How to Recognize Patterns and Predict Outcomes in Business

November 24th, 2008 by | Print


One of the best business skills that you can develop is the ability to recognize patterns and predict outcomes.


Successful entrepreneurs take risks – calculated risks. The best (i.e. most profitable) business decisions are based upon knowing and playing the odds. You will have far greater success of capitalizing on the odds if you know how to recognizing trends and calculating future outcomes.


How do you develop this skill of sight seeing?

Fortunately math was always one of my favorite subjects in school – possibly because the theories and formulas came naturally to me. Interestingly, math helped me later in life with one of my careers – acting. No, it didn’t help me wisely decided how to best balance my budget with my meager earnings. It helped me bring truth to portrayals of my characters – instead of putting forth caricatures.


How does this apply to a successful solopreneur?


To be successful in business, you need to become somewhat of a pop psychologist. Recognize that life is formulaic. Through my pursuits of personal and professional success, I became a believer in the widely known mantra:






This famous formula is the basis for developing (and thus, recognizing) patterns, but it is not enough to become a professional prognosticator. Jeanne Sanners, an excellent acting coach, taught me her human equation of:


Beliefs + Perception = Emotion = Action


If you understand a person’s beliefs and how they perceive their environment, it will stimulate an emotion resulting in an action.


Blending these two formulas together for a business benefit looks like this:


Be (Beliefs and Perceptions)

Do (Emotion then Action)

Have (Outcome)


This equation works for both studying and understanding individuals and symbiotic groups.


Take these 3 key components into consideration when calculating this formula for determining your market’s M.O.:



1. Focus on your market’s emotions and desires. Don’t fog up your vision with your own personal preferences. It is all about the customer – not you.

2. Interact with your market. Get in synch with your market. Get active in the market and watch patterns. Don’t sit smartly on the sidelines and theorize. From action, you will gain experience. From experience you will gain knowledge.

3. Observe a common occurrence at least three times. Witnessing an emotion or action once does not paint a pattern – it merely creates a point of reference. Two similar occurrences could be coincidence, while three happenings does establish motive. Does an expression of sadness create a diagnosis of depression?


Every once and a while, you may be astounded by the outcome of an event that you think you would never have been able to predict. In fact, it usually is a result that you didn’t understand the formula or missed one of these three components.


Predicting likely outcomes will allow you to prepare for opportunity instead of reacting to it. Being prepared will give you the greatest potential for capturing market share and reaping profits.


All The Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide


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