Sunday, March 30, 2008

Success Traits of Dogged Entrepreneurs

I’m a big fan of junior hockey and the Ontario Hockey League in particular – and the way entire cities galvanize around their teams come playoff time, in a way that “big-league” cities such as Toronto can only dream of.

So the playoffs are now underway, and last week when I was in Sault Ste. Marie the Greyhounds made short work of their first-round opponents, the Saginaw Spirit. Pondering a way to customize my speech to Soo businesspeople, I realized the Greyhounds gave me an opening . Because they’re a terrific team this year, and “greyhounds” themselves are such a unique breed.
So here, live from Sault Ste. Marie, are 7 reasons why Greyhounds make great role models for entrepreneurs.
* They get off to a fast start. They can hit 70 km an hour in just 1 ½ seconds. Virtually no one can keep up with them.
* Two of the keys to the phenomenal speed of the Greyhound are its large heart and its flexible spine. In my experience meeting thousands of Canadian entrepreneurs, I can assure you it’s their flexibility that enables them to outmanoeuvre bigger, stronger competitors – and that their hearts really are as big as all outdoors.
* Although greyhounds are medium-sized dogs, they can thrive in small spaces. Similarly, the best entrepreneurs adapt to small market spaces – we call them niches. They thrive in specialty markets that larger businesses overlook.
* Greyhounds are pack-oriented dogs, which means they get along well with others. In business today, relationships and alliances are king – you can't get very far without like-minded partners, customers, suppliers and supporters. Being a pack animal, or a team player, will get you further on the road to success than just being a lone wolf.
* Greyhounds are focused. They're said to be “prey-driven,” although I prefer the phrase, results-oriented. Give them an objective and they head straight for it. They let nothing get in their way.
* Greyhounds have very little body fat, which means they are susceptible to extreme temperatures, either heat or cold. Entrepreneurs are similarly lean and lithe – but vulnerable. They’re mentally resilient, but they tend not to have much protection against adverse business conditions. So you as entrepreneurs have to be wary of risky and extreme situations.
* Finally, the greyhound has a unique "Double suspension gallop," which means all four feet are off the ground twice during each full stride. I think this is an important warning for entrepreneurs. Dream big, run as fast as you can, but make sure you keep your feet on the ground – at least half the time.
Go Greyhounds!

1 comment:

Boomer Mother said...

Great! Thanks Rick.