One of the ways in which wild horses are trained is by way of a long rope and a wide open space. The rope is attached to the horse (using a halter or head collar) and the horse is basically set free in the big wide space to run and roam at will – all the while attached to the rope though.
As the horse becomes accustomed to her living space, the rope is very gradually shortened until she becomes more compliant. Often during this process the trainer will speak to the horse so that as she gets used to a shorter and shorter leash, she also becomes attuned to the sound of her master speaking.
In this way a horse is tamed and trained. Moving over the course of time from wild stallion to a highly trained and refined animal.
The process is somewhat like the stages that we need to go through as entrepreneurs. Probably, much like a wild horse being trained we go through several stages of development before we’re really effective and successful in our work:
The world is your oyster! You can do anything, anywhere with anyone. There’s a whole wide world of success out there ready and waiting for you.
But wait. What are you going to do with all of that energy and enthusiasm? Where are you going to direct it? With so many opportunities and people to speak to – where do you start? Where do you stop?
You need to reign things in a bit.
On a leash
Sometimes, and particularly when starting out in business, having some constraints is good. You need to focus on one specific area and figure out how to make that work for you.
As we’ve talked about in other articles, having several businesses on the go at once can be a distraction. Having the entire world as a target market for your business or product can be overwhelming.
If you want to start being effective in business you need to reign your activities in a bit. Try to limit yourself to a specific market or geographic location and focus on that first.
If you’ve managed to reign yourself in some and focus on a specific area, then over the course of time you will find that some patterns begin to emerge. You’ll settle into some specific activities or processes that you know you need to do each day or with each client and they will become second nature to you.
You’ve tamed some of the wild entrpreneurialism. But that doesn’t mean you’re domesticated. It just means you’ve taken all of that energy and started doing something more useful with it. It’s focused – like a racehorse – on winning the race.
The more you carry out your focused business activities, the better you will become at them. The more of a body of work you will create. The more of a network you will build. The more established your reputation will become. You start to build inertia.
The key here is not to stop doing what you’re doing. Tune and adjust your activities to make them more effective. Pivot if necessary. But don’t stop. Don’t ever stop. Because if you do, then like a horse (that when stopped will start to feed), you’ll find your business very difficult to get moving again.
The Masters Voice
One thing that I didn’t mention in the steps above was that the masters voice is also a kind of metaphor. In this case, it can be likened to our own inner voice, or the voice of friends and family.
When you’re trying to run your own thing, you need that voice to be positive and encouraging. And you need it to call you to account.
For some of us, that inner voice isn’t so positive or encouraging. Sometimes, it can be very negative and extremely discouraging. Trust me on this, I know. I’ve struggled with and fought against that voice for more years than I care to count. I’m not going to get into where that voice comes from here. Suffice to say that if you struggle with your inner voice, you need to find a way to combat it.
Likewise with friends and family. Sometimes they can be supportive. Sometimes not so much. Having someone to talk things through with can be massively helpful when you’re trying to get your thing going.
And we all need someone to hold us to account. Someone to keep us on track. To reign us in when we wander off course.
We can help you. We can be that positive, encouraging voice for you. We can keep you on track. We can show you in which direction your efforts should be focused and help to tune and adjust them where necessary.
We can also support you with the tricky technical stuff if you need us to.
Want to have a chat? Hit reply and we’ll be in contact.- Simon
P.S If you're interested in learning more about performance testing, checkout my Performance Testing 101 course here.