Peter Meyer grew up among wild animals on a game reserve created by his father, where he lived adventures like no other – from learning to swim in rivers and riding elephants, to walking among the wild and facing dangerous encounters.
Now an accomplished model, actor, founder of The Meyer Studios and author of international best-selling book ‘The Boy From the Wild’, here Peter shares the top lessons all business leaders can learn from his unconventional upbringing, which paved his way to becoming a celebrated writer and respected entrepreneur.
Expect the unexpected
When exploring the wild with friends, we always had to prepare for the unexpected to ensure we avoided being confronted, or worse attacked. by wild animals and survived.
As such, we quickly learnt how to work together, act fast and always be agile and cautious. This can be applied to all aspects of life, but especially in business where you never know what’s just around the corner.
While it’s always good to have a positive attitude on your entrepreneurial journey, it’s important to consider other, not so great scenarios and have a plan in place to prepare for the worst outcome.
Take lessons from the animals
We can learn a lot from the animal kingdom as entrepreneurs. After all, one of the most fundamental yet powerful principles of business and management is to ensure survival.
Elephants in particular have taught me so many values – unity, respect, to follow leaders and to always cherish family.
Animals in the wild also have an incredible resilience and ability to cope with change, they know how to leverage their key competencies [be it speed or vision]and when to adapt.
Human beings might be right at the top of the food chain, but this doesn’t mean we’re necessarily setting the best example.
When it comes to furthering our careers and becoming great leaders, there’s a lot to be learnt from our animal friends.
As the old saying goes, “you’ve got to risk it to get the biscuit’, and growing up in the wild taught me all I understand today about the importance of going out and chasing after the things if you really want in order to achieve success.
Nobody can really be sure if risks will pay off, no matter how calculated they are, and you will never truly know if an idea or strategy is going to work unless you give it a try.
Successful entrepreneurship takes not only ideas but courage.
Help those on the ground
Nothing teaches you the importance of supporting those around you like fighting together for survival.
I have seen first-hand the true meaning of rolling your sleeves up and helping people at both the top and the bottom of the chain, and showing understanding while building others up is something I continue to take great pride in as an entrepreneur.
Good leaders know that to influence people is to help them achieve what they want, so they start by serving others before asking for something. Empathy, respect and patience wins over dictatorship every time.
There are so many lessons to be taken from the natural world, the people and the animals as an entrepreneur. Like Albert Einstein once said, “Just look deep into mother nature, and then you will understand things better.”
Nature is the best teacher when it comes to unlocking business success. By taking the above lessons from the wild and converting them into your business reality, you can face every challenge with the skills and spirit of an elite adventurer.