Gwendolyn Gardner

Simply Chickie/ - Owner
Newport , Rhode Island

    "I vant to be alone." -- A business lesson from the children's book -- The Story of Ferdinand by Munroe Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson.

    June 1, 2009

    I marvel at the deep yellow tulips performing in my neighbor's garden. The smell of lilacs wafts by my porch window enticing me to step outside. Flowers are intoxicating!

    In The Story of Ferdinand  written by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson, readers are introduced to a quiet, young bull entranced  by the smell of flowers while sitting under a cork tree (and yes, Lawson illustrates real wine corks hanging from branches).  Ferdinand is not like the other bulls; he enjoys being alone. His mother worries.

    In my business, I enjoy when I can open the windows and listen to the laughter of children outside while I perfect a polka dot penguin tuxedo or paint minnows on my latest design.  As entrepreneurs, we need to spend time alone even if the world beckons us to engage constantly.

    Instead of spending days alone smelling flowers like Ferdinand, all the other bulls in the pasture, "butt each other and stick each other with their horns," writes Leaf.

    Business is a pasture as well; we engage and are engaged by outside forces, but we must realize that time alone is important and sacred.  One of the activities that generates our success is our non-activity--our quiet time. We ascertain what our values are, and what is vital to our being and our business.

    Alone time can connect us to our resolve when we are confronted with situations that are unfamiliar or demanding.

    "One day five men came in very funny hats to pick the biggest, fastest, roughest bull to fight in the bull fights in Madrid," writes Leaf. They are strange. One man looks like a pirate with a long cigarillo dripping out of his mouth and another has a long Dali style handlebar mustache brushing the air. Ferdinand doesn't care; he prepares to sit down under his favorite cork tree.

    In the meantime, the other bulls jump and butt and snarl; however, Ferdinand, doesn't pay attention. He sits on a bee which ignites a wild ferocious dance that lands him a trip to the biggest bull fight.

    In business, we are solicited by outsiders to engage in advertising opportunities, to change suppliers, and to connect. So many strange prospects-what do we do?

    While Ferdinand waits at the bull fighting arena, he peeks out of the holding station at the thousands of spectators in the stands. A fancy bull fighter waves a wild cape at Ferdinand; but, Ferdinand stops.

    He "smells all the flowers in the lovely ladies hair." He strolls, as only a bull can, into the arena sniffing all the flowers, and he lies down. He knows what he loves; he knows what his values are; he is not flustered by the crowd.

    What do we do when we are confronted with strangeness and new opportunities? We should turn off the computer, put our cell phone on silent, and crawl into our favorite chair and declare, "I vant to be alone." (A Greta Garbo accent helps with this particular declaration.)

     When we connect to our core self, we make good decisions.



    Simply Chickie

    Simply irreverent organic cotton baby and children's clothing. Laugh--you'll feel better!

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