The National Aquarium of New Zealand reports that Inky the Octopus has escaped. The smart 8 legged creature squeezed out of a small gap at the top of his tank, slithered across the floor of the aquarium and used a sea-water runoff pipe to make his way to Hawke’s Bay, and on to freedom.
Octopus are known to be very intelligent and curious, and enjoy pushing boundaries.
If you can, imagine you’re Inky, trapped in that aquarium. You remember what it was like to be free in the ocean, and your big goal is to return to that ocean.
So you study your surroundings. You learn everything you can about the place – when the human captors are watching. When they’re not watching – where the possible escape routes are.
You notice that water always runs to that small hole in the corner. You think about that – where does the water go? Where does all water go if you’re an octopus? To the ocean, of course. And as you study the situation, you devise a plan to win your freedom.
Then when the time is right, you make a very daring and risky escape.
Remember, you don’t know for certain where that pipe goes.
You don’t know for certain you can make it to the pipe. After all, you’ll be out of your element. You won’t be able to breathe properly again until you get back into water.
You’re taking a really big chance. It would be safer to just stay in the aquarium, eat the free meals and spend the rest of your life lounging about like a lazy couch octopus.
But not you. You want more out of life.
You push up against the heavy lid on the tank and manage to just squeeze out.
You slither down the outside of the tank, across the floor through an element that is totally foreign to you – air.
You reach the pipe. Little do you know that pipe is as long as 5 football fields and full of the foulest smelling stuff you can imagine.
But you don’t stop.
You. Do. Not. Stop. until you reach your goal – open water. The ocean. Freedom.
And yes, it is believed that Inky did indeed make it all the way back to the ocean in his daring night time escape.
Now imagine you’re an entrepreneur.
You have a big goal (or at least hopefully you do).
Just like Inky the Octopus, you study the terrain and formulate a plan. You rehearse it in your head. You know you might encounter obstacles along the way, but you have confidence that you’ll deal with those as they come up.
It’s time. You’re nervous and scared, but you’ve got the guts to go for it.
And once you launch, there is no turning back. You are now on your way to something bigger, better, scarier and a whole lot more exciting.
That sure beats watching reruns on TV or going off to a J.O.B., doesn’t it?
Lessons from Inky:
Have a big, daring goal.
Learn everything you can that will help you achieve your goal.
Formulate a strategy.
Fear is just a word. Do it anyway.
Execute your strategy like your entire future and your very life depend on it.
Can’t you just see Inky emerging from that pipe into the bay? Imagine how happy he must have been. From there it was a relatively short, joyful swim to the ocean and total freedom.