Saturday 23 May 2020

Thought Picnic: The business of not becoming arboreal fish

When fins are not limbs
Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” This saying is usually attributed to Albert Einstein, but there is much controversy as to whether he ever said these words. Whilst it is important to responsibly source the provenance of a quote, we should not be distracted from the import of the uncredited aphorism.
There are times I have wasted my energy as a fish trying to climb a tree. I moderate and caution myself in how I represent myself, hoping not to use the negative to incapacitate my ability, just in case, I find the insight eventually to excel in an area where heretofore I could not begin to believe I had the means or wherewithal to have a voice.
Collapsing the plinths of adulation
Just over 6 months ago, I was contacted enthusiastically about a business proposition, that appeared to have scope and prospect even if the basic idea was in need of refinement. With me being looked upon as a leader, I immediately put aside my doubts, more personally about what I could do that I did not pose the essential questions to help refine the focus.
Strangely, I felt quite uncomfortable that demands would be made of me that would leave me exposed even as I did not want to disappoint my beloved interlocutor nor dampen their passion. As I was in the midst of planning some personal activities, I put the thoughts aside.
About a week ago, I saw that the sketchy ideas that were discussed had taken root and gained a vehicle of expression. This dream had become a reality and the next stage of marketing had begun, this is place where this person had all the expertise to carry a product to a market and begin to make a business that met a need.
Encourage creative expression
In trying to escape from the trite, I opined to another, “I'm glad you're getting to do what you love, nothing as fulfilling as doing things that are impactful; food leaves a memory and creates an enduring desire to relive the moment. It comes from the artistry and expertise that produces it in the first place.
Someone who had taken the joy of cooking to the point of creating an online kitchen and fulfilling orders was having a time of their life, I could only be pleased for them. Yet, in me, there was that fish again attempting to climb a tree. I needed to provide encouragement without the use of clich├ęs, recognise that what was being done was more than commendable and avoid allowing my sense of inadequacy get in the way of earned and deserved acknowledgement.
There are people who see us as sources of inspiration, living up to that kind reverence that we decline in self-deprecation and apparent lack of achievement in our own eyes presents a chasm between where we are placed and where we place ourselves. Our modesty becomes a refuge from the responsibility demanded of our counsel, guidance, and advice.
Not everyone can do business
Entrenching the accolades, I was offering, I averred, “It’s a journey you’ve started, and it will get better and more rewarding.” The process of setting up is hard, it takes a lot of perseverance to keep at it and make a success of it.
In the end, combining the separate events of two people taking their dreams to the market and working on growing their custom, I found I could still remain a fish, though not one trying to climb trees; just one that is naturally suited to its environment and thriving therein, a fish in freshwater, swimming in the abundance of life and resources.
The spirit of business is an awesome thing, it's not something I have had much insight or acumen in, I am just a knowledge person. I think it takes amazing ability and talent to build a business around ideas meeting a need and I wish you the very best.
Being an entrepreneur demands the skill, the drive and the expertise I have not realised currently I possess, my kind of fish is not striving to climb trees, yet, for everyone who had been able to take an idea to the place of selling a product growing in demand, you have found waters in which you can be the best fish you can ever be. Swim, live long and prosper.

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