Top 4 business strategies the animal kingdom can teach you about your purposeful business. Wait, what?!
“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty, the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.” – David Attenborough
One of my favorite pass times is to watch nature documentaries. My heart is full of curiosity about the animal kingdom that I’ve seen so little of in the city life that I live. How do these storytellers capture such close intimate moments in the natural world?!
I’m always amazed at how smart these animals are—something about their natural instinct makes them seem so wise.
The human brain, for better or worse, has gotten us this far in our technologically advanced, business savvy, entrepreneurial spirit. But there is something about this innate ability to think (or overthink!) that often limits us.
Perhaps I should speak from experience. My limiting beliefs can keep me stuck in a pattern of inaction. My imposter syndrome keeps me in a bubble of not speaking up or showing my true self. Do you relate? This is not an exception when it comes to running a business either.
And I thought, what if businesses were like animals what would they be like? What qualities would they hold?
Here are the top 4 business strategies animals can teach you about your purposeful business!
1. Embody the business values
Does a lion speak of its boldness? Does a dog speak of its loyalty?
Animals live their qualities. Their communication is shown through the way they live, the way they walk, and how they behave. If you can learn anything about the animal kingdom and relate it back to your small business, embodying your business values through the content you create, your website, or anything that is public facing. It is your business’ presence that can capture people’s attention. We don’t need to explicitly say “these are my values,” we can demonstrate them in various ways.
2. Be strategic and thoughtful
It is fascinating the amount of thought and strategy that goes into a tortoise laying its eggs. It can walk up to two miles to reach its preferred destination!
In 2017, in a survey completed by execs around the world, ~49% they are doing digital marketing but no defined strategy. I have a feeling that number is much higher amongst purposeful business & solopreneurs businesses.
To me, stepping into a business and marketing initiative without a thoughtful plan or strategy is like if the tortoise laid her eggs anywhere. She’s still laying her eggs, and maybe some of the cute baby tortoises will hatch but it’s too random. Nature doesn’t just wing some of these things.
Your small business thoughts, goals, and ideas are like little tortoise eggs. Nurture them! Have a plan for them! With a thoughtful strategy, you can watch them flourish and grow. You can then learn from your mistakes later. What worked well? What did? What can you avoid in the future?
3. Stick with your strengths
There’s a reason why a fish stays in the water. For survival but in a way that’s one of its strengths. It’s a really good swimmer! Don’t be a fish out of water.
There was a time in my career path that I worked in sales at a tele-psychiatry startup, and I was definitely a fish out of water. I hated selling and pitching. It wasn’t my strength. Slowly, I started to notice that my strengths were in marketing. I enjoyed the creativity, the analytical, and strategic aspects of marketing so I kept moving in that direction. If you own your own business or personal brand, there are times when you have to be all the roles and do everything! But keep in mind there are ways to outsource certain things. Not so great at creativity or graphics? Hire someone on Fiverr to create social media templates. Not so great with marketing strategy, hire a coach to get familiar with different frameworks and marketing techniques to do on your own.
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4. Be resourceful
Cute resourceful beaver! Beavers are resourceful creatures, and their methods for creating their homes vary by water levels and what materials are available.
Ernest Hemingway said, “Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is.”
Whatever you dream of creating, however big your vision is, there is always a way to get there! Being resourceful means knowing what’s possible right now, taking action to create other possibilities later one. Believe that any problem you encounter you can overcome, either on your own, using the support of Google, or hiring an expert to support you.
Overall, continue to live your purposeful business
If you’re reading this, I know you’re living the vision of your purposeful business. It’s not always easy. You feel this strong pull to be on this path. To offer your services to the world. Call it fate. Call it synchronicities. Call it hard-work. You are already instinctually running your business. Keep going!
I thought it would be fun to see what my Animals Medicine cards would say about this. The cards were actually part of what inspired me to write this. So I took a few deep breaths, connected to my cards and my purposeful business, and received—Opossum, which at first I thought was so random but then reading the why, the opossum is the strategist 🙂 When people ask me what my favorite thing about marketing is, I always say strategy. I geek out about it a lot. I love a good plan and a clear direction. I consider myself a mindful marketing strategist and to see that the animal medicine cards think the same feels reassuring. I hope after reading you feel reassured too!