Theodor Seuss Geisel or, Dr Seuss as we know him, was an American children’s author and cartoonist. He wrote more than 60 books that sold over 600 million copies. While his stories and rhymes charmed generations of children, if we look closely, there are hidden gems for grown-ups to discover that spark good ideas for our businesses – so let’s explore.
The unnamed business owner had never tried this unusual dish and as many times as it was offered to him by the main character, Sam I Am, he refused to partake. It wasn’t until Sam finally wears him down with his persistence, that he tries the dish and exclaims, ”I do so like green eggs and ham. Thank you, thank you, Sam I Am.“
I’d suggest there’s a little bit of that business owner in all of us. Sometimes we fear the unknown and don’t try new things even though sticking to the tried and tested hampers our personal and business growth. This may be fine while things are going well but if we don’t try new things, we can end up stagnating and losing our spark. How often have you thought “that’s not for me” or “I don’t think that’ll work for my business” simply because you don’t want to risk dipping your toes into something new? Maybe it’s time to taste the green eggs and ham to discover if it is right for you.
“Congratulations! Today is your day.” A magical first line that instantly invites us on a journey. It might be a journey that sees us hung up on a prickly perch but our persistence and resilience will help us manage the harder miles. As Dr Seuss advises, you may come down with a bump and end up in a slump — and when you’re in a slump, un-slumping yourself is not easily done. You can get so confused on this journey you’ve taken. You may end up in the waiting place where everyone is waiting for something to happen. That’s not for you – somehow you’ll escape and you’ll find bright places. Keep going and remember life is a balancing act. Never forget to be dexterous and deft. And will you succeed? Yes! You will indeed, ninety-eight-and-three-quarter percent guaranteed.
Your mountain is waiting so get on your way.
Possibly the most famous books from Dr Seuss, this story tells us about two children who let the Cat in the Hat into their house while their mother is away. Chaos ensues, the cat wrecks the entire house but fortunately manages to magic in a machine that puts everything back in place, just before their mother returns.
Often business owners need to get away – but while we are away, are we secretly worried we have left a Cat in the Hat behind or are we confident that our magical work ‘machine’ will sort out any potential disasters? Do you have processes that mean the business can function without you? If you haven’t developed your ‘machine’ – powered by good culture, trusted employees and great communication, you will never have the freedom from your business you vitally need. Communication with the team, and providing a deeper understanding of your business to them, is a good start. And if, while you’re away, things do go wrong, you’ll have the peace of mind to know “the machine” will handle it.
Last but not least, we meet the infamous Grinch with his heart two sizes too small, living in a mountain overlooking the town of Whoville, home to the cheerful warm-hearted Whos. The Grinch attempts to steal all the Christmas fun but realises when he hears the Whos singing that Christmas is about a lot more than feasting and gifts.
As business owners, we can be either the Grinch or the Whos. It’s easy to forget that there is more to business than meets the eye. There are many things we should celebrate and we should celebrate often. If you find the celebrations at your place are few and far between, perhaps it’s time to do a culture assessment. Talk to your team or, even better, get someone from outside your business to do it. When you create an awesome culture, you and your team will be happier, and many other aspects of your business will improve.
The power of stories can help and inspire us – and simple as they seem, the stories from Dr Seuss can get us thinking, whether we are young, old, or young at heart – so thank you Dr Seuss.
This content was originally published here.