What is your excuse?


A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion

says, "Because if I do, I will die too."

The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp "Why?"

Replies the scorpion: "It’s my nature..."

Aesop’s fable about the Scorpion and the Frog is particularly instructive:

I often just sit down and think. I think about things. It is in my nature. (Some of you may be able to find the time to do the same.) Some things I tried in my business worked better than I thought and others didn’t work out at all.

But the one thing I can rest assured about is that my failures have rarely been because I have been blind to my own nature. I may have been stupid, inexperienced or under-capitalised or over-confident; but being introspective and self-aware, I have avoided the failures of hubris caused by being blind to your faults.

There are extremely practical and all to real examples of this.

To quote myself from an article written for National Newsagent magazine to encourage newsagents to change their business model:

One of the biggest challenges you must overcome is the fact that many of us see ourselves as NEWSAGENTS. It is part of our identity and it is part of our public persona and even our ‘place’ in the town hierarchy and it has a certain status.

You may not see yourself as a convenience store owner or a gift shop owner and refuse to acknowledge the reality.

That is a pity because <strong>we are all entrepreneurs</strong> and what we should be doing is responding to the market opportunity instead of floating along on the seas of change.

Failure is OK. Most reasons for failure are acceptable, but a few aren't. First among those is being blind to yourself.