BY Ogaba Agbese
During a soul search, I realized we who want to accomplish great things dream of being that Mountain Lion or that Mountain Goat we see all over the media. The truth is, as I have come to realize, the real mountain belongs to the lizards. Let me explain. The mountain lion though brash and full strength has adaptation problems. The mountain becomes a burden for it, it starves when the mountains or hills provide nothing to feed on. Its size and strength becomes its own nail in the foot.
History has shown us time and again as companies become bigger, they become Mountain Lions too big to survive the changing landscapes, too heavy to dodge the bullets of bad behaviour, too fat to be nimble. Same goes for people as well. The Mountain Lions are those people or companies whom have drowned in obscurity. The dinosaurs who could not escape the comet. The lizards have survived from age old times. They have spent their time studying the mountains. They are nimble. They are quick. If at all, it takes them nothing to jump over the proverbial candle stick. They know which parts of the mountain offers the best of everything. If caught off guard, they can scurry to the nearest crevice of safety. The lizards are skilled hunters but often overlooked. They watch and see what others do not.
We have heard of people from Jeff Bezos to Lakshmi Mittal to Bill Gates to Michael Jackson to Eric Schmidt to Steve Jobs to Mark Zuckerberg to Jack Dorsey to Eminem to William Shakespeare to Benjamin Franklin to Nikola Tesla to Elon Musk to Napoleon to Leonardo Da Vinci to Jonathan Ive to Dieter Rams to Phillipe Starck to Norman Foster to Bjarke Ingels and a host of other people all around the world that bless us with their talents and creativity. These people are the lizards. Their forward thinking is what has served us today. They were nimble and quick to recognize “opportunity crevices” in our daily lives. Some of them lost their tails during the harsh times but made it through with even bigger and better tails. They fought their battles and adapted to everything this cruel world had to offer.
Reading the stories of these people you’ll get to realize that fortune does truly favour the bold. They all started with a first step which was an unflinching belief in themselves even when people and the markets doubted them. They believed they were brought here to create something of value to the world and they loved every minute of it. I have learnt from these people and a lot of other people that happiness is truly achieved only when you provide value to your fellow man as Jesus Christ, Ghandi, and all other people of peace preach to us.
I have learnt from them that an idea is a cheap commodity. Everyone has them but it only becomes valuable when it provides value to your neighbour. They have taught me that going to market without understanding your target audience is the biggest sign of being a mountain lion. They have shown me how leadership works and how helping people aspire to be the best they can be is the best gift you can give anyone. They have shown me that taking the slower route to build your company and yourself is the best approach. From them I have finally cemented the notion that money is to be used to work for me and not the other way around. The lizards are no slaves to money only the mountain lions are.
I urge every one reading this to become a lizard of the mountains. Reach for the stars. Know your terrain. When the mountain lions die from starvation and the chilling breeze of the winter morning, you will be in your “opportunity crevice” enjoying the fruit of your labour expanding your territory until the mountain lions become extinct. Creativity is your friend. Remember that idea that is obvious to everybody now was only seen by a lizard. Mountain Lions are “one hit” wonders soon forgotten and never heard of again.