Six Lessons for Success from a Famous Fairy Tale
Travelling Companion is a fairy tale and like all fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen, there are a few explicit moral lessons for children. Adults also, perhaps more so, need such lessons but that’s another matter.
If you have the patience and inclination to read between the lines, you can find implied general rules for living a life. In Hans Christian Andersen ‘Travelling Companion,’ there are six important lessons especially for retailers or entrepreneurs:
Lesson 1: Strikeout Boldly in Life. Take risks
But the lesson is: You can always rise above your circumstances; just go for it with open arms. Embrace life.
Lesson 2: Network
You don’t need to do favors for the dead, they probably don’t care. But you can do your bit for the still-alive-mortals. Believe me, Law of Compensation works.
Lesson 3: Have Smart Managers
The old man (Johannes manger in entrepreneurial parlance) is smart. He can think out of the box and come up with new possibilities. He can form and see connections and potentialities where none seemingly exist. The old man is brilliant at innovation. He uses a pile of faggots to create hail and thunderstorm and sees the possibility of using dead swan’s feathers Also, he is able to negotiate very profitable deals with the old woman and the puppeteer. In return for healing the old woman’s leg, he asks for three bundles of faggots which later come handy when he wants to teach a lesson to the rude princess. With the puppeteer, he strikes another lucrative deal by asking for the sword in return for making the marionettes happy and healthy.
The old man determines the interests of each party and is able to create a win-win outcome for all concerned. A dream manager for every entrepreneur!
Lesson 4: Trust your Instincts
So pay heed to your intuitions, your dreams, and who knows in what shape the opportunity holds out her hand.
Lesson 5: Team Diversity is Important
If people in a team have different ways of thinking, they can offer different perspectives and this can lead to innovative solutions and ideas.
Consider. Johannes and his companion are from entirely different worlds. Literally so. Johannes is alive and kicking while the old man is actually a dead-man-roaming.
Different as they are, they pool in their respective strengths to create a winning team. Johannes with his optimism, his penchant for risk-taking, and ability to network; and the old man with is innovative thinking, his realism (he is not sentimental and thinks that dead swans wings can be mighty profitable), and his experience of the other world.
Having died once can offer a completely new take on the world of the living… No?
Don’t pair up with the dead if you don’t want to. But let go of your biases about people and things, and make room for diversity.
Lesson 6: Sometimes it is Important to Make Tough Decisions
Now don’t go about ducking people in a tub of water (the water also had drops from the magical vial as well as swan’s wings which only HCA had), the point is to take tough decisions when you must.
At times life calls for making difficult, or even painful, choices, don’t hide behind denials and procrastination. Go for it.
Don’t ever think of fairy tales as the stuff woven by brilliant minds only for kids. They contain important insights. And, by the way, if the innate sense of wonder should never die, life is enchanting as a fairy tale.