11 It“s Up To You!
Indeed, it has been a very interesting business class. I am certain that you will agree with me. But before I end this book, let me narrate to you, an interesting story I read some time ago. I am sure you will enjoy it as well as learn some great lessons from it.
Once upon a time, there lived a very rich man. He was so rich that he could afford anything he fancied. But the rich man had only one daughter; a beautiful one at that. When the rich man's daughter grew up, many suitors came along asking for her hand in marriage; she was every young man's dream. That wasn't a surprise though; beautiful, rich with the world at her feet. Because of the number of suitors coming her way, she became confused and spoilt for choice. She decided to solicit the help of her father, and her father obliged.
The rich man sent a message to all his daughter's suitors, informing them to gather at his mansion on a particular date. In the message, he said he would carry out a test for all of them and the winner will become his daughter's husband. Not only that, he would give the lucky man the sum of $1million.
On the appointed day, twelve able-bodied young men gathered. Each one was very eager to emerge victorious so he could marry the rich man's daughter, and to pocket the $1million. Then the rich man announced what the test was. All the 'contestants' were to swim across his swimming pool, and the first person that comes out at other side, wins the contest. All the men agreed that it was an easy test, and they all got prepared.
Then came the moment. The rich man told them to get ready and dive into the swimming pool at the count of three. Just as he was about to count up to three, two massive crocodiles sprang out of the water. All the men were taken aback. They retreated and slowly, they exchanged glances of fear and depression.
Then the unexpected happened. One of the young men jumped into the pool. Everyone was shocked. He began to swim desperately. One of the crocodiles approached him, he ducked. He swam past the second one and he frantically reached the other end of the pool where he was pulled up. The rich man was glad, and the girl was jumping for joy. Everyone hailed his bravery.
"Congratulations my dear boy, you just won the hand of my daughter in marriage." The rich man announced to the admiration of everybody. The winner still panting replied, "Sir, I'm no longer interested in marrying your daughter." The rich man was surprised, but he calmed down and said, "You have been great today, you have also won $1million and I am going to write your cheque right now."
The young man replied again, "Sir, I'm no longer interested in marrying your daughter neither am I interested in your money." The girl was disappointed, and the father was getting impatient. He then asked the young man, "If you don't want my daughter and my money, what do you want?" The young man said, "I want to know who pushed me into the pool."
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That means, without being pushed, he wouldn't have won the hand of the princess in marriage, as well as the money. The lesson? How you interpret the circumstances that face you will determine how you react to it.
Life isn't fair; it is full of risk. Sometimes, it will scare you like a crocodile in the scenario above, or it may roar at you like a lion. At times, it will push you to the wall, and throw lemon (i.e. soured experiences) at you.
However, the decision to continue whining or to turn the lemon into lemonade is up to you. I mean the decision to keep complaining about the unemployment level in the country (which you may be a victim of) or to use it as an opportunity to venture into entrepreneuring is up to you. It's your life, and any way you want it to be at old age (may be at age 65 or 70) is up to you. It all depends on how you interpret and react to the challenges of life that come your ways daily.
Nevertheless, if you decide to interpret that unfavourable condition (say unemployment, lack of money or lack of fulfilment in your present job) correctly, and start your own business, never forget to apply the principles behind the business lessons we just learnt from the ants.
Turn the lemon into lemonade (always focus on, and develop the potentials you have, not what you don't have); see the great future ahead by painting it in words on paper. Also, you need to drive yourself to success (i.e. take initiative); you need competent and trust worthy staff members to work with, and you must do your best to locate them as well as bring them on board.
Furthermore, you must be sensitive to the changes in your business environment, and adapt to them. Note that diligence is not negotiable; above all, never eat up all the financial harvest from your business. Learn to save and re-invest into the business.
Without any iota of doubt in my heart, I strongly believe that, with diligent application of these business principles (amongst others), I see your business growing from a one-man or one-woman business (i.e. a sole proprietorship) into a multinational corporation. I see your business becoming a household name that will outlive you.
When the time comes (i.e. when your business has blossomed), please don't forget to contact me to come help you turn your success story into a bestselling book or a biography that will in turn rake in millions of dollars for you. Congratulations. Go and succeed!