What did Bob the horse teach us about running a business?

So. On Wednesday we set off to Hadlow College to find out how horses can teach us to run a successful business. It was a really interesting evening! My dad successfully conquered his fear of horses and had a nice chat to Bob, the horse we'd be working with (I still don't think he's entirely convinced about horses, but still). In small groups, we were given our very own horse and had to get them to follow us, without the aid of any kind of rope or headcollar. In fact, we weren't supposed to touch the horse at all - this was a lesson on mindpower.

Horses make split second decisions on whether or not they trust you, and can detect emotion a mile off which make them a perfect channel for identifying your true feelings. (If you've ever watched a horse refuse a jump, it's usually because the rider isn't confident about it). As prey animals, horses have to respond to the emotions of those around them to stay alive, so have a finely tuned ability to react to what you're thinking. To get a horse to follow you and do what you want, you have to be confident and positive or they'll switch off and see no reason to be with you, which is a truthful reflection of the characteristics of a successful business person. Without your confidence and ambition, the people around you (that includes staff and customers) will lose interest and see no reason to invest their time in what you have to say. What's the potential impact of that? Well, without confident, enthused staff and customers, I'd say that your business isn't going to do so well. It's tempting when you run a small business to set your goals low to avoid disappointment when things don't go as you'd hoped - but if you walk about under a dark cloud, why on earth would anybody buy from you - or want to work for you to help you achieve your goals?

By working with our horses we all learnt that positive thinking attracts others to follow you - a very useful tool to have in business. By exuding confidence you'll get great results! The message I took away from the night? Aim high, think big and you'll be pleasantly surprised...