Entrepreneurs can learn a lot from a children’s book.

Tortoise and the Hare Book
Entrepreneur tortoises relish that a business rarely has overnight success and requires years of intense dedication. (Click to Tweet)

My wife and I attended a Financial Peace University class at our church a while back. For those who don’t know, Financial Peace University is a series of classes done by nationally syndicated radio host, TV host, and best-selling author, Dave Ramsey.

In his lesson about investing, Dave discusses a recent meeting with a billionaire. Currently, there are only about 300 billionaires in America, so you can imagine how excited Dave must have been. It is a very rare opportunity to meet with one of these people.

He eagerly met with this man hoping to learn a few of his secrets about how to be a billionaire. He had his notepad and pen ready and asked what advice this man had for him.

The man told him only two things. The first was to keep on giving. Dave gives away a lot. To callers on his show, he often gives them a book or pays their way through Financial Peace. He has a non-profit to help people get out of debt and save money. This man told him to never stop doing that. For Dave, that was a no-brainer.

The second thing the billionaire told Dave was to read a certain book. Dave got excited. Like me, he is a reader. This man told him that he reads this book over and over; in fact he has read it many times to his grandchildren. The name of the book is one that almost all of us know, The Tortoise and the Hare.

There you have it…the secret to being a billionaire is to read that book!  No, not really, but the man’s point was that slow and steady does indeed win the race. Every single time the tortoise wins! Every time.

Business success is much the same. Entrepreneur tortoises win. The tortoises start slow and have some bumps along the way. Entrepreneur tortoises plan carefully and work their plans. Entrepreneur tortoises relish that a business rarely has overnight success and requires years of intense dedication. (Click to Tweet)

Entrepreneur tortoises don’t mind watching the hares sprint ahead only to pass them a year or two later. Tortoises don’t listen to the naysayers who say that what they are doing is impossible. Tortoises don’t fret about growing only 10% this year or having a bad month every now and then.

To be clear, entrepreneur tortoises certainly are not satisfied with stagnation. The tortoise in the fable did not merely stand still. He slowly crept toward his goal, the finish line. Entrepreneur tortoises work hard, but more importantly they work smartly and consistently.

When your friends, some “guru” or some ancient voice from your childhood is telling you to quit or to try to be the hare, just remember, the tortoise wins every time!

Are you the tortoise or the hare?

4 thoughts on “The Billionaire and the Hare: An Entrepreneurship Lesson from Dave Ramsey

  1. Todd Liles says:

    I work with the energy of the hare, and have the patience of the tortoise

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      I like that Todd. That is probably a healthy mix!

  2. Carol Dublin says:

    As a high C on the DISC profile, definitely a tortoise – just have to be careful to keep moving ahead and not wait for perfect! Great post – I love that story.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Very true Carol.

      I think any extreme of the two is probably worse than a nice healthy mix.

      By the way, I am 50% D, 49% I and no C, so I am the complete opposite.

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