The Systems of Spiders

It’s September…so as usual, spiders are running amok in my house.  Big ones, little ones, short, fat, hairy ones…all scuttling round the house in search of a mate.  Apparently it’s a ‘bumper spider year’ this year…deep joy for the arachnophobes! 

Personally I’m not scared of spiders.  I don’t like them running up my arm, or startling me by making a dart across the kitchen floor, but I quite like them as creatures, and I’m impressed both by their gutsiness, and by the systems they put in place to survive and thrive.

Study a spider, and there are lessons you can learn for life and business…

They are resilient.

Ever tried to kill a spider?  It’s not that easy is it? Brush them away, shake them out of an upstairs window, flush them down the toilet…and they’ll come back for more.  Dogged and determined, there’s a reason why they continue to thrive.

How dogged and determined are we to achieve success? How many times are we prepared to get back up when we get knocked down? Resilience is an absolute necessity for every business owner.

They fulfil a need

In simply doing what they have a talent for, spiders fulfil a need that we, as humans have…to have less bugs! Our little eight-legged friends eat more insects than birds and are better at pest control  – 2000 bugs per spider every year.  They don’t wait to be asked, they don’t suffer from a lack of confidence, they just get on and do what they do best.

What need do we fulfil? How well do we use our skills and experience to take someone else’s pain away? Do we just ‘get on with it’ or procrastinate and waste our ‘god-given’ talent?

They have highly-developed, yet simple systems

The spiders in your bathroom are following highly-developed systems that put the silk mills of 19th-century Britain to shame. There are systems for building the web, for monitoring activity in the web while they are in a remote nest, for continuous improvement of its structure…even for recycling the raw silk when the current web has outlived its usefulness.

Every spiders’ web begins with a single thread. Every system in your business begins with a single process.

Developing simple effective systems in your business that are going to make your life easier, does not have to be an overwhelming task.  Start with a single thread, and build from there.

They don’t over-complicate

Despite their tiny brain, a spider can undertake pretty complex activities like capturing prey and building a web.  They are also good at recognising behaviours that aren’t working for them and trying something different.

We can all be guilty of ploughing on with things that just aren’t delivering the results we’re looking for, unwilling to cut our losses and try something different.  Are you doing this now in your business?

They adapt

The reason that spiders can live in many different places on earth is because they have adapted to those environments. They’ve recognised the need, and made the changes necessary to survive and thrive.

In business, we need to be just as aware of changes in our environment, in our customers’ needs, in our industry.  We need, not only to keep up, but to stay ahead of the game, to achieve our success.

Spiders are the superstars of the insect world.  So next time you have a spider in your sink, think about its awesomeness before you flush it down the plughole.

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Marianne Page

Marianne is the author of three books, and is currently working on her fourth, whilst regularly writing her blog, we hope you enjoy it :-)


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