recession and Mario needed funding for his first business but he couldn’t get it because banks weren’t lending. He sought out alternatives and discovered an association of non-traditional lenders. He was able to find a company in that group who gave him a loan and resolved his cash flow crunch.

As he navigated around his funding obstacle though, he realized that lots of other businesses were facing the same problem. He formed a partnership with one of the lenders in that association and became a capital broker. His role was to “sell” the loans, but it was little more than lead generation. Because of the demand and limited alternatives, he and his partner quickly developed revenue without much work. In 2007, he sold his share of the business just ahead of the next financial recession.

Because Mario explored beyond his own networks, he was able to discover a solution to his problem. Rather than just stopping there though, he was able to envision what could be possible if he used his discovery to help others.

This is a classic entrepreneurship story: opportunity emerging from problem solving on the frontier and realized by leading others to better outcomes.

Are you spending time on the frontier? Are you leading others to the solutions you discover?