Van Gogh Olive Tree


  • “The reed and the Olive tree were arguing over their steadfastness, strength and ease. The olive taunted the reed for his powerlessness and pliancy in the face of all the winds. The Reed kept quiet and didn’t say a word. Then, not long after this, the wind blew violently. The reed, shaken and bent, escaped easily from it, but the olive tree resisting the wind, was snapped by its force. The story shows that people who yield to circumstances and to superior power have advantages over their stronger rivals.” – Aesop, Fables

How I Got Started” by Inc. recently shared a collection of true life fables from start-up entrepreneurs who followed the moral of that reed bending with the buffets of misfortune…

  • Bobbi Brown: Don’t Bluff. Just Think on Your Feet – “It’s not bluffing. It’s thinking on your feet, and it’s helped me a million times” (for when something has gone wrong, but ‘going with it’ positively)
  • Tony Hawk: How I Learned to Say ‘No’ – “These days, it’s easier for me to turn down opportunities that don’t fit the brand. I have the confidence to say no.”
  • Robin Chase: How I Survived a Huge Screw-up – “But I knew this was a fatal error. So I wrote an email to all our members that basically said, ‘I’m sorry; I screwed up. My daily rate was way too low. We have to raise the price 25 percent.’ I was very direct. I told them we couldn’t afford it.”