What Unseen Potential Do You See?

How can you see what isn’t seen? 

That sound like an oxymoron or a contradiction. But it’s not. 

Ask Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. Ask Sara Blakely or Shelia Lirio Marcelo. If they were still alive, you could also ask Steve Jobs, Mary Kay Ash or even Mother Theresa. They saw potential where others didn’t and changed the world. 

How were they able to see potential that no one else saw?

Last week we discussed the power of appreciation (Link). Today we continue this six-part series with discovering hidden opportunities by shifting perspectives. 

By shifting perspectives we see great opportunities that would have never seen otherwise.
Unseen Potential

Mary Kay Ash

Let’s focus on Mary Kay Ash to identify four ways that she found potential that others didn’t. 

She saw potential when she was denied promotion. Fed up with waiting for others to treat her fairly, she started her own cosmetic company, Mary Kay. This cosmetics company was not only offering products for women, which was disruptive at the time but designed to develop women leaders, which was also unheard of. 

Become a Disruptive Leader

1. Being Denied

Many of us see our own potential and the see the potential around us when we are denied something that we want.

Mary Kay Ash was frustrated with seeing those men she trained being promoted to positions while her growth was stagnated. In that denial she found the audacity to do what they never imagined. She quit. 

That’s bold. 

Her employer didn’t see her potential and that frustration drove her to take a bold step. Notice it starts by knowing your own potential. Mary Kay Ash probably learned far more about herself in taking that bold step than she ever would have by complying with her employer’s wishes. 

What potential do you know you have that others have denied?

2. Being an Outsider

In taking this bold step, she realized she was missing much of her potential because she wasn’t “one of them.” That is an important step. 

It wasn’t difficult for Mary Kay Ash to see that she was a woman in a man’s world. But many look like those around them but don’t think or act like them. It is in thinking differently that we see the world differently. That is where the unseen potential becomes visible to us. 

Your challenge is to shift mentally for the sole purpose of seeing see the world differently than the mainstream. That allows you to see market opportunities that the mainstream misses. 

What potential do you see from your position as an outsider? 

3. By Serving Other Outsiders Like You

What would men know about women’s cosmetics without either being a woman or listening to them? Mary Kay did both. In the process, Mary Kay found her market.

By serving disenfranchised individuals, you create a disruptive product or service because the mainstream is not serving them. Once you do, often your products or services become so popular that they enter the mainstream. That’s what happened. Mary Kay’s methods and strategies became so popular that others within the mainstream adopted them – even in the “men’s world.” Interesting and intriguing, isn’t it?

What potential do you see in your under served market?

4. By Daring to Do Things Differently

When she quit the corporate world, she was free to make her own decisions. That meant she was also free to try things that corporate wouldn’t consider. Instead of requiring a large office where employees were required to be present, she empowered her team by making them independent consultants. She equipped them but they were free to operate on their own time and in their own location. 

The challenge with working within the mainstream is that we are constrained by best practices, i.e. the accepted and ordinary processes. But when we think differently, we can find more efficient and effective methods to do what others didn’t think possible. What was impossible in the old system is often possible with the disruptive process. As I’ve said before, impossible is simply lacking the current resources to do what we want. 

Impossible is simply lacking the current resources to do what we want. 

Loren Murfield, Ph.D.

What potential do  you see when you are free to try something new? 

Follow this blog to be the first to learn how to develop your vision to see the unseen. (That will be pretty valuable, won’t it?)



Loren Murfield, Ph.D.


I work with leaders and organizations to think bigger and reach higher to find breakthrough success. This is a process that I can help you learn. One of the ways I help clients is by guiding them through 11 Disruptive Trends.   Begin the process today by contacting me.

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