These are my Minis. But they have let me know in no uncertain terms that they do not think small. Everyday when I go down to visit with them and get them their hay and water, they stroll over to me. Never too anxious. Never aloof. Just confident. They don’t stand much taller than a Great Dane, but that sure doesn’t stop them from thinking that they are as big as their pasture mates, the quarter horses.
Horses have a way about them that just commands respect. They don’t bully (well, okay…sometimes they push each other out of the way to get to the food first) and they don’t belittle one another. They aren’t afraid of correction and they respond with grace. They know when it’s okay to be silly and when it’s time to buckle down and get to work. Nothing stops these girls. Bigger horses, pushy donkeys, frenetic goats and inquisitive toddlers don’t frazzle my Minis.
So, how can the Mini’s temperament be applied to the small business model ? Quite simply actually. In the small business world, think big. Keep doing what you do well and move forward. When the goats come around and try to distract you from your vision, calmly acknowledge them and move on. When the big horses stare down at you from way up in their corporate castle towers, give them a nod and move forward. When the flies pester and annoy you with the day to day minutia that tests your stamina, give them a quiet flick of your tail and be done with them. When your customer thinks they know how to ride you but they give you all of the wrong commands, be patient and tolerant. And when you are given a correction for a mistake you’ve made, be honorable and acknowledge the correction and move on.
Layla and Shania are beautiful teachers of quiet dignity and grace. Like them, as a small business, I never want to think small.