Starting an Online Business: Learning from Ducks

I didn’t expect to learn a lot about starting an online business from the ducks and ducklings who summer on the river in front of our cabin. But I was surprised to find that I did.

We’ve been at our cabin in SW Colorado all summer, and have had the never-ending joy of watching ducklings grow from fuzzy balls floating on the river to developing feathers to learning to fly.

Yesterday as I was sitting here at my computer and looking out at the river, a group of two duckling families floated by — or maybe I should say whizzed past — on the river. Some of the ducklings were older and more skilled, and some barely had their adult feathers.

They were moving fast, and making a wake behind them as they appeared to be trying to take off and fly. Some of them got above the water for a second, and then plopped back down. They were really working hard at this new skill.

The adult ducks were right there with them, buzzing through the water, getting a bit airborne, and then settling back in on the surface. Demonstrating what to do every step of the way.

It’s been a long time in duck years since these babies first got their feet wet in this business of becoming a duck. We’ve watched them learn where to walk and swim, discover whom to learn from, and find out how to cooperate to stay safe and alive. We’ve seen them try new things, and sometimes venture out on their own.

The adult ducks (who have this duck thing down pat) have been there with them all along. Herding them around, sending them off to practice a new skill, calling them to safety when they started going off in the wrong direction.

And they’ve been demonstrating everything along the way, showing the ducklings exactly what they needed to learn and do next.

The adult ducks aren’t teaching the ducklings how to fly by swooping around high in the air, showing off their fancy high-altitude flying and advanced hawk-evading techniques. They are right there on the water, demonstrating the next logical step in the learning process.

duckslearn Starting an Online Business: Learning from Ducks

Sadly, there have been a few ducklings lost along the way. Maybe they ignored the advice of the more experienced ducks (who have been able to survive and thrive in the world) and took risks they shouldn’t have taken. Or they might have just been unlucky; have been in the wrong place at the wrong time; not paying attention.

I guess it’s not really possible for a duckling to just give up and quit learning to be a duck. But it did seem that some got tired or distracted, or were somehow drawn off course. And the results for those ducks were not good.

I remember the feeling of being a duckling when it came to starting an online business, with so very much to learn. The struggle of paddling hard upstream to master a new skill. And then the joy of drifting downstream as it became second nature.

In many ways, I return to ducklingness each time I start to learn a new skill or implement an unfamiliar business building strategy.

But we also get the joy of being adult ducks, teaching and demonstrating the skills we have learned so that others might also survive and thrive in this journey of starting an online business.

Somewhat unlike our duck family, there never seems to be a time to stop learning from others, so we continue to take courses that teach the next skill we need to learn. We continue to benefit from our coaches and mentors. We get together with like-minded people at live events.

We constantly discover and re-discover the benefits and joys of being a part of our larger internet-based family who are working and supporting each other in starting an online business.

We want to thank you for being a part of our online family. You are much appreciated.

Deb & Mynders

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