What the Turkey Saw

Do not depend on consultants and so called experts. The only things that these consultants and experts know is what was done before, not what is going to happen. -Manoj Bhargava

Being Thanksgiving Day, I wanted to keep somewhat on theme with the holiday. I was thinking of something along the line of a satirical post on the refugee situation here in the US but decided to keep my blog related to entrepreneurship, investing and life; as my goal is to have aspiring entrepreneurs and business savvy individuals to seek out my blog for guidance and inspiration for that journey.

I figured myself clever as ‘What the Turkey Saw,’ is actually a play on words of a Malcolm Gladwell book named “What the Dog Saw,” but will heavily refer to a story that is presented in Nassim Taleb’s “Black Swan” which is that of a Thanksgiving Turkey and our mindset on perception of the future.

What is an Entrepreneur? The dictionary definition refers to “a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money.” The average person will undoubtedly think of such innovative movers in their respective industries such as Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, or Mark Cuban and the rest of the sharks on Shark Tank. However if you were to ask me, my response would simply be is that an Entrepreneur is someone who sees the world from a different perspective then the norm of society, and acts on it. The what ifs of how an industry could be, and how different the world could operate.

Imagine yourself a Turkey. All that you’ll ever know will be the life of the turkey. The nest. The farmland. The farmer.

Everyday brings about the same expectations. There is a level of comfort to this life without change for with every passing day, in psychological terms, positive reinforcement occurs to this behavior. Yesterday was just like the day before. Today was just like yesterday. There is an incentive to this way of living because it’s not bringing harm. It’s convenient. You are content.

“Consider a turkey that is fed every day,” Taleb writes. “Every single feeding will firm up the bird’s belief that it is the general rule of life to be fed every day by friendly members of the human race ‘looking out for its best interests,’ as a politician would say.

“On the afternoon of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, something¬†unexpected will happen to the turkey. It will incur a revision of belief.”

Wait-What-Meme-02

We base our perceptions and actions on our experiences in the past. What works, works. What doesn’t, doesn’t. But if you truly wish to get into the mindset of an entrepreneur, I believe the story of ‘What the Turkey Saw’ is a great starting point. Societies can only predict oh so much about the future and there will be times when ideas just sound plainly foolish to the rest of the world. The experts will laugh. Until that something unexpected actually happens.

Be the unexpected, not the Turkey.

References:

1.What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures
2.The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable Fragility” (Incerto)

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