Let's face it: as humans we all want to be rewarded right? And as entrepreneurs, we all want to see our businesses grow and become successful so we can live and retire comfortably. The problem is, a lot of us don't know how to recognize opportunity, even when it's smacking us right in the face.

Here are 5 tips on how to recognize opportunity when it knocks and also how to attract more of it into your life (hint: you probably are blessed with more than you realize - keep reading to learn how!)

1. Ask and you shall receive

This is by far the biggest thing I see people forget when they're trying to connect with someone. Whether it's finding a mentor, attracting business partners, making a sale or looking for a better price, the number 1 thing people forget to do is ask. That's it! If you want something, ask for it!

Photo by Maja Petric / Unsplash

And don't forget, when someone gives you something, show them your appreciation by giving something in return - be it a great review on Google / Facebook / Yelp, a tip, lending your own skills or even just a great big thank you. By showing gratitude, you will amplify the results of the opportunities that have been given. Simple, right?

2. Recognize when someone is reaching out to you

It could be another business owner approaching you with a potential partnership, a colleague asking for your advice or even something as simple as meeting a stranger who needs a little help. All you have to do is learn to recognize it: When you stop thinking about your own problems and start observing, you'll being to notice that there are people all around you who could use your skills or even just a little bit of a helping hand. And when you give abundantly, you will be rewarded with opportunity.

Photo by Evan McDougall / Unsplash

3. Giving without expectation doesn't mean giving up on your goals

Whether you're a busy entrepreneur, a working parent or a social butterfly, you already know how hard it is to make time in your schedule. But giving up your time for people doesn't mean giving up on your goals; it's actually quite the opposite: when you make time for people, you will often be provided with opportunities in return.

Photo by rawpixel / Unsplash

For example, people will see you as someone who is friendly and reliable. If they know what you're good at, they'll remember you the next time they need help with something that involves your particular skills. Better still, if they hear about a challenge from someone else in their social circle, they're more likely mention you in a conversation: "Oh yeah I know someone who does that for a living!" So what are you waiting for? Do yourself a favor and make yourself available to people!

4. Smile more

As Gary Vaynerchuk says "the best way to become something is to act like it". This doesn't just apply to being an entrepreneur or whatever other skill you want to become better at. It also rings true for your attitude: if you want to become happier, one of the simplest methods is to smile often, even if you don't feel like it. Eventually it will start to come more easily. And guess what? People are naturally more likely to find you attractive when you smile.

Photo by Alicia Jones / Unsplash

5. Be thankful for what you have

A lot of people complain that life is unfair. After all, it's way too easy to blame politicians, "bad luck" or others who have already found their way to the top (whether they did it the easy way or the hard way). But guess what? The universe doesn't care whether you were born with a silver spoon or not. It doesn't care what color you are, what background you come from or whether have a pot to piss in (which sadly a lot of people literally don't).

Photo by Matt Collamer / Unsplash

But with that said, here's something every single one of us was given: out of a 1 in 40 gazillion chance (yeah I don't know what the actual percentage is but I can tell you it's mind-blowingly and microscopically small), you were born. You were given life, and out of all the possible things you could have been (like a bacteria or a snail) you were born human. If you've got a brain, your health and you're breathing - then congratulations, you've won the genetic lottery.

That's not all - when you recognize this fact and you begin to become thankful for the things you have, your other concerns will become smaller by comparison; including your money problems, your family problems and your social problems. And when you start to become thankful, people will notice and by extension they'll start to gravitate towards you. And guess what that means? More opportunity.

Do you have any tips or stories about recognizing opportunity when it fell into your lap? Feel free to comment / share with me on Facebook or Twitter!