Cast your mind back to 65 million years ago. It’s a mild afternoon. Striking pink and orange shades of light paint the horizon. Forests and jungles are lush. The air is pure. Seas are hundreds of metres higher than today. The Earth is a sphere of splendour and energy. Giant beasts roam and dominate the Earth. Salivating meat-eating predators, along with their long-necked tree-foraging relatives, panic the ground-dwellers. Mighty birds the size of a bus glide through the air with wings that cast a vast dark shadow onto the ground below. This is a terrifying time to be a small, earth-bound creature.
Our world, like the world in the age of the dinosaurs, is overshadowed by large ignorant beasts. Corrupt power brokers are largely to blame for the world’s current economic turmoil. Another cataclysmic blast, like the one that brought the end of the dinosaurs and like the GFC of recent times, will occur within the next decade caused by debt-addicted institutions and governments. We are already seeing the US and parts of Europe being battered by financial meteors. The average punter that believes their destiny is determined by higher powers will be in for a rude awakening.
To attach your long-term wellbeing and financial security to a dinosaur is a losing strategy. I pick up a newspaper and all I read is pain and suffering. I turn on the six o’clock news only to consume more fear and struggle. If I believed the hype, I might as well fall on my sword where I stand. The lesson is don’t trust a dinosaur and pay scant regard to the media. Despite what’s going on around you, take it upon yourself to carve your own path. Drive change and focus on your strengths. You are small, nimble and able to seek refuge quickly. Keep your eyes peeled, your head up and your cost-base low, and partner with other small creatures to amplify your capabilities and play big.
I’m most inspired by the little guys, the likes of the shop merchants, the artists, the restaurateurs and the consultants who are bursting with their own authentic personality. People who don’t want to grow too big: for them, it’s not about awards and being the fastest growing franchise — it’s about the experience. It’s about delivering more value and contributing by providing customers with something meaningful. It’s about being the best you can be and doing what you love. It’s being true to yourself and not conforming to others. It’s being true to you and your customers connecting with this and coming back time and again, and bringing their friends. That’s inspiring to me.
Dinosaurs were huge, clumsy beasts with small brains. You, on the other hand are smart and agile. The business you are working for may be a corporate monster, but you can still think small and harness an entrepreneurial spirit. Take action and be accountable. Be known as a person of integrity and someone who gets the job done right. Take these trying times as an opportunity to see our world differently—as an opportunity for victory! It’s your time to thrive.
“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa of Calcutta
(First Published in 2012) This blog is an excerpt from Trent Leyshan’s second book Outlaw: Fight For Your Customers. Buy on Amazon.com!