In small business, it’s very easy to get entangled in the dizzying business of just keeping up with business! More often than not, we fret if we are not busy and then become frenetic and stressed when we are… it seems to forever be feast or famine, no happy medium.

But if we do not take the time to work ON the business (as opposed to working IN it) occasionally, then we’d best invest in a snorkel… keeping our heads above water can get mighty difficult when unexpected storms roll in! Here’s a metaphorical little fable I penned to explain…

Once upon a time, there were two business animals. Mr Marsupial–Mouse was a small business owner who’d been in business for five or so years and was working hard to get over those start-up hurdles.

Mr Wedgetail was a highflying business owner who’d been doing it for years. Everything was done with apparent ease and grace.

Mr Marsupial-Mouse and Mr Wedgetail always watched each other with interest.

Mr Marsupial-Mouse was busy every minute of the waking day. He hurried here and bustled there. Gathering. Eating as he could. Engaging with others for short and sporadic intervals. Racing here. Dashing there… and so it went. His work was never done, as there was always something more that needed doing every time he turned around.

He was diligent, dutiful and very, very busy.

Mr Wedgetail was a different kettle of fish and he featured quite heavily in Mr Marsupial-Mouse’ SWOT! He was known to swoop down on high and pick off other small business owners and Mr Marsupial-Mouse knew it could happen to him too if he didn’t keep his wits about him!

But Mr Wedgetail wasn’t a meanie. He was a seasoned business campaigner with a sharp mind and a keen eye. He had learned long ago the value of taking time to soar above his world and take—literally—a bird’s eye view of his situation. What lay ahead? What lay behind? Where were his opportunities? Whilst it took time to do this that many saw as a luxury, the practice gave Mr Wedgetail enormous advantage over his competitors, and so he grew to become the most respected and most successful business around.

One day, Mr Wedgetail surprised everyone and offered all business animals a chance to ride with him and share the experience. Everyone was sceptical. No-one trusted the giant. Then, in a moment of apparent madness, Mr Marsupial-Mouse decided to take the opportunity.

“You’re mad!” his colleagues shouted! “Aside from Mr Wedgetail being one of your major threats, you don’t even have time to scratch! How can you take the time for this?”

“I just want to know what it’s like to soar.” he said. And he did.

While Mr Marsupial-Mouse soared, he saw things, as he never had. He could see the terrain in a new light. He saw pitfalls that were waiting that could now be avoided. He could see how far he’d come and took time to congratulate himself. He even saw more fertile ground and decided to change direction.

Whilst he was flying, he thanked Mr Wedgetail for the wonderful insight. Mr Wedgetail was delighted. He explained that taking the time to view the world in such a way ensured steady and stable growth in business. He then suggested that Mr Marsupial-Mouse join him regularly, to which he quickly agreed.

Today, Mr Marsupial-Mouse is a high flyer as well.

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