I’ve always believed that animals come into our lives to teach us. First and foremost, they teach us about unconditional love. But they also teach us to stretch and grow, to reach beyond our self-imposed limits, and to expand our consciousness. Some of the cats I’ve shared my life with over the last 30 years have been amazing teachers. You often hear it said that entrepreneurs are born, not made. I believe that anyone with a strong enough desire and a passion for what they do can be a successful entrepreneur. And purrhaps, our cats can teach us a few lessons about how to get there along the way.
1. Be independent
Cats are independent creatures who don’t depend on humans, or other cats, for a sense of security. While they enjoy the company of others, they are also quite content to be by themselves. A strong sense of independence, along with a desire to control their own destiny, is one of the most common traits of successful entrepreneurs.
2. Don’t give up easily
If you’ve ever watched a cat trying to catch the red dot of a laser toy, you know they don’t give up easily. Being an entrepreneur requires the same kind of resilience. There will be set backs along the way, and not every venture will be successful. It’s important to not lose faith. Tomorrow may be the day you finally catch that red dot!
3. Don’t forget to play
When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s easy to fall into a routine of working 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. There’s always one more email to answer, one more project to finish. However, all work and no play is not a healthy lifestyle. Take time out each day to play, whatever form that takes for you. Go for a run, get together with friends, read a good book. Better yet, play with your cats!
4. Don’t dwell on past mistakes
Running your own business will mean that you will make mistakes, and that there will be some failures along the way. Cats don’t go through life talking about the mouse that got away and getting depressed about why they didn’t catch it, and how they’ll probably never catch another one. They simply go out to hunt again the next day, because they know there will always be another mouse.
5. Get enough sleep.
We’re a sleep deprived society. According to the National Sleep Foundation, we’ve managed to squeeze almost a month of additional work and commuting time into each year. The average adult is only sleeping 7 hours a night, rather than the 8 hours sleep experts recommend. By contrast, the average cat sleeps between 12 and 16 hours a day. And since you don’t see cats stressing out over their to do lists, they must know something we don’t. While I’m not suggesting that you should strive to sleep 12 to 16 hours a day, you should get enough sleep so that you can function at peak levels.