First of all – apologies for skipping the post for last week, but I think we will catch up with a compensating post soon to fill the gap.
Today, we want to draw some lessons from the eagle. I guess many of us know very well the eagle and all its unique characteristics. Of course many creatures and specifically bird species exist but the eagle certainly stands apart, and this is why some countries, militaries and entities have used the eagle as its symbol. Can’t you name some of the countries and institutions? Do you know that the bald eagle is a national bird in the US? Do you know that the Roman warriors had an eagle as a sign of strength and bravery? It is reported that the bald golden eagle weighs up to 8kg and is 75-90cm in length, with a wingspread of about two meters. It is a symbol of freedom and power.
Now, if some nations and institutions can see some good things in an eagle, what about an entrepreneur? I know I have mentioned the US and Romans in my examples above, and some of you might have your opinions about those entities or people. You are free and entitled to keep your opinion, and I have mine too about different countries in this world, but what is important now is that we are talking about entrepreneurship. We are sharing lessons that can be drawn from the eagle, and utilized in business. It’s really up to you to learn or not. It’s your choice, isn’t it? I chose to learn. So, what lessons can we get from the eagle? Just read on.
- Lesson number one – Master your own weakness. The eaglet hops in the nest, jumping occasionally, and then later voluntarily flying out of the nest. These are start-up exercises as the eaglet learns to be independent and begins to reach out to the unknown. It is reported that when mother eagle does not see this drive for growth and independence in the eaglets it even withholds food sometimes, to compel the eaglets to make a move. Mother eagle even allows the eaglets to start a free fall – as part of flight training – and then grabs them midair if there is danger. Are you the budding entrepreneur who has been lacking the starting energy to roll up your sleeves and get working to start your enterprise? Are you afraid of that initial motion (might be difficult and challenging by the by) as you launch out in your business? Do you need circumstances to push you to commence your entrepreneurial dreams, or make that big move in your already operating business? Break out of your shell and leave your comfort zone, Mr. Entrepreneur.
- Lesson number two – Master your own fears. Have courage and boldness. Do you know that eagles don’t beg? They don’t succumb to self-pity and become cry-baby. Eagles dare. They reach out whatever the circumstances, and get what they want. They are extremely bold and courageous and are reported to attack and knock kangaroos and sheep off the cliffs in rocky parts of Australia. Being an entrepreneur, you need to go out and get what you want from the market. It’s a big market you know. You have got to be daring to be a successful entrepreneur. Don’t you agree with me here? Come on, you need to invest money fearlessly. You need to enter new territories and introduce product lines with boldness and courage. Who tells you that your new product or service will perform excellently anyway? I’m not telling you to act blindly and avoid research or some exploratory fact-finding. I know some people fear the word research like a plague – but if you mention fact-finding they start smiling and being at ease with the research you are talking about. Isn’t it? Get moving with courage and boldness in your entrepreneurial endeavors. Stop crying about the market, the economy, competition etc. Even the worst economies are transformed into good economies by mortals. Do you understand me?
- Lesson number three – Work smarter and not just harder. Yes – some of us think that working twenty hours a day is the way to success. You might work until you forget your spouse’s or children’s names! You could even earn yourself a bed in the intensive care unit in the hospital, with some hypertension complication because you work so hard and sit all day. Or, the doctors start thinking that the only way to keep you from work is to keep you in the hospital for a while. Be smart Mr. Entrepreneur! Work smart and not just hard. Do you know that eagles take advantage of thermal currents to rise, effortlessly, higher and higher, in a relaxed and poised manner? Can’t you think creatively and begin harnessing some forces in your enterprise’s favour? Start by transforming your thinking. Believe that you can soar and see great heights, and also soar above wings of business adversity. Stop blaming others for your entrepreneurial problems. Take responsibility. You must see further and observe storms in advance. Harness even negative forces to your advantage.
- Lesson number four – Commitment to excellence. The eagle is committed to excellence in everything it does. The golden eagle builds very good and strong nests high up in the mountains, far away from many risks so this means it is risk conscious. It repairs its nest continuously to deal with wear and tear, so the eagle knows maintenance yet some folks work machines and humans until they break down. When the eagle realizes that it’s getting old; the beak and talons are no longer as sharp as required, feathers are old and not as good as required for covering and other roles etc; the eagle takes time to rejuvenate. It’s reported that the eagle gets away to a hiding place high in the mountains where it takes days and weeks to sharpen its beak and talons against rocks. It plucks out its old feathers and allows new ones to grow. It dips itself into very cold water to wash out all the dirt and get rejuvenated before it goes back to face the world. Now, do you routinely analyse your weaknesses and work on them as an entrepreneur? Are you striving for excellence in your business or you hardly care about mediocrity? Do you balance production and production capacity? Do you allocate time to sharpen the saw and refresh, time to dream and reflect? Mr. Entrepreneur, you need quality time to hideout and relax and reflect on your visions and missions. Visions rebuild themselves in quietness.
- Lesson number five – Focus. Have you ever seen an eagle swooping down to a target? What a wonderful focus, concentration and speed. Nothing deters an eagle at that stage. It’s like a pilot targeting the runway to bring that huge craft with its mighty power and many hours of flight to a smooth landing with everything – I say everything, going right in the interest of safety of the hundreds on board. It’s about prioritizing, laser focus, sense of speed and urgency, concentration, the target or the goal, etc. Entrepreneur, nothing should deter you from pursuing your business goals with focus. You have got to surmount obstacles. You need laser focus and concentration to achieve some critical business goals and objectives in a timely manner. Your enterprise needs to act with speed and power. The market requires your dependability. Don’t you agree with me?
- Lesson number six – Fly with the eagle and don’t scratch with the turkeys. The eagle knows it’s the King of the birds and hence it sets for itself very high targets. It must fly high. It’s not going to waste time on the ground scratching for food with lesser creatures like the turkeys. It is determined to stay aloft where few creatures including humans can reach. It only comes to the ground occasionally with a specific interest. Are you going to be an entrepreneur scratching for remnants of the market, or are you determined to ride high and control a good portion of the big cake? Will you be contented with little grains in the sand, or will you launch out and get some of the big and juicy deals in the market? Do you have ambition in your entrepreneurial pursuits, or you are just another number and name in the business world? Are you set to break ranks, or you are deeply content with what comes along your way by chance?
Come on Mr. Entrepreneur, the above lessons are good foods for thought as you plan and execute in your enterprise. I don’t think there is anything more to add to these lessons now. Take it or leave it. It’s your choice. Isn’t it? If it’s going to be, it’s up to you!
Sincerely – and with every good wish,
The Wise Entrepreneur