Chicken Run...Or Not

Chicken Run...Or Not

Good day to all of you.  I hope that wherever you are in the world or whatever you’re doing, you’re finding fun and fulfilment.

As always, this year has seen plenty of air miles racked up but for now we are staying put in the UK, probably until early September at which point we may head to eastern Europe for a few months.

I am not afraid to admit that whilst we’re in the UK, we live in Kim’s parents house.  Big shot entrepreneurs or what!?

Aside from rock’n’roll evenings watching Country File on TV one thing I enjoy about living here are the chickens that strutt about in the adjacent field. Mornings often involve a trip to the chicken shed to let them out for the day and collect the fresh eggs.

Over the last couple of years the Youdan chicken numbers dwindled to one -partly down to an opportunistic fox and partly down to a murderous sheep (not a joke).  Two days ago however, two new chickens were purchased.

They were introduced into their shed and kept in there for a couple of days to acclimatise to their new home.  This morning though, the door was opened and they were given free rein to scamper around the field, peck at stuff and generally do what chickens love.

So, how excited do you think they were to sample their new pastures and free themselves from their dusty coop??

The answer is not at all!  As the old chicken made a beeline for the exit to breath in the fresh morning air, the two new chickens just stood there staring at the door in bewilderment.

Upon breaking this news to Mama Youdan I was reliably informed that this was to be expected.  Turns out, for a couple of days at least, the fear of the unknown will prevent them stepping foot outside.  And even then they will venture no further than a few feet from the door, doubtless with one eye trained on the entrance should a hasty retreat be needed.  

It will take a few weeks before they gain the confidence to explore the boundaries of their ¼ acre playground.

Until then, and despite their short lifespan, they will waste precious time being ruled by fear and the perception of danger.  They will waste so many opportunities to have more fun and freedom!

They believe if they stay indoors the fox won’t get them but the reality is, they’re just as likely to get picked off by a fox if they are inside or out: cooped up or roaming free.

Now, why am I taking up your valuable time talking about chickens? Well I’m sure the observant of you will have noticed my not-so-subtle set up for a crude analogy.

Before anyone judges the chickens for being....chickens, take a pause and ask yourself if you’ve seen that behavior pattern before.  I know I have.

Over the past couple of years I’ve had so many discussions with people desperate to change jobs or start their own business.  Office politics, a lack of autonomy and restricted growth opportunities are often cited as reasons to seek pastures new.

When pressed as to why they don’t do something about it, fear and the perception is risk is nearly always the guilty party.

My response is fear of what??  Applying for a better job and being rejected?  Building a new business alongside your day job only to find that it’s not for you?

I will never claim that building a business is easy, God knows I’ve put a shit load of hours and sweat into mine over the past few years.  And yes there are risks. I may lose all my clients over night; there may be a giant recession forcing me to re-evaluate my plan.

Ultimately though, were the worst to happen, what would I lose?

Yes I have spent a lot of money getting myself to this point but I have already made that back and some.  

Yes I have spent A LOT of time building my business but that time has been spent learning, growing and having fun.  There are few learning curves quite so steep as the first few years running a business and if the absolute worst case scenario played out, I am so much more equipped to deal with whatever comes my way, far more so than if I had stayed in a ‘safe’ job I disliked, only to be given the boot with a month’s notice!

The truth is there are risks in everything we do and a lot of them are completely misperceived. For the chickens, the dangers are based on life and death.  For us however, they’re not.

If you’re in this boat, I implore you to assess the ACTUAL dangers of escaping your coop, stretching your wings and exploring what’s possible.

There’s a wild open world out there with opportunities abound to live life on your terms, utilise your gifts and do what you love.

If we go through life ruled by fear we will miss all of this. We will spend our days longing for the green grass and trying to avoid a fox that doesn’t exist!