A Penguin can’t be an Elephant

3 Feb 2021 | Entrepreneur, Growth, Start-up

Entrepreneurs are optimistic, passionate, determined, driven, hard-working, fearless, risky, ambitious and single-minded and whilst the market is littered with many who’d like to call themselves entrepreneurs, true entrepreneurs are not as commonplace as you’d think.

I have met thousands of “entrepreneurs” and seen countless start ups over the years and as much as it pains me to say this, the vast majority are not going to make it through to success and to me it’s quite obvious why.

Of course, I could temper my opinion with a view that despite perhaps not succeeding with a business, having a go at starting a business is as good as one needs to be to qualify as an entrepreneur!  Nope……sorry, I am going to have to be a little more contentious and judgmental here (and yes, I know as a professional coach I should not be judging, but hey, I’m human too!!).

You may have heard the story of the bumble bee in that it is technically and aeronautically speaking, unable to fly, due to its’ wing size and body mass being in complete disproportion to one another.  And yet it does, but only because nobody told the bumblebee that it couldn’t fly.   That’s a nice metaphor for being successful and determined, but it is not the same in business.  There comes a point where despite your best efforts to start your own business, you should simply not deny reality and perhaps just go and find a job that you can be the best at or try another business idea.

In the world today, there has never been such a buzz around the encouragement for anyone to go and start a business.  The media is littered with stories about now being the right time with low barriers to entry, coupled with all the resource you’ll ever need to be an entrepreneur and pave your way to success.

But……have you seen those episodes of X Factor or various talent shows, where an appalling applicant is chastised for even daring to have a go and even to the extent that the likes of Simon Cowell has actually chastised the parents for even encouraging their children in the first place, as they are so untalented.  It’s the same in business, but often there is even more at stake and there should be a wealth warning to everyone before starting a business.  Do you know that in the UK (and probably in other countries too), you actually need a licence to go fishing, but not to start a business or become a director of a company!!

The fact of the matter is that there are simply some people who despite their best efforts are just not capable enough to be a success as an entrepreneur or business owner.  I know that’s harsh, but it’s a fact and the point of my story here is to advise you, the reader, to think long and hard about your aspiration to go at it alone.  Talk it through with somebody not emotionally connected to you; they will give you an objective and hopefully honest view. 

It takes even more courage and strength to be honest with yourself.  Without being too negative, take a good long look at yourself and get real; decide if you are a penguin or an elephant and be the best version of you.  If you believe in your heart and head that you have what it takes, then go for it.  But if not, then go and be the best at something else, after all, it takes all sorts of talent to make up a team and when you make the right decision and you will be authentic!

You may also find it easier if you discussed these thoughts with someone outside of your current network, so why not do exactly that.  Nobody is expecting you to have all of the answers and maybe this is where an Executive Coach can help you.  If you feel stuck, then why not give me a call and let’s explore what’s possible; you may be surprised in what you discover.


I love being an entrepreneur and thrive on hearing people’s stories, so come and share your journey with me.

Get in touch at piers@pierso.co.uk, call me on 073 666 55 666 or find me on Linked In or Facebook. I might be wrong, but I am never uncertain and I’ll certainly lend you an ear!