You Want to Be the Lion In the Entrepreneurship Circle of Life

For those who can grasp metaphors, 'The Lion King' and Animal Planet are all the business education you need.

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By Daniel DiPiazza


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Did you watch The Lion King growing up?

Trick question…of course you did.

I liked that movie because it wasn't all fairytales and rainbows. Dude…Scar was a bad mofo. Definitely a gangbanger of the animal kingdom.

Scar straight up killed his brother, then shamed his nephew into exile AND tried to get with his sister in law. OG.

I saw it come on TV a few nights ago, and it got me thinking about how nature is a nasty business sometimes.

For instance, watch one of those "Greatest Predator" shows on Animal Planet. They have all those really cool (slightly gruesome) slow-mo scenes of powerful lions chasing terrified gazelles to their deaths.

I'm almost bored watching it…because it's the same story every single time.

Unassuming gazelle is just frolicking on the plains, looking for something to nibble on…

Hungry, patient lioness is waiting in the bushes…

She seems calm, but on the inside, she's raging.

She's been hunting all day and finally she's set her sights on her next meal. She can't afford to blow it.

She takes a careful survey to find the slowest, weakest of the gazelles and makes chase, eventually tackling it in a burst of speed and ferocity.

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And you know what happens next…

I can hear the Lion King theme music playing…"It's the circle of liiiiiiiiife."

And you know what? I don't feel bad for the gazelle one damn bit.


Because these two creatures are motivated by completely different forces. And their attitudes determine their outcomes.

The gazelle is reactionary. It grazes the land, going about it's day with no particular plan. There's an abundance of grass, so it's not particularly desperate for food. There's no motivation to do anything.

The gazelle has no "why."

But then, the lion comes. NOW it's time to be alert. NOW it's time to run. NOW it's time to get motivated. It finally has a "why," if only temporarily.

But by then, it's too late.

It's too late because unlike the gazelle, the lion is proactive. The lion has spent the entire day looking for food because it's her JOB to bring it home to her family.

Unlike the gazelle, if she doesn't do her work, she won't eat. Her kids won't eat. Her partner won't eat. Her family will die.

She's both literally and figuratively hungry.

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Do you think she always "feels" like running top speed to chase down another animal and kill it?

Probably not. But that doesn't even matter because her "why" is bigger than her external circumstances. She needs to eat as bad as she needs to breathe…and that makes her decision to get up in the morning and hunt extremely easy. It's a binary decision. Yes or no — and "no" means certain death.

Now think about how you run your life…

You have all these things that you want to do. I get emails from you all the time:

"Daniel, I want to start a business…"


"I want to get in better shape…"


"I want to be more productive…"

But I want to ask you something….

How bad do you really want any of those things?

You say you want to make changes, start something new, or improve a certain area of your life but you're acting like a gazelle.

You're waiting for things to happen to you.

You think it'd be "nice" if XYZ would come to pass.

But you don't have a bone-deep, unstoppable "WHY."

You're not hungry.

You're just "kinda motivated."

You're not behaving like a lion because you don't feel like there are any "real" stakes. Sure, you stay at a crappy job….but you're not dead. Or you stay in a bad relationship…but you're not alone.

You tell yourself that you're fine…when secretly, the pain is numbing. Every single day.

Newsflash: Good things don't come to those who wait.

(Who came up with that BS?)

You want success?

You can't throw a coin in a wishing well and start making six-figures.

You can't blow out some candles on a birthday cake and meet the person of your dreams.

You can't crack the wishbone on a turkey and start a profitable business.

That's for suckers. That's for gazelles.

If you want it, go get it.

Stop making excuses for why you can't.

"I'm too tired."

"My kids this…"

"My job that…"

You're no longer safe. This is life or death. So get out there and hunt.

When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful.

But not a minute before that.

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Daniel DiPiazza

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer


Daniel DiPiazza is the founder of Alpha Mentorship and the director of the Profit Paradigm accelerator for agency owners.

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