I was watching a show a few weeks ago about bears and how to they go about preparing to survive the winter (don’t worry, my wife makes fun of my geeky television viewing choices too). Bears have this amazing ability to store up energy from the food they eat and then use it to sustain their bodies during their winter hibernation.

And then, one of those random connections came to me. And that connection was the comparison of a small business to either a hummingbird or a bear. And the realization that most small businesses are more like hummingbirds than they are like bears.

Let me explain.

A hummingbird burns energy at such a furious rate due to the amazing speed of its wingbeats that essentially burns as much energy as it consumes. And it burns the energy it consumes so fast that it basically has to continue feeding all the time. We’ve all seen hummingbirds and the only way their activity can be properly described is FRANTIC.

They beat their wings at a furious pace, flying from flower to flower with apparent randomness. They appear so out of control that their comical to watch.

That’s okay for a hummingbird. But sadly, most small businesses also act like that. The owner works at a furious pace, performing activities that can almost appear random, frantically trying to do, do, do. And that approach, like in the hummingbird?s case, results in very little ?energy? (money) being left over as a reserve.

Now think about a bear feeding, storing up energy for the winter. It slowly moves along, selecting juicy and nourishing berries, bugs, rodents, and the odd hiker. But the point is that a bear has a clear and ?unfrantic? approach to feeding itself.

The result?

The bear manages to eat food with a high nourishment value, and stores up energy. It has the ability to weather all sorts of conditions and situations that are outside of its control.

So how does your business feel?

More like a hummingbird, in perpetual and frenzied motion, but with little energy and nourishment stored up? Or like a bear; focused on selecting the most nourishing sources, and storing up excess energy for tougher times?

And if you are more like a hummingbird, are you happy with that?

Or would you rather make some changes and be more like the bear?