MOVING CHEESE


If you have read Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, I am sure you must have found it quite instructive and interesting. It is a story of two mice, Sniff and Scurry and two tiny sized people, Hem and Haw. All the four like to eat cheese, and there is a spot in a maze where they all eat from a big chunk of cheese. Oblivious to the fact that the cheese is reducing in size as the cut from it every day, they arrive one day to discover that the cheese has finished.

Sniff and Scurry (the mice) go further into the maze in search of new cheese. They have been finding little pieces here and there until finally, they come across the biggest cheese they have ever seen. Hem and Haw and the other hand are fearful and overcautious. They are afraid of the unknown. They could not venture further into the maze. They hang around the spot where the cheese has been, hoping that something would show up. Nothing does.

Quite a number of significant changes are happening with respect to the economy of this country. Truly, our cheese is moving. Consider the GSM revolution, the deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry, the privatisation of government-owned enterprises, the ban on importation of some items, and in recent times, the increase in the capital base of banks from 2 Million Naira to 25 Billion Naira with effect from 31 December 2005.

The big question my dear reader is: how will you respond to these changes and many more that are coming? Will you, like Hem and Haw, try to hold onto the past, to the circumstances that work in your favour before? What if you lose your job because of rightsizing or downsizing caused by monetisation, privatisation or mergers and acquisition? You will need a different set of skills and a positive attitude to ride the wind of change. It will be better to look ahead and to end up better rather than being bitter.

Do you know why dinosaurs became extinct? They refused to change while the environment was changing. Now they are only good for exhibition in museums, souvenirs of history. Sad to say, but many individuals and businesses may end up like those dinosaurs if they are not willing to change.

Dear reader, let us accept that where progress is desired, change is inevitable. Don’t be afraid of change. Don’t resist change. Rather, learn to expect change. We resist change because we focus more on the negative aspect of the potential results of the change. However, when we focus on the positive, we don’t mind initiating change. When we see how beautiful the future is likely to be, we don’t mind letting go of the present.

For example, if you are in paid employment, it will help you to acquire entrepreneurial skills. Learn how to sell. Learn how to write a business plan. Learn how to build and run an organisation. Learn how to build systems and draw organograms. Learn how to hire and fire staff. Learn how to manage projects. Learn how to lead people. You see, there is so much to learn, but I guarantee your mindset will change. And when you change your thinking, you change your life.

There are several advantages to owning your own business. You have more control over your time and your life. Also, the business pays your bills. Whereas employees earn money and pay tax before the spend what is left, you will earn money and spent a good portion of it before you pay tax. Your personal expenses to a large extent are considered part of the company’s expenses. Owning your own business can be financially rewarding. Consider that you will also be able to help people that you could not help before. You will create jobs for others, and the tax from your business would contribute to the national economy.

And just in case you are still in the employ of an organisation, cultivating entrepreneurial skills will facilitate your quick rise to the top. Get ready.

You will succeed!

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