I heard this old story recently and though the message was especially relevant to small business owners, especially in tough economic times.

There was a farmer had who had a very old donkey.  One day, the donkey slipped and fell into the well.  The farmer looked down into the well and realized there was nothing he could do to lift the donkey out of the well.

He decided it would be far kinder to put the donkey out of it’s misery quicly, then to let it slowly starve to death.  He asked several of his neighbors to help him shovel dirt into the well, thinking they would bury the animal alive, and it would die quickly.

At first the animal howled as the dirt began to fill the well, but after a few minutes there was silence.  The farmer peered over the rim of the well, and was amazed by what he saw. Every time a shovelfull of dirt hit the doneky’s back he shook it off and took a step up on the dirt.  Shovelfull, after shovelfull of dirt  fell into the well and onto the donkey.  And each time the donkey shook it off and stepped up until eventually there was enough dirt underneath the donkey that he could climb out of the well by himself and trot off into the field.

donkeyThe moral to the story is very simple.  Life is going to shovel dirt at you.  You have two choices:

You can be buried alive by the dirt life throws at you


You can shake it off and step up

If you want to be survive a down economy and be truly succesful in a rebounding one you have to keep moving, shaking off the dirt life throws at  you.


This post has been so popular consistently, that I created a video version of this story. Check out the video here.

This will be the theme of my presentation on March 30, at the Rainmaker Main Event. Hope to see you there!