Aesop & Business: Do Not Attempt Too Much At Once

The Boy and the Filberts

A BOY put his hand into a pitcher full of filberts.  He grasped

as many as he could possibly hold, but when he tried to pull out

his hand, he was prevented from doing so by the neck of the

pitcher.  Unwilling to lose his filberts, and yet unable to

withdraw his hand, he burst into tears and bitterly lamented his

disappointment.  A bystander said to him, “Be satisfied with half

the quantity, and you will readily draw out your hand.”


“Do not attempt too much at once.”

While I am a big believer of dreaming big, setting stretch goals, and pushing yourself beyond what is expected, this fable provides valuable insights in the business world.  The boy in this fable could have been satisfied with half, then gone back for another half later on, achieving the same result.  When your goal is to double your market share, analyze your plan to see if it is viable.  If it turns out that the plan is unlikely to yield the share gain that you are after, then revise the plan into a two or three phase plan, execute it on spec, and deliver the desired results while properly setting the expectations along the way.  This will get you much further in the business world than you would get if you constantly loudly shoot for the moon and miss.

About Todd Hagopian (@ToddHagopian)

Todd Hagopian received his BA from Eastern Michigan University with a major in Political Science. After graduation, he worked as a Financial Advisor and a Bank Manager before returning to school. He attended Michigan State University, where he completed an MBA with a double-major in Finance and Marketing. Todd is now a Senior Product Development Manager for a Fortune 500 company. He frequently writes about business issues, social media strategy, and political issues that he finds important. Enjoy the blog!

Posted on December 16, 2011, in Aesop's Fables & Business and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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