You may not think of squirrels as fearless, but something interesting happened that made that phrase come to mind for me.
One quiet morning I was looking out the window just as the sun was coming up. Through the silhouette of the bare tree branches, I could see a large squirrel’s nest and out came a squirrel. He started slowly climbing up higher in the tree, testing various branches. He tried stepping on a branch that was very thin and couldn’t support his weight so he backed down slowly and moved over to another branch that was stronger. He methodically continued this pattern as he worked his way – up, up, up — to almost the top. And then he just jumped across the gap and landed on a branch of the tree right across from where he started. He did all of this without once falling. And I thought to myself, “He is fearless!”
Being in business on your own is a lot about being fearless. In fact, I think being fearless is a great trait to have when you’re a business owner.
The squirrel could’ve taken the easier way by just climbing down the tree where his nest was located, running 25 feet across to the next tree and climbing back up. (After all, we don’t have any dogs in our yard to chase after the squirrel.) So why did he climb to the heights of the tree where the branches were the thinnest and he might fall off, just to jump over to the next tree? We’ll probably never know that answer, but again it made me think about entrepreneurs and how they often don’t do things the easy way. They fearlessly believe they know a better way, so they’ll try something new.
Thomas Edison famously said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” [https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/thomasaed132683.html].
And that’s the great thing about the adventure of being in business — the thrill of trying something new (perhaps time and time again) — and succeeding. Being fearless and courageous is so important when it comes to business because those traits help us to manage the disappointments along the way.
One aspect of what I do as a PR practitioner is help clients tell those stories about their fearless attempts during their journey to success. I get inspired hearing those stories.
If you have a story of fearlessness that you’d like help telling, I’d love to know more.