If you could pick an animal that best represents your business personality, what would it be?
Living in a wooded area surrounded by fields, I encounter many different animals on a regular basis. Last week, I noticed an unusual assortment of critters. As I thought of their traits, it reminded me of the different stages of entrepreneurship.
Are you a “lone wolf entrepreneur”? You know, the “I’ve got this. I don’t need anyone or anything. I’m in control phase.” How’s that working for you? Yeah, it didn’t work for me either.
Are you hiding behind your computer or holding back at networking events or while guest speaking? Are you afraid of what everyone thinks? Do you cross the road for no apparent reason, even though you know you need to be somewhere else? Yep, I’ve done that as well.
Note to the young gal who almost hit me: I don’t run over turtles. I pick them up and put them where they need to go. It’s that coaching instinct. 😉
Do you have a great profile photo and look great at networking events? Do you go to events just to get clients or collect as many business cards as you can?
If someone doesn’t seem like a good prospect, do you just zip off and go after someone else? Do you talk a good game but really lack confidence? Ouch! Yes, this was me at one point. This also didn’t work.
Why do squirrels always cross the road and then double back? I guess the other side always looks better. Have you shifted gears so many times, no one knows what you do? Do you carry 3 different business cards? Do you change your tagline and elevator pitch frequently?
If so, these are signs that you really need some clarity. This took me quite a long time. I did eventually pare it down to 1 business (although I still book bands on occasion).
Yes, we have cows in a field behind us. How do you know when they got out into someone’s yard? Because they announce their presence by mooing – constantly! I realized that there is a fine line between promoting your business and being loud and pushy.
Yet, how many people’s tweets and posts consist solely of “Buy my stuff!” or “Try my service!” etc.? It makes you sound desperate. Yes, I remember this phase as well.
I wish I had a photo to document this encounter. I was pulling up the blinds in my home office and I found myself staring face to face with a hawk. He was magnificent!
His movements seemed fluid and effortless. He definitely commanded attention and I was mesmerized. Hawks symbolize freedom and change. I nodded and smiled. I have changed so much since I began this journey… but the best is yet to come.
The morals of the story
- Wolves aren’t alone all the time. It helps to build a team, or pack, to support you.
- Don’t be afraid to show people the real you! Don’t hide in your shell and play it safe!
- If you want to succeed, you don’t need to be a sly fox! Send referrals and pay it forward!
- Get clear! If you keep running back and forth like a squirrel, you’ll never move ahead.
- Don’t just moo! Listen, connect, and provide good content.
- Strive to be like a hawk! They symbolize change and freedom. And isn’t that what you hoped for when you started your business?
Do any of these animals sound like you? Feel free to leave a comment below!
Dori Staehle is the owner and Chief Encouragement Officer at Rock the Next Stage. She lives in an area outside Raleigh, NC and is an animal lover. Dori’s holistic coaching programs help entrepreneurs get unstuck and gain clarity, confidence, and clients. If you’d like more info, just click here.