Red Monkey Tales – look for problems

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Red Monkey was perched high in a tree observing his surroundings. He scanned downwards through the trees and from time to time looked far off into the distance over the treetops.

“Hey, Red Monkey what are you doing?” John, the small business owner asked.

“I’m just looking around to see what’s going on, “Red Monkey said. “Wait there John, I’ll be down in a minute.”

“So what were you looking for?” John asked.

Red Monkey Jamie came towards John, ambling along, showing no urgency at all. “You don’t know how it is. We red monkeys are dependent on the forests for our survival. It’s you humans through your habitat destruction that destroy our forests and leave us with no fruit-bearing trees.”

“Well, you know I’m not one of those. If I had my way they would be no cutting down of rainforest or any other forests for that matter.”

“Maybe. So what’s on your mind John?”

“I had a terrible dream last night. I dreamt that I was tired and weary. It was night. I climbed into a small bed-like ledge high up in the mountain and was about to go to sleep when I looked up and saw the rocks above were crawling with snakes.”

“So what did you do… in your dream, I mean?”

“I jumped out of the rock bed on the side of the mountain and woke up scared out of my wits.”

“How did you know those snakes were dangerous? They could have been harmless snakes and would have just kept you company for the night.”

“Yes, I know. Maybe you’re right. I’ve had so much on my mind lately”

“Is your business still troubling you?”

“Yes, it seems like I can’t come up with any new ideas. You know our these in this economy.”

“Why don’t you look for problems? Think of that farmer who recently heard about whose lambs were being killed by jackals and caracals. He had a big problem on his farm in the Eastern Cape.”

“But that solution he came up with to put solar-powered cats eyes on some of these ewes so the light would chase away the jackals and caracals when the ewes got up or turned their heads at night chased away the predators but he’s not made any money out of it.”

“But that’s not the point, John. The farmer had a problem and he came up with a solution that has cut down losses of these lambs. At least he didn’t go for traps, poisoning or hunting to chase away the jackals and caracals. He’s not going to make any money out of his idea but he’s going to save a lot of money on his farm.”

“Yes, it’s not an idea that he may want to sell to other farmers but it does show how important it is to start with problems when looking for new business ideas.”

“Now that you’ve got your creative juices flowing, perhaps you will come up with something that may help you in your life and could perhaps help others with similar problems. All this talk is making me hungry. John, I’ve got to go unless there is something else you wish to talk about.”

“It’s good seeing you again Jamie. You always get me thinking in a new direction. I wish you would come down more often. ”

“Stay down here with you humans. Not a chance. I’d rather be high in the rooftops of the Rain Forest eating berries and fruits and fooling around. See you sometime.”

The Red Monkey Tales is a series on a small business ideas and the spirit of enterprise where monkeying around is tolerated, encouraged and prized, all in pursuit of right-brained thinking and fun.