Well, now that I’ve caught your attention with my nonsensical dad joke, I hope you were able to recognize that I was attempting to reference the children’s story “The Tortoise and the Hare.” It’s an age old fable about ambition, perseverance, and a little bit of competition. As with every fable, there’s a lesson to learn. Typically we focus on why the tortoise, who goes slow and steady and ultimately wins the race, is the one to aspire to be like. I agree with this generally accepted idea but I think the hare has some redeeming qualities too and that both of their attitudes can be applied to business. Because let’s face it, even as adults we can learn something from children.
Why We Love the Tortoise:
He Takes on Heavy Competition.
We could akin this to a small company competing with a big name brand and doing well. Often times it’s hard for small companies to compete against corporate monopolies. For one thing large companies have more money to spend, have brand recognition, and many employees to divide up the work. The tortoise understand this challenge and isn’t afraid to take it on, even though it's safe to say none of the other animals thought he could win. I find this very inspiring and in fact felt similar when I decided to start my own company. Just because there are major corporations doing the same thing, doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for smaller companies. Call me optimistic but I believe when you have a great product/service, there’s enough business for everyone.
This is something I think everyone can relate to with their business. When you’re busy with your clients, it’s easy to forget your own business needs. Personally, I have to make sure I carve out time to write for my blog, post on my social media, and keep on top of other back-end items that I tend to put on the back burner as my clients come first. Being steady means keeping up with work consistently and that way it doesn’t seem daunting.
The tortoise knows there’s an intimidating task ahead but rather than get stressed and perform poorly, he just does it. Similar to what we discussed in number two, it’s important to stay on top of your work in order to get everything done in a timely matter. Sometimes a pile of work can feel overwhelming and make us want to crawl back into bed. One thing that works for me is making a detailed map of my week before it begins. I write down what I end to do each day and how long it should take. I even include coffee breaks and set realistic time frames. Knowing I have a lot to do isn’t hard when I know I have the time to do it!
Why We Love the Hare
He’s confident, and he knows he can win. Although cocky at times, his confidence is to be admired. I think most people can learn from this. Too often we get bashful and brush off the compliments of others. When you know you’re good at something, it’s okay to admit it. In fact, you should! As any basic Instagram quote will sum up for you: confidence is key.
In this digital age, you have to be quick. We’re used to ordering a product online and it shows up on our door two days later. When we send an email, we expect to hear back that day. The main thing to take away from the hare is to be quick and accurate. He was speedy, but not so speedy that he veered off course. For me that means when someone sends me a business email, I respond as soon as I see it. Sometimes you might not be by your computer or maybe you’re out of town for your brother’s wedding. Rather than waiting a few hours or even days to respond, I find its best respond and let them know that you saw the email and give them a time frame of when you’ll be back in the office.
He knows when to rest.
One example of a hare that doesn’t know when to get rest is the energizer bunny. He keeps going and going and going… It’s vital throw yourself into work and have a great work ethic, especially if you own your own business. There is always more work to be done. If you’re anything like me, you tend to be the energizer bunny and even in slow work periods, find something to fill your time. We all have to learn to take a page out of the ole hares book and take time to recharge our batteries so our minds are fresh. Even though he loses, he still finishes the race. Because sometimes, winning isn’t everything.
Both the tortoise and the hare have their redeeming qualities. They teach us that there’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition and that everyone has different styles of doing things. No matter how old we get, we can still learn from the stories we grew up with and put them to use in our professional life.
Hi there, it's me, Michelle! Welcome to my blog. It’s a personal look into my business and my life. Here you'll get to know a bit of my personality, see where I do my work when i'm traveling, and be able to read some business tips. My hope is that you'll get to know me better and that you'll learn a little something.