“The hunter in pursuit of an elephant does not stop to throw stones at birds.” ~ Ugandan proverb
The words rocked me when I read them for the first time. The weight of that truth. The multiple layers of application, personal and professional. The visual texture of the metaphor.
It’s amazing how much wisdom can be found on boxes of tea these days…
The ideas of purpose, focus and the proper use of time become increasingly important to me. There are so many demands on my time, energy and resources, it’s critical to figure out which are elephants and which are birds.
The cool (and simultaneously challenging) thing is, by and large, it’s up to you to decide which is which.
What are YOU pursuing?
One of the major components of the business growth model Michael Zipursky shared during last week’s training was defining who your ideal clients are. (FYI, you can see the replay of the 1-hour training here.)
Again, you get to pick who they are. You also get to decide, to a degree that would astonish many people, HOW you will work with them.
I don’t necessarily mean big-money clients when I say “elephants,” although there’s nothing wrong with that. I mean whatever is meaningful to you. Here’s the catch: most of us never define what’s important to us. We kind of just drift through life. Maybe we pat ourselves on the back when we avail ourselves of opportunities as they pass. But how many of those opportunities are “birds” that happen to land in our paths?
What’s important in your life? In your business? Pursue it like a hungry cheetah chases it’s next meal. Ignore as many insignificant things as possible. They’re wasting huge chunks of your time (aka your life)!
That means you have to figure out what your purpose is and focus on it.
A Stimulating Conversation with a From-Scratch Millionaire
On Monday, I had the chance to sit down and chat with one of my clients. His life is one of those true rags-to-riches tales. He showed me a YouTube video of his oldest son, who has also become a millionaire, giving a presentation at a major event.
I (strategically) asked what he attributed his son’s success to. He boiled it down to 3 main factors:
- Insane work ethic
Both my client and his son have earned millions of dollars by choosing their elephants, expending massive amounts of energy pursuing them (working smart AND hard) and ignoring the insidious feeling of fear that would tell them to chase something smaller, less dangerous and easier to catch.
Sounds like good advice.