The Hare and the Tortoise both had good-paying, 9-to-5 jobs working in a cubical. Their jobs paid them a good salary, but being entrepreneurs at heart, they felt unfulfilled, and dreamed of being something other then just an employee. One Saturday, the two friends were sitting together at a local coffee shop, discussing the latest episode of “Shark Tank” when it happened, each of them had their eureka moment. Both got the perfect idea for a business. An idea so incredible, it was sure to be a huge success. Before their lattes were even finished, they headed home to making their ideas happen.
The Hare hopped home and calculated how much money he would earn if he could just capture 1% of 1% of the market. He was going to be a millionaire! He raced ahead, pouring his time and money into building a website, registering his business’s name with the state, getting a bank account, and creating social-media pages. The most exciting thing of all, he ordered 25 boxes of the most beautiful shiny business cards he had ever seen! Finally, it was time to get to work and produce sales and further develop his product, and the adrenaline rush of creating a “real business” quickly faded.
The Tortoise walked home to write up his ideas, and immediately started searching the web, trying to find the problems with his new business idea. Sure enough, several other businesses are doing what he thought was such an original idea, but the Tortoise saw things that he could do differently that would set him apart. He created a business plan & a marketing strategy. He postponed business cards and a website and instead created a Facebook page. His day-to-day task of engaging, sharing and networking began.
The Hare’s customers were slow to embrace his new idea, and it started to look like .01% of the market that he needed was going to be harder to come by then he thought. With such little forward momentum, the Hare had trouble being motivated to dedicate so much of his evenings and weekends into his new business idea. Inevitably, doubt crept into his head. His thoughts of riches were replaced by thoughts of “I’ve spent so much time and money on this already,” and “I make a good living at my job, is this work even worth it?” Only a few weeks in, the exhausted Hare put his business to rest.
The Tortoise faithfully moved ahead. Fans were joining his page daily and although few fans became customers, his marketing plan allowed for a few months to foster relationships. Before he knew it, people began asking for his services. Eventually, his business outgrew the Social Media pages he set up, and he decided to invest in a website that offered more features and business process automation.
Another Saturday, many months later, the two friends were enjoying each other’s company at the same coffee shop. The friends don’t get to hang out nearly as much as they used to. The Tortoise had quit his job and was working full-time for himself. The Hare never mentions his old idea anymore. He had convinced himself that his idea obviously wasn’t that great to begin with. The Tortoise isn’t a millionaire yet, in fact, he’s still making a little bit less than he did at his old job, but his business continues to grow and, more importantly, he’s excited every day he gets to go to work.
The moral of the story is: There is nothing as exciting as creating a new business and achieving the “American Dream,” being the president of your own company and creating something of your own. But remember, with very rare exceptions, the people who have found success in business are the people who realized that slow and steady is how you win a race.