I had an interesting mentoring session last week with an owner of a small business. I listened to him intently as he shared about his business and when he stopped sharing, I asked him, “So how can I help you today?” He looked at me with an intense expression on his face and said, “Here’s my P&L. I need you to tell me why I’m always fighting with having enough cash in my business”.
After studying his P&L, I was surprised at the number of trip expenses that stood out on his financials in the last year. When I questioned him if all these trips were necessary, he replied “Well, I work hard for myself and I deserve to go on vacations. After all, this business is ME and I have to reward myself for my hard work”. Judging his defensive demeaner, I knew I would not get anywhere with him during this session.
At the end of the day, I thought hard on how I was going to get through to him. Suddenly, I rememberd the story from Aesop’s Fable – The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg. I decided to use this metaphor to help him to visualize how he was robbing from his Goose. The Goose is his business!
Here is the story from Aesop’s Fabel:
A man and his wife owned a very special goose. Every day the goose would lay a golden egg, which made the couple very rich. “Just think,” said the man’s wife, “If we could have all the golden eggs that are inside the goose, we could be richer much faster.”
“You’re right,” said her husband, “We wouldn’t have to wait for the goose to lay her egg every day.”
So, the couple killed the goose and cut her open, only to find that she was just like every other goose. She had no golden eggs inside of her at all, and they had no more golden eggs.
I painted this beautiful and joyous Goose so I can show it to my client at our next meeting. I was happy to see that the Goose came out exact the way I wanted. I love how the Goose looks … so innocent and gentle. I will definitely look at this painting often to remind myself that my business is this Goose and I will protect and care for her to make sure that she will continue to bless me by laying her beautiful golden eggs.
Can you think of a precious Goose you have in your life? How are you protecting your Goose so she will continue to lay her golden eggs at your feet? I’d love to hear your Goose stories.
PS – This original painting is available for sale here.