Business Lessons From Tiger The One-Eyed Cat

Wisdom can come from some interesting places.

I’ve had the opportunity to meet face-to-face and interview top executives of companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Forbes, John-Deere, McDonalds, Best-Buy, and General Electric. Through these discussions I’ve learned a lot about the challenges of leading high-performance organizations and what it takes to succeed in the world of business.

But, pound-for-pound, I have gained just as much practical business wisdom over the years from Tiger, my family’s one-eyed cat.

Tiger arrived in our backyard about four years ago. Evidently she had interviewed a number of other families in the neighborhood and decided that we were her best prospect for a merger.

We don’t know how she became blind in her left eye. But like many who face challenges, she carries herself with a level of confidence that makes her disability disappear.

If you were to come to visit for a few days, here are some of the things Tiger would teach you:

1. Always be friendly and willing to meet new people.
If you arrive anywhere nearby, Tiger’s reaction is to stop whatever she is doing, come over to you and greet you warmly. This technique quickly elevated her from “that cat outside” to “our cat.”

Had she held back from initiating these interactions, she would have remained a stray cat drifting around the neighborhood hoping for scraps.

Success comes from establishing viable relationships. This is especially true in business. Remember that next time you are at a social/business occasion.

2. Understand the real value you bring to a business relationship.
Tiger knows that since we live in a rural setting, she is highly prized as a rodent control expert. She also knows that her added value is her outpouring of affection and prize-winning purr.

Often, the real value you bring is different than what you would assume at first glance. Starbucks understands that they are not just selling coffee, but an affordable luxury. The day that discovery was made was the day they began to grow like crazy

3. Persist until your goal is met.
Tiger is single minded. When it is time to feed her or let her out in the morning, she will begin vocally notifying you and will continue until you arrive and resolve the situation to her satisfaction.

Once, while I was on an important phone call, she “merowed” for over an hour until I let her out. Her “merow” is always even-tempered, but it is persistent.

It is this quality that many marketing programs lack. How many people give up too soon? How many entrepreneurs stop digging just a few feet from the gold vein? Continuing to remind prospects of the benefits of your product or service well beyond a single notice is the kind of persistence that is rewarded with new customers.

4. When times turn difficult, purr louder.
Chewie is a cross between a Black Labrador and a Standard Poodle. So, for Tiger, the difficult times are when Chewie comes to visit along with my sister-and brother-in-law.

While Chewie is a fine dog, he was born to chase things – especially cats.

Rather than running and hiding deep in the bushes, Tiger makes it a point to take action. If a family member comes outside, she welcomes them and delivers a higher-than-ever volume of purring, and copious affectionate leg rubs. She knows the dog won’t last forever and she wants to be sure she keeps her relationships strong.

You better believe that Tiger stays very focused on where Chewie is and what he’s doing. It doesn’t, however, stop her from doing what she has found to be successful.

As things have gotten tougher economically, have you increased the number of quality contacts with your customers and prospects? Or, are you hiding in the bushes waiting for the tough economy to go away?

If you were to become a client of Tiger Consulting, Inc., here is what she would instruct you to do to improve your business:

1. Get out and start building new relationships. That means meeting people and making yourself a known quantity. No one has ever suffered from having too many friends.

2. Know the real value of what you are selling. (For more on this, read “If You Can Correctly Answer This Question, You’re Halfway to Assuring Your Business Will Succeed” in the Marketing Rocket Fuel archives. Go to:

3. The point where you fail is the point when you stop trying. Keep repeating the actions that have worked for you. At the same time, continue your search for new ways to build your customer base.

4. If you are feeling the effects of a tough economy, step up your efforts to retain your current customers and to get new ones.

Not bad advice – especially from a cat. Give it a try. You’ll be impressed at the results.

To your business success,


Looking for help getting the right message to produce exceptional results for your business? The first step is to make a simple phone call. Call Sentium to set-up a no-obligation telephone consultation. It will cost you zero, zip, zilch, nada, but could give you answers that can dramatically boost your sales results. Call us at (800) 595-1288.

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Richard Wilson is the Founder/Chief Marketing Strategist for Sentium Strategic Communications which helps companies craft the right message for extraordinary results. Over the past 31 years, his clients have ranged from start-ups to major technology companies.
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