Today I sat on my deck, playing with my young kitten, Xango. I had a palm frond that came off one of my house plants, and it makes a great cat toy. I laid it over an Adirondack chair’s arm, and he excitedly (he’s excited about most things) grabbed at it. He even jumped at it. On a long, skinny arm chair. So you imagine what happened. Of course he fell off. Not once, but over and over again. He would lunge at the palm frond, lose his footing, his hind legs would go off the arm chair, and he’d find himself hanging by his two front arms. Sometimes he would drop immediately. At others he would hang for a few moments, and then drop.
He also ran around the chair, snuck up on the frond, pounced on the frond, sat and looked at the frond, and pounced again. Then he’d be back up on the arm rest, doing his gymnastics. I was so impressed by several things about him, and it reminded me of what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
(1) He was tenacious and unstoppable. He stayed with that play as long as I was willing to waive that frond around. He found something to be interested in and excited about, even though he had done it many times. Even after I left he stuck with it for awhile.
(2) He was not deterred by difficulty or challenge, but rather seemed fascinated and energized by it. In fact he did not seem to even consider what he was doing difficult. Even though he fell repeatedly, and hung from his front arms, he did not seem shocked. He did not seem to be struggling, though he was working hard. He did not complain. He did not walk away. Instead he kept coming back for more.
(3) He varied his approach and worked his possibilities. He was willing and interested in seeing the situation from different points of view. He paused and observed. And then he took decisive action. And in his action steps, he didn’t try just one way, but watched his results.
(4) He was willing to put in the time and effort to develop skills and delay his attainment of a goal. Xango had no specific goal today. He’s a well-fed kitten who does not need a goal. Nonetheless he was in training. I know that he’s going to be an amazing hunter. (Good thing, too, because we have a lot of gophers. I mean A LOT of gophers, but that’s another story.)
Within him is a drive so strong he was in pursuit and nothing would stop him. Now that’s inspiring. How about you?