Back in primitive times there was a village that needed to be fed.
The seasoned hunter was tasked with raising all the young men in the village to be hunters too, so they can catch and kill game, feed themselves, their families, and their tribe.
The young apprentices were eager to do their part, to learn to be seasoned hunters, to hunt and track and kill their game. They saw how the women of the village looked at the brave, skilled, seasoned hunter with lust in their eyes.
They wanted to be seasoned hunters themselves as soon as possible.
They wanted the glory of making that big kill that could feed the whole village for a week, then sit around in the sunshine and bask in their victory, drink wine and woo women.
But the seasoned hunter also knows, from experience, that to become a seasoned hunter took a long time.
Many months might go by before a novice could learn to properly stalk their game without sending it running off into the woods, let alone how to make the bow that was strong and durable, or the arrows that fly true, or had enough practice for the arrow to meet it's mark.
The novice might take a while to learn how to walk slowly and cautiously enough not to scare game away.
Even if their arrow landed true, the novice must also know how to track a wounded deer, so that he knows what to do if the shot wasn't a kill shot, but instead wounds his prey, he could find it and still finish the job.
Even if the opportunity presented itself to bag that game, the novice hunter would likely let it slip through their fingers. They simply didn't have the hard skills and experience.
So as a wise hunter, the seasoned hunter first taught the young novice hunters to pick berries and eat grubs. He then taught the young men first how to fish, by casting a net into a stream.
The impatient, novice hunter will starve before they ever learn to hunt, if they focus only on this complex skill.
But the wise hunter knows, you can teach a man to eat grubs or pick berries or fish with a net in a river and they can live on it, very quickly. It's the fastest path to sustainability.
They can live on those grubs, those berries and those fish until they have all the practical skills of a seasoned hunter, after which time they can hunt the big game as they please, knowing exactly what to do to feed themselves, their families, and their tribe.
The moral of the story is we all want to skip ahead to be the cool online business owner that sells millions. We all want to be the next startup founder that makes a billion dollars. We all want to run the company that makes $10,000,000 a year.
But those skills are complex, and take time to develop. There are very few seasoned people who can show you the way, because they've been there before. And for every Mark Zuckerburg, there are 100,000 who tried to be but you never heard their name.
Having these lofty goals are great, and will drive you forward.
But in the mean time, we must learn simpler skills that will keep us afloat, so we don't starve while we learn those complex and difficult skills that we need to get to the next level.
When teaching, never forget this parable.
When learning, never forget this parable.
You are where you are and you can feed yourself with simple skills while you aspire to something greater, that takes longer to master.
You can begin by learning how to get a better job, or a raise, or negotiate better hours.
You can then learn sales and how to generate leads.
While you live off the fruits of these skills, you can learn how to write copy, create landing pages, build sales funnels.
You can learn to build leverage, using technology properly.
You can learn to build systems and reclaim your time, your attention, your energy even further.
You can learn leadership, public speaking, how to sell from stage.
You can learn to persuade, make deals, and negotiate at the highest levels and echelons, moving millions and billions of dollars with the right phone call at the right time.
You can learn to ride the waves of the market and make your money work for you.
You can learn how to invest in others and their ideas, while managing the risks and mitigating potential losses.
These are all valuable skills that can make your effort and time much more valuable in terms of real dollars.
But you have to learn first how to cast a net into a stream.
You have to learn how to pick those berries.
Sometimes, you'll even have to eat grubs.
Otherwise, you'll starve long before you ever have a chance to learn how to hunt.
Join in the conversation on this post on Facebook:
Want more great stuff? Check out the podcast below: