The Three Little Pigs (Revisited)
Once upon a time there were three little pigs: Huey, Louie, and Dewey. Their parents named them after three famous ducks, hoping it would inspire them to similar stardom and greatness. But Huey, Louie and Dewey were now in mid career, and it was clear that unless something changed, they were destined to a less than stellar career trajectory. As young piglets, they had begun establishing their places in the world. Huey built a house of straw, Louie a house of sticks, and Dewey a house of bricks. The house of bricks had come in handy because of that whole thing with the big bad wolf, but that had been years earlier, and now their lives had settled into a dull routine. It was a comfortable routine, but not very fulfilling. They felt a bit stagnated in their careers.
They had entered a field that they thought would be stable and predictable: accounting. They were all working for a big agribusiness conglomerate. They went to the same office every day, looked over the same reports, made similar entries, managed the same accounts, and went home to watch TV every night. It wasn’t a bad life, but they all had hoped for more by now.
One day, Dewey, always the most ambitious of the three, had an idea. He thought he would go out on his own again, career-wise. He remembered how great it had been when he had left Mom and Dad in the pig-sty to go out on his own and build his brick house. What if he did the same with his career? “What if I left my comfy but stagnant job and went out on my own?” he thought. “I could help all these small farmers with their accounting.” It was a glorious idea.
He couldn’t wait to get Huey and Louie to join in his grand adventure. He went to Huey’s house of straw first. Yes, it had been blown down long ago, but they had worked together to rebuild it; it was even nicer than before. “Huey, I want to strike out on my own and start my own accounting firm serving small farmers. There are so many of them right here in our own valley that need our help. We can get our own clientele, and they will pay us every month. We can keep a greater portion of all our fees, making more than we do at our current jobs. Eventually, we can hire other pigs to work for us as we build our clientele beyond what we can do ourselves. Then we will have a business! We can make money even when we aren’t working. It will be wonderful!”
Huey was excited at first, but then he started thinking. He wondered how they would find clients. Dewey said they could just talk to people. Huey was afraid that they would say no. Dewey explained that they would just have to educate them and that even if many said no, they only needed some to say yes. He reminded Huey that there were many farmers in the valley.
“But what if we fail?” asked Huey.
“Ah yes, but what if we succeed?” Dewey said.
Huey had always followed the course of least resistance. That’s why he lived in a house of straw even though he could live in a nice brick house if he wanted. Huey was also afraid. He thought it would be much better to risk nothing and keep what he had. That would be comfortable. Sure, it would be nice to have his own successful practice, but that would mean he’d have to leave his house of straw and get out and talk to people, and he thought it probably wouldn’t work anyway. So Huey let his fear determine his course and decided he’d rather remain comfortable than grow professionally and personally.
Dewey was disappointed but not deterred. He decided to approach Louie. He went to Louie’s house of sticks and talked to him about his plan. Louie liked the idea and wanted to work with Dewey. So they decided to receive training from someone who knew exactly what to do. Dewey remembered that was how he had learned to build his house of bricks. Any pig can build a house of straw, and most pigs do. But no pig had ever built a house of bricks before. Dewey rightly figured that in order to survive that windbag, the Big Bad Wolf, it would take a much stronger house. So Dewey had sought a brick mason in order to learn from someone with experience building brick houses. He decided to do just what his brick-building coach would tell him to do, even if it didn’t make sense. He soon discovered that even though the advice didn’t make sense at first, he always came to understand the brick mason’s wisdom after he tried it himself. This had saved him countless hours of time and lots of money that he would have had to spend figuring things out for himself while making and fixing mistakes. He realized that his brick-building coach had more than paid for himself while saving all their lives in the process. Dewey thought the process that had worked for building his house could work for building his accounting business as well.
So they hired Universal Accounting to help. They went through some courses on bookkeeping, accounting, QuickBooks, tax preparation and especially marketing. They got help on everything, but realized they needed the most help in marketing; they were accounting pigs, not marketing pigs. They decided to sign up for Universal Accounting’s Master Coaching program.
As they started their Master Coaching program, it became apparent that there was a big difference between Louie and Dewey. Louie would question everything and then not do his assignments. He thought he could find an easier way. Louie thought he already knew all the answers even though Dewey reminded him that he might not even know all the questions. But Louie, like his brother Huey, thought that talking to farmers was too intimidating, and the three he’d spoken to so far had all said no anyway. Louie thought that these farmers should just KNOW that he could help them. After all, he was a professional pig! This marketing stuff was so – demeaning! He just wanted to go back to his house of sticks and watch TV. That was comfortable. So Louie dropped out of the program unhappy that Universal Accounting had made him do things that obviously didn’t work!
On the other cloven hoof, Dewey remembered that once he had finally trusted his brick-building coach, everything worked out. He thought that if he was going to spend all this money on training, he may as well trust his coach. He made sure that he attended all his telephone coaching sessions and committed to complete assignments that he knew he could get done each week. Though it took effort, he tried to stretch himself and step out of his comfort zone each week. Sure, some of the things he had to do, particularly talking to farmers, were uncomfortable at first, but he found that as he persisted, these things became easier and more comfortable. He also found himself becoming bolder, more persuasive and confident. He joined the local farmer’s cooperative and began trading referrals with the John Deere tractor dealer.
He organized a seminar with his Universal coach and was able to commit several farmers to attend himself. Universal coached him on everything he needed to do in order to grow his practice and prepare for the seminar. By the time they finished the seminar, he had four new clients and eight prospective clients.
He followed up on the seminar prospects just as Universal had coached him to do. He found out about their businesses, the problems they were facing and the scope of work required. He also priced his services well, positioning himself as a profit and growth expert who would make and save his clients more money than the cost of his fees. And they believed him!
By the time he was finished with his follow-up, he had another five clients. He was very excited because what had been awkward at first, presenting his value, was now easy and fun! He couldn’t wait to talk to more farmers! By the time his coaching ended, he knew that he needed to talk to 10 farmers in order to get four good appointments and, finally, one new client. He knew that if he spoke to 50 farmers, he could get 15 of them to attend a seminar, eight to request a quote and four to become new clients. He realized this varied from pig to pig, but this was his formula. He also had been taught by his coach to constantly improve his percentages, and he knew he would. He had become more than just an accounting pig. He had also become a marketing pig.
As time went on, Dewey continued to get better at marketing, and as his percentages improved, he was able to get more clients more easily. He eventually hired Huey and Louie to work for him for a fraction of what he was making for their work. He went on to open accounting offices in neighboring valleys and became a very successful Accountrepreneur. Eventually he built a bigger brick house on a golf course, cut back his work hours and let his marketing systems and employees do most of the work. He and his sow raised many piglets, and he eventually sold a share of his business to a partner, enabling him to spend much less time working and more time visiting his grandpigs; he also had time to restore the classic John Deere tractor given to him by his dealer friend for sending so many good referrals. He now holds seminars to continue recruiting clients for his partner because he loves what he does, and he is good at it. He plans to live happily ever after.
THE MORAL OF OUR STORY:
Pigs who let their fears paralyze them will remain in straw houses.
Pigs who are not willing to step out of their comfort zones and grow, who are not willing to learn new things from those who know, who think they already know all the answers, who are not willing to be awkward until they are skilled, who continually look for the magic way and are not willing to earn their own success, will remain in stick houses.
Pigs who are willing to learn from the experts, step out of their comfort zones and grow, create new success habits, and be awkward at new tasks until they become skilled will find many new brick houses to build.
The Three Little Pigs
The Three Little Pigs (Revisited)