As business owners our time is usually spent dealing with day to day tasks, managing our staff and sorting out any issues that may arise – stuff that’s all part and parcel of running our own business.

But do you take time to think? Do you make space in your day to think about the growth and development of your business?

Time is precious and, when you already feel that you have too much to do, it can be the last thing on your list – and often forgotten.

During the summer I looked after a young tortoise for a few weeks. Being only a few years old and vulnerable, he’s usually kept inside overnight and then put into the garden during the day. I’ve concluded that he’s very wise. His very first action when placed in the garden is to pause and take time to check out his surroundings – even though he was there the previous day. He slowly and deliberately turns around a full 360 degrees several times looking for hazards and deciding which path to take. Then, when he’s completed his observations, he rockets off on the path that he’s decided is good for him.

You may think that “rocket” is not the right word for a tortoise but then you haven’t seen this determined little chap in action!

I feel that, as business owners, we can all benefit from this approach. Pause and check out what’s going on around you – it’s always changing and presenting new challenges. If you look up from your daily tasks and see what’s going on you’ll be more likely to be able to deal with potential problems or, even better, to notice opportunities.

Once you’ve established your growth path, go for it!

You’ll be glad you paused and spent time thinking like a tortoise.