What You Can Learn From A Turtle

Not generally thought of as smart, not petable, doesn’t wag a tail when you come home, somewhat smelly and not a great conversationalist—but there is one thing I have learned from a turtle, or actually, a saying about a turtle that I have on my desk. This simple saying has guided my business career for 40 years, and it is has never failed me.


If a turtle sits back and waits, nothing will happen. No food, no exciting life with a supermodel turtle. Nothing happens until he sticks his neck out, and that is the turtle’s fear. In his shell, no animal can attack; no bigger critter can have turtle for breakfast. But when he sticks his neck out, he can walk around the pond looking for his breakfast. He can climb out on the rocks and sun himself. He can look for the supermodel.

Safe and alone is not viable. He will slowly starve to death. 

It’s the same for us in business. You have to stick your neck out. Maybe not all the way, but enough to move your business forward.  Enough to attract talented people to work with. Enough to let your customers know who and where you are. Enough so that the rewards from the risk go to your bottom line.

What is enough? No one knows for sure. There have been thousands of books and now blogs written on how to make a profit in business. Some are better than others, but there is no sure-fire, guaranteed way to promise success in business. 

Except this one: Stick you neck out.

One thought on “What You Can Learn From A Turtle

  1. Great post Paul. I don’t know of any other industry than the construction industry
    where taking chances that involve risk is the daily norm. And while I never thought of myself as a turtle when I was a glass and glazing contractor ( more like a punching bag ), the analogy certainly applies.

    The trick is to get instant authority so your potential customers see you as the obvious and only choice to do business with. After 40 years in business, I have solved that problem. Take a peak at http://www.quotedauthority.com and be a turtle.

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