Opportunities and The Solar Eclipse

“It’s good to be lucky”.  That has to be what at least 14 state’s bureaus of tourism have to be thinking about the economic impact the Great American Eclipse is having in their states. The 2017 Total Eclipse may be the biggest cross country boost for tourism that a natural phenomenon has ever created.  It’s been a long time coming, the last time the moon took a similar path coast to coast between the sun and earth was 1918.

Many hotels inside the path of totality have been sold out for months.  Restaurants and other service related conveniences have tried to match supply with expected demand to cover the temporary influx of people.  And, those who waited until the last minute found out how hard it was to find a pair of Solar Eclipse Glasses.  Thankfully there’s is always the cardboard box viewer!


Making the most of the opportunities…

One rural area facing a labor shortage is using it as a marketing opportunity for employment.  Sabetha, KS, very near the sweet spot of Totality in the U.S. is promoting “Come for the Eclipse, Stay for the Jobs”.  There are 27.8 Million people in the Driveshed (where cars can drive the quickest to a destination) of Sabetha.   When a natural phenomenon creates a once in a lifetime event you don’t want to miss the opportunity to make the most of it!

All businesses along the path of the eclipse positively affected by tourism will see a spike in business.  As will the many restaurants, gas/convenience stores on the arteries feeding cars to their viewing destination.  Some businesses may view it as being in the right place at the right time as if it was by chance or luck. Although, technically being in the path of a total eclipse isn’t luck at all.  We know the next total eclipse in the U.S. will happen in 2024 and between now and 2040 there will be 15 more around the globe.  So you can start securing your viewing areas today if want to capitalize on it.

Just as there were hundreds of communities & cities in the path of the 2017 Great American Eclipse, rest assured some of them earned significantly more dollars from tourism than other cities along the path of the eclipse even though they offered a very similar viewing experience.    This isn’t endorsing price gouging or anything like that; it’s just obvious that some communities went to great lengths in rolling out the red carpet for their visiting part-time astrological explorers.

The point being the communities that wanted to make the most of the tourism dollars that are going to be spent are going to be rewarded for it.   They are seizing the opportunity to make the most of what may be a once in a lifetime event.


What about you personally or your business?  What are you doing to seize opportunities when they come along?   Here are a few suggestions so the next time something presents itself you can be better prepared to capitalize on it.

  • Keep an open mind. Opportunity isn’t always easy to see.  It’s easy to view a crisis as a roadblock instead of stepping stone for growth.   In business, some of the biggest growth opportunities are born in the middle of a crisis.


  • Forget about Luck. You can wish others luck and there is nothing wrong with being lucky.  But luck as a strategy for success isn’t a strategy; it’s a waste of time. Luck happens to those who have prepared themselves for it.


  • Hesitate before you say No. We are creatures of habit and change is always difficult.   When a new opportunity presents itself don’t discard it before you give it a chance to simmer a little.  Remember some of the greatest inventions of the last century were accidents.  Penicillin, the Microwave, and Velcro were all accidents.


  • Be Optimistic. There is something about people who are optimistic.  Those who see the glass as half full are more likely to see an opportunity when it presents itself.   There have been a lot of businesses that have tremendous success simply because the culture of the company projected optimism.


  • Be grateful. When an opportunity presents itself be thankful and show gratitude. In an electronic world, this is quickly becoming one of the missing links in business.  It is hard to show genuine gratitude in 160 characters or the latest emoji.


When it comes to opportunities you have to be open to taking the first step.  But unless you see them as opportunities you will never even know they were there.   What are your thoughts on opportunities?  Have you ever missed out on a big one?  What is one you went after successfully?    We’d love to hear about them!

Please feel free to add any comments in the space below and feel free to share your thoughts on Total Eclipse too!

Chris Steinlage  Kansas City Business Coach