Parable of the hawk and the dove

In the world of nature everything is about opportunity.

This truth was apparent the one day when we heard a thump on the roof of our office. As I looked out of the window a red tailed hawk rolled off the roof with a mourning dove in his talons. They rolled around in the underbrush and then the hawk took flight to the cover of a low-growing live oak. There he perched to feast on his meal of opportunity; the mourning dove.

Many reading this will think the hawk cruel for devouring the dove and some might wish for the demise of the hawk. From where I sit, I think this is a lesson in seizing opportunity.

As a small business owner, how hungry are you?

If you are hungry, how do you find your next project? Do you do as the hawk and fly across your territory watching for the slightest twitch or negligence? The truth is that the dove only became hawk food because he was not placing his attention where it needed to be: on being aware of what was happening around him. It’s the same in business. If someone “eats our lunch” in business, it’s because we may have been negligent one too many times.

Be aware

Whether we are in a pandemic, an economic recession, depression or boom, being too satiated keeps us from being aware. Throughout nature, critters have a way to know when opportunity arrives. Spiders sense the filaments of their web twitching; fish feel the vibrations of the water moving as flies land on its surface. Animals have a territory that they diligently monitor, making it their business to know what happens in their territory. We many not need to act on all the intelligence we gain, but it is our responsibility to know. And we must be prepared to respond to our intuition and the cues we gather from our intelligence.

Here are a few tips to keep the business hawks out of our dovecote:

  1. Be vigilant to all opportunities.
  2. Follow up on all leads.
  3. Respond in a timely manner to inquiries.
  4. Even when you don’t think you need to, circulate.
  5. Remain powerful; not only physically, but mentally. Knowing you are capable is half the way to gaining the opportunity.
  6. Don’t judge until you have all the information needed to make a decision.

How do you find your business opportunities? Share your insights in the comments.

Photo Credit: Thanks to Flickr user USFWS Mountain-Prairie for the featured photo.