“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion, or it will be killed. Every morning, a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle, or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or gazelle. When the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”
In my younger days as an athlete I used to hang this quote up on my wall to see every day. The idea of waking up like a wild gazelle or a lion – hungry, motivated, and alert was inspiring to me.
I would use that intensity to help me train, overcome obstacles, and compete at a high level in football, baseball, and other sports.
After I began my own small business out of college, I realized that intensity is also required as an entrepreneur. Every day the financial lions were coming after me.
If I didn’t make a sale, I went hungry. If I didn’t find money for a deal, I went hungry. If I made one or two big mistakes, I might be financially dead.
I love entrepreneurship. If you really embrace it, I believe it has the ability to provide more fun and freedom than any other financial path.
But, the life of an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. Most people will opt for the life of comfort and supposed security of traditional employment and conventional retirement options. The difference between these two paths is sort of like the difference between domesticated and wild animals.
As a wild and free entrepreneur, you won’t get your food, shelter, and safety from a kind farmer watching over you. You’re on your own. But you’ll also experience exhilaration and freedom unimaginable for those stuck within fences.
To survive you must find your courage. You must dig deep for your inner tenacity. Like a gazelle who knows the next moment is not guaranteed, you must fix your gaze with intensity at the challenges ahead.
If you are prepared to do that, life will also afford plenty of periods of peaceful grazing and relaxing. But if you’re not prepared to face that tough reality, your experience of entrepreneurship may be more like a nightmare. It’s probably better to stay on the farm.
I wish you the best on your entrepreneurial journey. May you find that primal intensity that can be used to accomplish any task you want. Just remember, when you wake up tomorrow, you’d better be running!
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