As spring draws near, my mind realizes I, once again, will face my fears around spiders. Each year, I grow a little braver and gain more respect for them thanks to one very determined arachnid. I even use her for inspiration in my business.
My encounter started while staying with my parents during a family crisis. I had to stay in a very spider-infested basement. I imagined them crawling on me at night and would find them in my clothes in the morning.
Having severe allergies, I couldn’t bug-bomb them. I found myself, instead, in hand-to-hand combat with a miniature army. They were shiny black armored tanks that marched towards me without regard to size or danger. Fuzzy commandos waged guerilla warfare by jumping from the shadows. For an arachnophobe, this was a nightmare.
To make matters worse, the first morning I sleepily walked out the patio door and found myself engulfed by a web! “Aaarrrghh!” I’m sure I woke the neighbors as I screamed and flailed my arms and swatted my hair and legs in a crazy, twirling dance. I never found the spider as I quickly ran in and showered. I think I threw my clothes away.
The next morning, I sheepishly looked beyond the glass door before exiting. There, overnight, a magnificent web reappeared. It was huge, straddling between to posts on either side of the patio. It reached nearly to the deck above and to the ground below. I didn’t want to disturb my parents and had to leave the house through the patio and past the web.
I had a bit of empathy for a creature who could create such a masterpiece overnight. None the less, it was the spider or me. I searched until I found movement. A marble sized, box shaped body was diligently wrapping her prize in one corner.
Without regard for her work, and with every ounce of bravery I could muster, I grabbed a yardstick and tore down her web and scurried her 60 feet away, across the yard, past the trees to the farthest fence post.
The next morning, I started out the door only to stop inches away from another web. There she was, diligently putting the final touches on her masterpiece. Back with the stick, off to the corner fence, I went.
I no more than turned back towards the house to see, out of the corner of my eye, this little spider marching urgently down the fence line back towards her home. There was almost an air of frustration in her demeanor. I left for my meeting with the image repeating in my head.
As my coffee steamed, I peered out the door the next morning to find diamonds shimmering on strands of silk. It had rained the night before, and yet she managed to, once again, rebuild. Admiration replaced my fear. “What are we going to do?” She was here first. I needed out.
I decided to review our encounters. Clearly, she didn’t like the other side of the yard. Of course, I put her within feet of a bird feeder. She’s lucky she wasn’t someone’s dinner! She also didn’t have the shelter of the porch above her. She knew what worked… at least until I disrupted her world.
I decided to move her over to a bush next to my window. I installed a wooden lattice to give her the foundation for her web. The next morning, I was thrilled to see an even larger web glistening in diamond dew, decorating my view through the window. We had a truce.
For the next few weeks, during my stay, I watched her grow in size and in skill. By the time I left, her webs belonged on display in the finest of galleries. They were refined and stunning. It almost made me forget about my battle inside with her counterparts. (We never could come to a truce.)
I saw my first garden spider of the year, and I realized that little orb spider taught me a lot about work.
1 Find your natural talents, and use them in your life and business. Then, be willing to learn and improve your skills continually. Your work can be your artful expression of your soul’s purpose.
2 Have a strong work ethic. Get in your zone, and do what needs to be done to be successful.
3 Find the right location. Her original location was fine, until the super-highway called Lynda came through. She had to relocate and ended up making it even better.
4 When faced with challenges, don’t give up. Life threw her some enormous obstacles. But, she never quit.
5 Be clear about what is and isn’t working, and be willing to try something new. She knew what didn’t work, had a framework for what did, and used the information to build even bigger.
6 When it rains, diamonds form, and you may not see them. Remember, the rain shall pass, and sunny days will follow. It’s just part of life.
7 Your effort needs to result in rewards of some kind. You deserve to be paid for your talents.
8 Don’t let others destroy your dreams or tear your work down without a fight. If what you do is your life’s purpose, then don’t let anyone take that away from you.
9 Provide great service and an outstanding product. If you do, people are willing to work with you and promote you. Even your harshest critic can turn into your biggest ally.
10 Find your niche. Bigger isn’t always better. Know your target market, and do what it takes to attract them.
Lynda Colter-Bergh is the CEO of Bottom Lines Consulting and is a practical business consultant. Her passion is to help small businesses succeed. She starts by making sure her clients aren’t wasting money with their merchant services account. It’s one of the fastest ways to free up cash flow. She then focuses on the day-to-day struggles of the business, combining of her experience and her intuition to identify new options and opportunities. Lynda helps businesses identify their key differentiators, target markets, niches, sales opportunities, marketing materials, channel partner programs and prides herself on her ability to foresee potential issues, overcome obstacles, and create new avenues for income. Contact – Website – Facebook
Photo Credit – Britannica