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THE INC. LIFE

If You Answer ‘Yes’ to These 3 Questions, You’re Probably Able to Spot Trends Before They Happen

There are traits of trend spotters. Answer yes to these three questions to figure out if you’re likely to spot trends important to your business.

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BY Gerard Adams - 29 Jan 2018

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

The ability to spot trends is powerful. It gives you and your clients the competitive edge. You see where the world is headed and you can beat your competition there.

Right now virtual reality, augmented reality, blockchain, and mobile are all trends on the rise. There's one man who knows the mobile trend better than most, and that's Bonin Bough.

Bough is impressive hands down. He's the author of Txt Me (646) 759-1837 and host of The Cleveland Hustles with LeBron James. He has has been in the Fortune 40 Under 40 and the Ad Week 50, and is on Fast Company's list of the most creative people in the world.

From a young age Bough was obsessed with learning. I've noticed this with nearly all successful entrepreneurs I've encountered along my past 15 years as an entrepreneur. We are students of life, constantly consuming new information across industries.

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with him for an interview. If you want to become a trend spotter like Bough, you need to answer yes to these following three questions:

1. Are you a ferocious learner?

Bough said he's found that he's really good at "seeing where the puck is going". Because of this, he's a trend spotter that's hired by companies to consult on how they can get an edge.

He owns the physical copy of every single Harvard Business Review from 1999 until now. He'll go through, highlight, mark them up. He says this is his business school.

For myself too, I never stop learning. Whether it be business, real estate, crypto currency or meditation, learning from a vast array of industries allows you to see larger trends. Put in the work and trust that over the long run this knowledge accumulates and allows you to get ahead.

Whether it's learning from books or from others who have already done it, get in the mindset that you're a student until the day you die.

2. Are you creating leaders?

At a young age one of Bough's mentors told him, "A true mark of a great No. 1 is where their No. 2 goes to lead." Focus on building up those around you to be even more inspired and more capable than you could ever imagine.

It takes time to invest in those around you, but it is an absolutely critical investment for you to make. When you develop your team around you, you can accomplish far more than you could as an individual.

This belief -- leaders create leaders -- is core to my mission in life. I work tirelessly to inspire entrepreneurs around the globe to do more and be more.

At every company I've founded, I've needed a team of leaders that I can trust to carry out the work with me to grow our business rapidly and stay ahead of competition.

Take time to really get to know your team. Understand what motivates them and what they're passionate about. At Elite Daily, we'd do off-site campfires and trips to build deeper relationships. At Fownders, we do "culture building" exercises every week, which include group meditation or sharing stories that inspire us.

This investment in understanding your team and what drives them will pay off huge dividends.

3. Do you know your super power?

As a young visionary myself, I really admire Bough and his self-awareness. He's aware of his super power: to activate people. He calls himself a "transformative activator," which means he activates transformation within individuals and groups.

He will be hired by companies to come in and inspire change from within to innovate and get their competitive edge. His ability to do this has saved countless businesses from going under.

For you, you also need to figure out your super power. Is it speaking? Creativity? Analysis? Whatever it is, figure out your super power. If you aren't sure, ask people around you what you do better than others. Find your super power and build your team and business around it.

Trend spotting will continue to be essential to your business' short term and long term success. Answer the three questions from this article honestly, and if any were "no," focus on putting a plan in place today to figure it out. The future of your business depends on it.

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