F.E.A.R. – An Entrepreneurial Acronym that Everyone Should Put in Their Pocket
F.E.A.R. False Evidence Appearing Real – And the Dreams that are Crushed by it.
Why did the chicken cross the road? This is an age-old question that has led to many jokes and wise cracks which have led nowhere. Although we may never know why the chicken actually crossed the road, lets discuss the fear that chicken may have felt when she reached that proverbial road, shall we?
Let’s say it was a cloudy, somewhat breezy day and a chicken arrives at the side of a road with oncoming traffic. She can see that other chickens are being fed at a chicken farm in the distance, across the road., Several feet behind her, some bushes move. What happens next?
She looks back wide-eyed and clucks rampantly, scared of what may be in the bushes. Could it be a fox? A rogue lawnmower headed in her direction? A cat with razor sharp claws? With each passing second, the chicken clucks louder and louder in F.E.A.R. of being eaten by some monstrous animal. She can run forward into oncoming traffic, but she’d probably get run over by a car! Could she make it to the chicken farm without dying from a car accident? Her fear begins to take over and she flaps her wings, adrenaline pumping, as she realizes that she’ll die if she runs, but she’ll die if she doesn’t.
In the final second of this do or die moment, her fight or flight instinct makes her look back just before the first step on the road. She sees the bushes move way for a large… breeze. It was just the wind? She double takes another few looks and realizes that this fear took such a grasp over her mind that she almost died for a breeze in the bushes. Nonetheless, she steps towards the bushes cautiously in case if the road was her last resort. Nothing. Indeed, it was a breeze. The False Evidence Appeared very Real.
She looks beyond the traffic and sees the chicken farm… some chickens already had their fill and were no longer feeding. Her belly ached for food and she could tell that they were running out of it. She had to hurry, or she wouldn’t eat this day, just as she hadn’t even seen a worm or any morsel of food for days. She had to cross that road immediately… or else. F.E.A.R. set in once again. Wide-eyed and clucking frantically, hoping the other chickens would hear her and save her some food. She decided that she’d wing it and cross the road as fast as she could.
But, just before this brave crossing, she noticed through her left and right eyes that peculiar lights turned yellow. It startled her. What could it be? She stood back in case if something unexpected happened. Lights from both sides turned red now. Confused, she watched in awe as the last few cars drove by. This timing was impeccable. She saved herself twice; once from the possibility of being eaten alive from a predator and the other due to the scarcity of a meal which could have cost her life if she didn’t analyze the situation.
The road was safe to pass. The chicken crossed the road.
Her weak legs carried her starving, empty belly faster than she thought possible. She ran around the whole compound, no open doors and not a single chicken in sight. Maybe they all ate their dinner already? She clucked in confusion, but finally found a small opening in the fence. A small area that she could fit through. She immediately ran to the feeding area… FREE FOOD!!! She clucked happily between each morsel of chicken feed. She couldn’t contain her happiness. With a filled belly, exhaustion took over. She needed rest.
It occurred to her that all the chickens disappeared in the instant that she wasn’t paying attention. Could there have been something wrong? The opening in the fence! What if a fox got through the opening and is eating chickens one by one in one of the houses? She again clucked frantically. Eyes bulging, searching for the way she came in to make a quick getaway. Suddenly, a head poked out of the closest chicken house doorway. She flapped her wings ready to flee but realized that it was another chicken. It invited her in – nothing was wrong. All was well and the pot-bellied chicken’s muscles started to relax. She clucked happily and waddled inside. She cooed, comfy in an empty nest. Calm, quiet, dark. For the first time in a long time, she slept among others just like her knowing that she was finally home and safe from the unknown.
For the next week, she acclimated to the new environment and long day time hours inside of the chicken coup – happy to do her part and lay eggs like the others. As she ate more of the chicken feed each day, she noticed that she got plumper. She was also not laying an egg once every one or two days. In fact, she was working double time now and was producing one to two eggs per day, sometimes even three! She knew this was not healthy or sustainable. After every meal (out of the many throughout the day), she felt sleepy and happy and plumper.
One day, yearning for her goals, dreams, and freedom to roam the plains again, she realized the vicious cycle was going to kill her. She was scared of what the wilderness may have in store for her – hungry monsters lurking about – but she knew that her health was deteriorating, and she wouldn’t last long. Plus, her dreams and aspirations were put on hold ever since she arrived. The stresses of constantly producing more than she can handle left her hungry, addicted to the feed, body aching, mind blank, and always wanting her nest. She cooed herself to sleep, but the lamps lit brightly 17-18 hours a day and the other hens got to work making more eggs as usual – and so did she.
That night, she waddled out of the house and back to the part of the fence where she knew she could escape.
The opening was never sealed, but she couldn’t fit through the hole anymore. She and the others had grown so plump and complacent that no one could leave – but others from the outside could always come in.
She then tried eating less and running more often to lose weight to one day fit through the fence and gain her freedom… but that day never came. She was stuck. Years later, her body became so stressed that she was no longer able to meet the demands of the physical labor of producing so many eggs daily. She saw others come and go and hoped she wouldn’t be next.
One day, without warning, they grabbed her by the neck for lack of productivity. She clucked and flapped as hard as she could, promising that she’ll do better. As she was brought closer to the chopping block, she looked back and saw a young chicken entering the same opening in the fence. A chicken much like herself in her earlier years and before she had a chance to warn the innocent chicken, the industry took their last piece of their Returns On their Investment in her.
Moral of the story? Don’t cross the road. Hahahaha… no, no that’s not really it.
Let’s think about this. In each instance, she felt the F.E.A.R. take over which constantly led her in a certain direction. She feared the wind and it almost killed her. She feared the scarcity in food and that almost killed her. She feared the unknown monster that may have eaten other chickens, but although that False Evidence also Appeared Real, she didn’t properly think it all out. Each time, she reacted in fear, it led her closer and closer to working for the chicken farm - to someone else’s dream. Although it was a great temporary measure to learn from, she didn’t realize that her own dreams would be squelched until it was too late.
When she first arrived, she didn’t research. She didn’t check to see if the herd made the right or wrong choices for her to learn from. She didn’t know the truth until it was too late. At the end, her life lost meaning and she left this world as the product of someone else’s dreams instead of venturing out to fulfill her own.
What I am trying to say here is that you shouldn’t jump to conclusions. Plan your strategies as an entrepreneur. Know your risks and be prepared for your escape plans. Don’t fall prey to a system that will make a complacent producer out of you. Go out there and find your niche without asking for permission.
Go out and shape the world one dream at a time. Make a difference in people’s lives and be productive for yourself and your family. Because “If you don’t build your dream, then someone will hire you to help build theirs.” ~ Tony Gaskins