Are you a frog or a goldfish? And which is more brave?

5 min read

Tuesday 16 Feb 21

Frogs are brave. And some of the bravest of them all are the entrepreneurs and business owners with whom we work. So, in keeping with this Spring’s celebration of ‘Bravery in business’, we felt it was about time we explained why frogs mean so much to Farillio.

“It took me years – far too long, in fact – to realise that I had become a goldfish in my career. Looking back now, it’s really quite embarrassing!”… our founder, Merlie laughs when we suggest that we tell the Farillio goldfish vs frog story for this blog.

“I always felt I was a good employee: diligent, collegiate, always trying to make things better and to improve myself. I got good appraisals. I did work I was proud of. I put in a LOT of hours.

“But it took me a long time to realise that none of that was actually making me happy. It took an inspiring TedTalk by Bill Eckstrom of the US Eckstrom Institute back in 2017, called ‘Why comfort will ruin your life’ for the penny to really drop.

You’d become a goldfish, we conclude.

“Yes, exactly!”, she exclaims. “And I was a pretty alright goldfish as it turns out. But it wasn’t a good thing, for me. Still…”

Our turn to laugh, “the alternative, being a frog, was really scary?”

“Hell yes!” Merlie replies, grinning. “I wasn’t convinced I had what it takes to be an entrepreneur. I mean, I had the dream alright. But the mere thought of actually doing it was terrifying and I had no idea, really, how to start. That self-doubt, the words of our Brave video, well, they perfectly describe my mental battle with it all.

“I realised I was surrounded by other goldfish too – and I was taking my lead from them, looking up to them, figuring that I needed to be more like them to be successful and to get happier in my job. But I was wrong.

“How I started Farillio is a whole other story – and I credit many amazing people for helping to give me the courage to get to today. No entrepreneur gets anywhere good alone.

“But you guys wanted me to tell you about the frogs, how they’re brave (and therefore better than goldfish); how they symbolise the small business journey, the kinds of candidate whom we prioritise for recruitment at Farillio, and why I’ve now got the entire Farillio community obsessed with frogs too?”

We do, we confirm. So, this is what Merlie wrote for us.

Can you channel your inner frog?

It’s not that we have anything against goldfish…really. But if you’re a goldfish, you’re not going to like being TeamFarillio – or working for any number of the millions of small businesses like us. And you’re really going to struggle with change, and adversity, and those milestone moments when you just know it’s time to move on with your life or your career, but you have no idea how.

Not that they know it, but goldfish only ever grow as big as their environment permits. So, they can swim madly around in circles for years. But they’re not actually going anywhere. And they’re not growing. And they’ve actually got no idea what’s going on in the outside world – or how much better things might be.

But frogs?

Ah, the frogs. Frogs start in the same place as those little yellow fish. But with one huge difference: they evolve. Frogs climb out of that pesky goldfish bowl and they go explore the world. They don’t swim in circles. Their curiosity and tenacity and general cheekiness means that they get everywhere. Literally.

So, we love frogs. Anyone who can channel their inner frog is a friend of ours.

Farillio exists to serve all those people out there being frogs every day – those who see the world differently, who can imagine things another way, who like Merlie, play a relentless game of ‘what if?’ to find the new opportunities, the ways to thrive and sometimes, simply the ways to survive. Those who go where nobody has gone before and who blaze a trail for others to follow. Those who quietly support others to find their greatness by brokering a different kind of change.

You don’t have to be taking big, life-changing, world-changing, social media-dominating steps to be a frog. You don’t have to be an entrepreneur or a business owner, or a manager, to be a frog. Anyone can be a frog – and many folks are, without even realising this.

Sometimes the steps that frogs take are small, modest, without PR or fanfare. But one thing is always true: frogs are constantly evolving and seeing beyond the immediate to what else can be. And they are imaginative, tenacious and brave enough to step out of their comfort zones and to take those steps to try to make good things happen - often as much for the benefit of others, as for themselves.

So, which of these are you?

And if you’re still not sure, maybe take a minute or two to watch the video below and see if you recognise yourself. If you do, you’re a frog – and that’s something to be exceptionally proud of.

So here’s to all you frogs. May your imagination, your efforts and the steps you take always be rewarded. And remember, as we also like to emphasise at Farillio: being a frog doesn’t mean you’re always winning, or you never make mistakes. In fact, if you’re not making mistakes, you’re probably not being creative enough, and you’re probably not a frog!

Happy experiments, happy adventures!

#BeMoreFrog #LetsGetYouToFrog #FrogoTakeover

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