Coyotes in our Midst – Avoiding Danger in Entrepreneurial Business

entrepreneurial_business_dangerMom and two kids camping in the back country, miles from the nearest other people, surrounded by pack of howling coyotes hunting in the full moon.

Sounds like quite a story, doesn’t it?

The crazy part is that it’s my story and 98% true.

Often in entrepreneurial business we use metaphor to illuminate and surmount challenging situations. Success coaching also uses metaphor as a powerful tool for shifting perceptions and clarifying process. And now, the story.

We were camping in the back country, high up in the Rocky Mountains. We’d set up camp in a beautiful spot about a mile from the next closest camp spot and sitting at about 11,000 feet above sea level. I often camp alone and rarely in campgrounds. This is my back yard and I love sharing it with others. This time I had my daughter and our 14 year old exchange student from Japan.

After the kids went to sleep I stayed by the fire to read. I was a bit stunned to hear a pack of coyotes howling and yipping, seeming to be a mile or so away. In 30 years of camping far off the beaten track, I’ve never heard a pack like that so close. One or two maybe, but not easily 30 or more. I got in my tent and was relieved to hear them moving further and further away. In valley’s high in mountains, sound can travel and echo quite far distances. I guessed they were over three miles away by the time I went to sleep.

Fast forward to 4:30 AM when I was harshly awakened by howling and yipping and screeching that sounded as if it was in our campsite. The kids were in a separate tent and those coyotes were too close for comfort. I don’t usually move quickly when I’m half asleep, but this time I was out of my tent flashlight in hand in just a few seconds.  I almost expected to see many eyes reflected back at my from my light. Luckily I did not.

My daughter called from her tent. We both knew the pack of coyotes has just made a kill. They were celebrating in the moonlight and having a coyote party, sharing the news throughout the pack. It was quite a spectacle and clearly happening less than 100 or so yards away. I felt both awestruck and nervous. Coyotes don’t like to encounter humans, but I didn’t want them wandering down the trail and stumbling into our tents by accident. I decided a little good old mechanical human noise would alert them. I turned on the car, turned on the lights and honked the horn a few times. Now they knew we were there. A few minutes later they were gone.

Coyotes are scavengers. The will hunt any small animals, but focus on the weak, the dead and the almost dead. Coyotes are opportunists and they travel in packs. Often we encounter “packs of coyotes” in the business world – particularly the home business world. While there are many good coaches, consultants, networkers and marketers who operate with integrity and kindness, there are also those who don’t.

Success as an entrepreneur is a multifaceted process, often entailing failures on the way. The packs of coyotes are watching for those failures. It is the wise entrepreneur who can discern a coyote from an ethical encounter. Coyotes prefer easy targets. They offer money making situations that almost sound “too good to be true” and they back them up with stories that make you believe. I’ve had many success coaching clients who have spent more money than they’ve ever made, because they so want to believe that making money and being successful can be as easy as the coyote tells them.

Here’s the thing. It can be. But NOT because of a program, or scheme or “just click here” situation. Making money as an entrepreneur can be easy when you finally do the work that you are on this earth to do. Making money in entrepreneurial business can be easy when you work from a place of deep authenticity and power. “Easy” does not mean you won’t spend hundred of hours, sleepless nights, blood, sweat and tears. “Easy” means that you will be in the flow that you know is right for you. And thus all your work feels joyful within your heart, even when you are exhausted – even when your challenged – even when you encounter difficulties or even moments of failure.

The coyotes are looking to surround you. They yip and howl and get your attention – distracting you from your real work when in fact, the answers you seek are never outside yourself. When I coach transformational success clients, we always begin by looking in. We create a foundation unique to that person’s values, purpose and expertise. Then we build the framework to provide a solid consistent structure to support their entrepreneurial venture.


Deborah Tutnauer

Entrepreneur Business Success Coach at Deborah Tutnauer, LLC
Inspiring change in people for over 25 years, Deborah Tutnauer, MEd, MSWdigs deep to help authentic entrepreneurs move away from the stories that no longer serve them while clarifying and solidifying those that really do! Deborah helps frustrated entrepreneurs get exquisitely clear about meaning, purpose and expertise, then facilitates the creation of a financially sustainable and joyfully structured framework in which business and business people thrive.

Coaching both privately and in groups, Deborah is also a speaker, author, event leader and consultant. Creator of the Foundation and Framework Intensive, Question Master and Leader of the Entrepreneur Business Success Club, Deborah has been called an “Architect of Magical Business and Soul Structure”by her clients because she has a powerful ability to perform alchemy, changing passions and dreams into money and time by design.

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  1. says

    Hi Deborah. I can so relate to this. I think the coyotes might also be shiny coyotes! As soon as things aren’t working and people start to get desperate they suddenly start looking for easy solutions.

    Bright shiny object syndrome comes next and many (me included – I LOVE SHINY THINGS!) start looking for the next best thing. And when that doesn’t work in just two days, they’re on to the next best thing.

    I think that’s where the coyotes have the best chance of pouncing on the weak!

    Great analogy – thanks for making me think about this. I was getting worried about where this post was going to go at the start!

    • says

      Shiny coyotes for sure Tracey! Good shiny object marketers know when and where to dangle their baubles! Most of my entrepreneur coaching clients have a trunk-full (or computer hard drive full) of courses and books and affiliate products and network marketing companies. All have potential value, but few are really committed to or studied deeply from what I’ve seen.

      The right direction I believe is found deep within one’s self, and only when one can stop the chatter, the noise, the grass-is-greener pull long enough to hear the truth inside.

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