Mangoes and Chairs

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Mangoes and Chairs

For those of you who hear me speak recently, you must have enjoyed my metaphor of buying mangoes in the market. Your laughter has assured me of the simple logic that no Malaysian will ever buy the very first mango that he or she lay the hand on. The firm grip of the unusually hard pressure in your first touch will always squeeze the daylight out of the initially appealing mango. This then set as a benchmark that triggered your search for the better ones. Human nature dictates that there will always be a better one hidden somewhere for our very exclusive discovery.

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This is why we celebrate having choices but not necessarily equipping ourselves with the ability to choose.

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Yes, I have made official prediction openly that the best business this year is to sell chairs to those in the majority who have somehow opted to wait and see. And that is therefore a less crowded market with abundance of choices at your disposal. In fact, chairs are so in demand that I even encouraged those who hear my words to sell the very chair that they sit on and get into the market of choices. You will be spoiled.

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This by no mean that it will be easy, although the contrarian wisdom in it sounds so simple to understand. When you are swamped with choices, you are constrained by your ability to have more. When you can only have less, you tend to look even further and took even longer to ensure you have the best deal in town to the extent that you can even write a book on to collect a fat royalty as legacy. In the process, you will regret at times and felt that perhaps the best has in fact passed you by and you have consciously gave it up in your belief that you can find a better one. The lack of competition also means lack of assurance that you are in deed doing the right thing in search of the best mangoes in the market. While the sellers are unusually helpful and friendly, you start to suspect every gesture that supposedly works in your favour. This is where you are most self-defeating and self-fulfilling at the same time. You are now in danger of looking instead for a chair to be “safe” and “saved” like everyone else. At least, your mind knows that you are not alone having the firm assurance that you are not the only one to sit, wait and see.

To be successful is an act of minority where the victors most often chosen the route least traveled. Swimming into the blue ocean is also a lonely affair to the unknown. Until and unless you can accept that it takes the highest discipline to lead the race with no one to chase, you will not able to buy the best mangoes. To buy in a market with less competition requires more courage than you can ever imagine. To do so, you must acknowledge that the best only happens in the eyes of the beholder and you need no challengers to “double confirm” your selection. While to be greedy in a time when everyone else is fearful is an act of treason to the conventional education that brought you up to who you are now, it is at the same time the very key to open up the door to who you could possibly be! This, is the very first choice that you have to made.

The truth is that people will get tired for sitting too long on the very chair that you have sold to them. They will soon be walking into the same market; you will be then swamped by competition than choices. If only you have bought enough mangoes early, you can buy their chairs that they are now so willingly let go on a cheap for you to sit and slowly sell your best mangoes in the market to the highest possible bidders. Again, highest is subjective to you, and you only.

Just as good as your squeeze of the very first mango, it really tells you nothing at all ☺

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By | 2019-03-05T12:11:50+00:00 April 1st, 2015|Management Journal|0 Comments