I've had a couple requests for the old bull blog, so here it is! I’m going to credit this story to my dad, although I’m sure its origins lie elsewhere. He was the first one to tell it to me, and now I am passing it on to you…
Note: If you are sensitive to explicatives and innuendo, click over here and do some reading (really, it’s not that bad…but just warning ya…). Here goes!
One fine summer day, a young bull and and old bull were standing on a vista overlooking a lush valley. There was a herd of cows grazing and lounging below them, with not a care in the world.
The young bull, excited by the prospect of the the herd, pokes the old bull, and exclaims,Hey, hey, lets run down there and f**k one of those cows!!!!
The old bull turns to him and says quietly;
Why don’t we walk down there instead, and f**k em’ all…
The push and urgency of youth, measured with the wisdom of mistakes that comes only with age and experience, is a potent combination.
When you are young, you think we can change the world, and NOTHING can stand in your way. However, after you’ve had your ass handed to you a couple times, you recognize that it’s all a game; and while it is possible to make a difference in the world, there are many ways to approach that goal other than just running headlong into the fray of your particular battle.
If you are a young bull and haven’t yet figured this out, consider installing this governor as soon as possible!
As I think about entrepreneurship, it strikes me that we all need an old bull, a mentor. I am fortunate to have several of them in my life. When I am stuck, I pay a visit or make a call to one of them for wisdom, encouragement and guidance. It is critical that you be transparent with your old bull. He or she needs to know who you really are. If you bullshit them (pardon the pun), they cannot really be truly helpful to you; and you are wasting your time and theirs.
As an old bull to several young entrepreneurs, I believe that I have been able to pass along some of my wisdom and the benefits of my experiences. And these are not one-sided relationships, trust me. As a mentor, I often get as much or more from the relationships than my mentees. Youth is incredibly inspiring. And if you are willing, an old bull can guide you and prevent you from making certain mistakes. While mistakes can be great teachers, and sometimes you have rush wildly down into the valley only to find that the herd has scattered at the sound of your approach, there is great value in avoiding big mistakes when you can.
If you are an old bull, and don’t have an impulsive young bull in your life, what are you waiting for? Give something back to the next generation and your community at large. Your life will be much richer as a result, and who knows, you may learn a thing or two.
Enough bullshit… do something inspiring today!