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5 Lessons From a Squirrel

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By: Shane Bender

The Scene

It was cold October morning in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I had 2 pairs of socks under my shoes, multiple layers of clothes, gloves, and a chair. As I walked out of sight of anyone at the bottom of the hill, I sat down in my chair for a period of reflection and prayer. Quickly, I noticed a squirrel that seemed to be upset at my presence. He sat up in a tree staring at me and making an unusually large amount of noise. Had I somehow interrupted his plans? Over the next 2 hours, the squirrel would run by me getting acorns or some kind of food and put them in a hole in the ground. He was working very hard on this mid-October day.


At the end of the 2 hours, I was listening and taking it all in. I believe that God desires to impress wisdom upon us if we just listen. Then, I saw the squirrel run past me with food to bury for the winter. When I saw him do this, some wise thoughts came to mind. I wouldn’t say it was wisdom I didn’t already know, but it was a good reminder. I wrote down 5 thoughts about business and life in my journal from the actions of this squirrel.

1. Work Hard

The squirrel did not let me stop him from doing his work. He kept doing what he thought was important because this day was a good day to search for food. He would rest later, but not today. The food was not right there in front of him. He had to search.

It is important that we search for wisdom. Working hard also includes working smart by investing in personal development, reading, and learning. We should be consistent and do a little each day to meet our goals.

2. Focus

There was no distraction. Even though I sat there in a chair very close to the squirrel’s area, I probably got in the way. He kept doing what he knew was necessary and important. He focussed on his goal and kept searching and collecting food.

We should follow this example and look for ways to stay focused on our goals. There is always technology, other people, clients, and new ideas that can be very distracting. We should focus on one main goal to reach success.

3. Courage

It might have been easy for the squirrel to run and hide this day, but he chose to continue working anyway. He would run past me within 20 feet at times. He made some noise when I first got there and just did his job.

As business owners, we have to continually get out and meet new prospects, network and do things out of our comfort zone to stretch and grow.

4. Preparation

It is clear that the squirrel knew through instinct that winter is coming. He is finding as much food today as he can and burying it in multiple holes.

It is important to work hard to expand our business when we can. We should work toward multiple products and streams of income to protect us from recessions, lost business, and a changing world. It is essential to avoid procrastination by doing a little each day to meet our goals. This might be business development, personal development, or business strategy. Yes, we have to work and meet the needs of our clients. I have found that when I network, meet new people, or learn something new, it ends up benefitting my current clients in the long run.

5. Rejuvenation

There will be a time when the squirrel will relax during the winter. He will enjoy the food he was searching for today.

We all need to relax and rejuvenate to stay productive and successful. For me, just taking a trip to Colorado and spending time in reflection gave me a positive viewpoint and energy. You may think that I am stretching this analogy too far. Maybe you think this is just nature and nothing highly profound. No matter what, I felt almost enlightened after that experience. It was a great reminder, and that is why I chose to write about it.

No matter if you are thinking about starting a side business or you have been a business owner for years, these concepts are true. Through focus, working hard, courage, preparation, and rejuvenation, you can start and grow any business while weathering the storms that come.

Free Resource

If you desire to “Sharpen Yourself” so you can work hard and smart, be prepared, have courage, and focus, check out this downloadable resource. Click here to download.