When I was a little boy, my grandmother and my two aunts lived in the country. It was affectionately known as “The Farm.” In fact, it is where I live now. The Farm was where the grandkids spent the summer months. “Sweet corn and bonfires” was the family motto during those days spent in the fresh air.
The truth was that our parents “farmed” us out to the country each summer…and that was okay by us.
Our summer home was an old farmhouse – with non-functioning windows. You had to open them and prop them up with a folding screen. This was well before air conditioning came into vogue. Can you picture the screen holding up the window to allow air to flow through the kitchen? Stay with me.
Picture a bunch of old folks sitting around the kitchen table talking. And being in the country, there was always an abundance of flies. To combat these little critters, my grandmother hung a spiral sticky thing from the overhead light. Younger readers are probably lost by now. (What’s a sticky thing?) You oldsters know exactly what I am talking about.
Remember, it was in the country; a lot of flies, sticky things hanging from the lights; screens in the windows; old folks at the table; grandkids running in and out slamming the screen door.
I remember always seeing a bunch of dead flies on the window sill. They died attempting to reach freedom by trying to exit through the screened window to no avail. If they were not captured by the sticky thing, they died by trying to bang there way to freedom through the screen.
All the while, us little kids would be running in and out of the screen door, which was situated right next to the window. The door was swinging open and slamming closed all day long, while the flies were trying to gain their freedom through the screen.
Here comes the message. The smart flies would take a moment to analyze the situation. Screened window to the left. Swinging door to the right. If freedom was their goal, they would back off and simply wait for a kid to open their exit route so they could fly out the door. How easy would that be? How logical?
Most of the flies were not logical and continued to beat themselves to death trying to fly through an immovable object.
I always remember that farm … and the window … and the door … and the flies. That is a true story, but one with a lesson that has served me well for over 60 years. Now when I am confronted with a sales problem, I simply back off, wait for that swinging door of opportunity to open, and follow the path to success more often than not.
Mike Marchev shares business development lessons using stories you can easily identify with.
Ask about the November River Cruise Fam Trip he will be escorting up The Danube River. Mike also conducts an annual training cruise in January leaving from Ft. Lauderdale.