I was recently listening to a podcast and the host asked the successful business owner who was a guest on the show what business book would you recommend? And the guest said, The Tortoise and The Hare, and I thought The Tortoise and The Hare, really ??!!
He then went on to say that most people would recognize this as a children’s book, however, there is a lesson in this simple children’s story that can be applied to business, so I had to read the story again to refresh my memory from my childhood, and it is true, there are actually several business lessons that can be taken away from this simple children’s story.
Here are 6 lessons you can learn as a business owner from the story of the Tortoise and the Hare:
Slow and steady wins the race
We live in a society were quick and fast is glorified, but many times it’s slow and steady that really wins in business. It’s the business owners and entrepreneurs that work day in and day out for months even years before they see the fruits of their labor, but their dedication, commitment, passion and perseverance allow them to keep going. Most “overnight” successes in business are actually several years in the making, so most of the time it is better to be slow and steady in business.
Never underestimate the underdog
The hare underestimated the tortoise and because of that he didn’t pay attention to what was going on and decided to take a nap in the middle of the race. As business owners, it’s important to pay attention to what is going on in the marketplace, and to not underestimate the smaller guy and not to fall asleep on what is going on because we have gotten to a certain level of success. Blockbuster underestimated Netflix, Walmart underestimated Amazon, and Borders underestimated Audible, those are just a few examples of businesses that didn’t pay attention to what was happening in the marketplace and underestimated the underdog.
Have confidence in yourself
Despite the odds, the Tortoise was always confident. He always felt like he could win the race. He never looked at his competitor and gave up because it seemed impossible, no he ran the race to the best of his ability and had confidence in himself and his ability to win the race. As business owners it’s important that we are confident in ourselves and our ability to succeed.
Never give up
Despite a very slow start in the race, the tortoise never gave up. His perseverance and persistent was what allowed him to continue on and win the race. As business owners we have to persevere no matter what. No matter how difficult it may be, no matter how hard it becomes we have to keep moving forward in the direction of our dreams just like the tortoise. It’s not going to be easy, nothing in life that is worth it is, but the hard work will eventually pay off.
Many business owners and entrepreneurs get distracted by shiny objects in the form of various opportunities. In order to be successful at one thing you have to remain focused. The hare was distracted and not focused, the tortoise was focused. A nice acronym for focus is Follow One Course Until Success. If we just remember to do that, it will be easier to be successful in business.
Don’t be arrogant and overly confident
The problem with the hare was that he was overly confident to the point that he was arrogant. As a business owner, it is important to be confident, but it’s also important to be humble and not arrogant. Arrogance never wins in the end. Having a humble confident spirit does!
So after reading this childhood story again, I realized there are lots of lessons we can apply to business from this simple children’s story. What other lessons do you feel we can learn from the Hare and The Tortoise? Share your comments below: