If you’ve ever seen Shark Week, the sensationalized Discovery series, your perception of sharks will be completely skewed. This impression is also prevalent in the business world, where a ‘shark‘ is someone who goes after what he wants with a total disregard for others and seemingly without a conscience. And although sharks are carnivorous and highly efficient predators, we can learn much more from them than simply how to hunt for prey.


Indeed sharks can be extremely fragile creatures. Sharks breathe by letting water flow in through their mouths, across their gills, and out through their gill slits. Sharks need to swim or else they will drown.

This is a unique way to think about our business and careers. If we don’t leave our current position in the sea to discover and reach new oceans we’ll get lost in the waves of those who are moving forward.

What Does Moving Forward Mean?

Moving forward simply means looking at our past decisions, evaluating our mistakes, and using our observations to swim into the best suitable waters.

So Businesses Should Never Pause?

Don’t mistake the words ‘keep moving forward’ for ‘don’t pause.’ Pausing gives us time to think and prepare for new waters. In fact, pausing is just another form of moving forward. Not taking time to slow down and listen to what our past mistakes, our present circumstances, and nature as a whole are telling us is just as bad as moving forward without giving ourselves time to rest for new ideas to be conceived in our minds.

Should All Businesses Keep Moving Forward?

Even if you feel comfortable and content doing what you are doing every day without any change, it is still vital that you try something new. It does not matter if your company has been able to bring in steady profits without the need for changes. Your company will never be able to maximize the talent of its staff if you never take the risk to invest in new ventures; therefore, you will not be able to take income to the next level. Not taking the opportunity and losing the lesson is far worse than failing once and losing some money.

Why Is It Important To Move Forward In Your Career?

If you have been working in a company for ten years and you are doing your job exactly the same way you did when you started you are just wasting space! How will you ever discover new things about yourself if you do not swim further with new ways to work? Your boss will never think differently about you if you don’t experiment with your style of work. Not moving forward in your job makes it easy for your opinions and ideas to drown in the waves of those in the company who are brave enough to swim in new waters.

Real World Examples

Apple and Google are both great examples of companies that are constantly moving forward!

Instead of simply launching a product or solution and resting on their laurels, they have brought several innovative solutions to the market and have worked relentlessly on making them better day by day.

For example, Google didn’t just make a search engine algorithm and stop, they iterated. Likewise, Apple did not stop with the first iPod, their revolutionary music player. Instead they developed it into a phone, and then a tablet. This is the reason why both companies have become so immensely successful, by constantly moving forward and leaving competitors to play catch-up

Much more than a simple analogy, swim or drown is a reminder that when we don’t move forward with our relationships, continuously explore new waters of our personal lives, and add new ideas drop-by-drop to our businesses, we only kill them slowly. Never stop moving forward and don’t be afraid to discover new waters.

Swim or drown—you decide.