Business Lessons from a My Little Pony Beach Rescue

You’re a hero!” My daughter gushed when I told her the story I’m about to tell you.

Over the Labor Day weekend, my husband and I took the kids to meet another family at a Lake Michigan beach.

I’m sitting in my chair, minding my business when a seagull walks up to our stuff. I figured he was looking for some food and would take off after seeing we didn’t have any.

I kid you not, that thieving seagull looked straight into my eyes before nabbing my daughter’s miniature My Little Pony — Applejack to be exact.

Disbelief (and don’t let Nora know)
Did that seagull didn’t bite down and drop that plastic pony in disgust?
No way!

That thieving seagull took off in a hurry, chased into the sky by a half-dozen seagulls who also believed Applejack was a delightful treat. He was so busy protecting his loot he didn’t have time to figure out it wasn’t edible at all.

I quickly assessed the most volatile ingredient of this situation…

That is — did Nora, my passionate-for-ponies 6-year-old daughter, notice a seagull just took off with a favorite character in her collection?

Fortunately for me, the initial emergency was everted. Nora was looking the other way at a sandcastle-building expedition.

The Agony of Watching the Seagull Endlessly Circle

So around and around that seagull went — with seagull friends in hot pursuit.

I’m talking big circles across the entire beach and over the water. Every time it flew over our heads, I could see that little pony dangling from his mouth.

It would swoop over the water,  and would I picture poor Applejack being lost to watery depths.

(Let’s be honest, I was more worried about an inconsolable Nora than a plastic pony). 

As time went on.

My friends gave up.

My husband gave up.
But I stayed patiently observing. Tracking the bully seagull’s movements.  Silently wondering— “can a seagull choke if they eat a plastic pony whole?”
I refused to give up hope in a pony rescue.

And boom! Time to spring into action

Just as quick as it decided to take off, that seagull landed to assess the treasure.
Without wasting a minute: I shot out of my seat and sprinted 30 yards down the beach.

It was my chance. For all I knew, the seagull would decide the pony was indeed too valuable to return to us.

As I trotted up to the seagull, he stared me down again.

Only this time, he backed away.

Feeling like a hero, I snatched up the pony, turned to my husband and friends, and raised Apple Jack up to the sky in full victory.

The adults cheered. (The kids continued to play — oblivious to the dangerous adventure Applejack had just survived).

Business Lessons for Occupational Therapy Entrepreneurs

We can be our own heroes in everyday adventures. Sure, I only rescued a plastic pony. Which felt incredible because it took patience and hope, a right-moment decision, and a big celebration.

It’s the same for business.

1. Keep the hope, even in times of patience.

When things are going your way, it’s easy to give up. That’s why you need to keep the hope even when the progress feels slow.

2. Be ready to spring to action.

You’re still paying attention so you’re ready when the time is right. And when the time is right, don’t overthink jumping into action. All too often opportunities are lost in the thinking.

3. Celebrate your wins!

Don’t be shy, your wins are worth celebrating no matter how small they seem. It’s far too easy to discount a victory. However, running a business is lonely and full of mundane tasks. You need fist pump moments.