The Story Behind the Story
This history of the business fable dates back many years before it was penned.

It all began in 2015 when I had just conceived my BUSINESS IQ research project. Back then I was hounded by the question: Why is it that only 3 or 4 out of 10 entrepreneurs make it to their 10th business anniversary? Sure enough, these numbers differ from country to country and from one field to another, but the overall trend remains notably pronounced. So I set the goal for myself: to discover the reason for the high "business mortality rate" in entrepreneurship.
Albert Einstein wrote: "You can't solve the problem on the same level that it was created. You have to rise above it to the next level." If that's the case, where exactly is that next level, the one allowing us to solve the problem? That exact question served as the springboard for my research back in 2015.
I completed the first stage of research by the middle of 2021 and, based on my discoveries, wrote Business Incognita: Expanding the Bounds of Entrepreneurial Mentality, a work published by Alpina Pro, a leading Russian publishing house of business literature.

In the course of my research, while trying to systemize and classify this myriad of materials, I also compiled a list of the most "common" entrepreneurial stereotypes and misconceptions, ones that often lead to failure.

This list of factors served as the plot and framework for The Fabulous Fable of Goshio the Goldfish: a Business Tale with a Spark of Wisdom.
Why a business fable?
Aiming to popularize the results of my research widely among entrepreneurs, striving to do it far outside of academic circles, I concluded that the best route would be expressing these ideas through an allegory.

Using imagery and creative ideas, I would be able to enter the Land of Reader Attention and convey the concepts to entrepreneurs in a way that is easy to grasp and remember.
A riveting story, filled with metaphors, would communicate ideas to an audience better and faster than tedious lists of "whats" and "whys" – that was my thinking. And, indeed, this proved to be true in practice.
This is exactly the type of mentality we need to work with entrepreneurial tasks. After all, the essence of such a task is interaction with clients, which is innately a job that has to do with creativity, not logic.

A fable combines the conscious with things outside consciousness, the realm of reason with expanses beyond reason, the world of images with universes of feelings – those deepest emotions experienced by a person.

It allows entrepreneurs to change their point of view on the situation, observing it from a distance, one might say, to arrive at a fresh look or another perspective on a certain problem they face.

While reading a fable, the reader takes on the role of an observer who can behold the characters' actions and life from the outside, no longer trying to solve their own problem in the usual, stereotypical way.

Observing the events occurring in a fable from this new point of view, they may discover quite unexpected ideas, surprising themselves. This perspective allows them to recognize non-standard ways out of a dead end they might be in – ways that previously seemed concealed. And I would even dare to say that this very ability – to look at the problem from a new point of view – is the definition of creativity.

The viewpoint on entrepreneurship is determined exclusively by the worldview of the one WHO is engaged in this activity.
One's logic depends on the viewpoint one adopts in regard to a problem.

Concepts of right or wrong depend on viewpoint.
Almost everything in our lives is determined by viewpoint. We all have a choice, always.

We can construct our own models of the "World of Entrepreneurship " – either with artistic devices or by scientific methods.

Science is characterized by a well-known and well-defined subject of study, by the generally known logic of a certain subject, and by already existing means of solving the problems related to this subject.

None of this exists in art!

And this is the origin of the main conflict in entrepreneurship – the conflict between the problem and the solution methods. They are incompatible in almost all cases. In its nature, entrepreneurship is much closer to art and creativity than it is to science.

We can see that in fables or fairy tales, the storyline unravels in a way that permits the reader to envision different scenarios that would require them to find solutions to very specific tasks.

This approach makes it possible to ignite the reader's creativity, encouraging the person to think outside the stereotypical box of problem-solving and find solutions on an allegorical, fable-esque level, solutions that can then be successfully carried over to the business reality.

Here is another important factor why I chose the fable genre: the tasks posed need to be resolved in the framework of the fable and its storyline. They are not real problems the person has in real-time, ones consuming all of their attention like a black hole.

Besides, a fable may focus the reader's attention on certain significant yet "subtle" factors. For instance, per one fabled legend, Genghis Khan banished a merchant who tried to sell wares to the great Emperor. However, a different merchant who offered him gifts was rewarded tenfold. Unlike a product for sale, which is depersonalized, a gift always symbolizes friendship and a kindly attitude.

Clearly, fables can reach the deepest corners of our feelings and emotions.

Again, in this regard, we can find a plethora of analogies within the world of entrepreneurship. I believe that nowadays the concept of entrepreneurship is ever more entwined with the concepts of creativity and art. In art, just like in entrepreneurship, you cannot separate the "Who" from the "What" when judging certain activities or actions. You cannot compare realism to cubism – you can simply choose one. In art, the painter wields brushes and paints, the writer turns to the magic of phrases and words, the musician evokes notes and chords. And entrepreneurs have before them a palette of value perceptions – how customers perceive their products and services. Without viewers, listeners and readers (without an audience, in other words), all this is pointless – just as entrepreneurship would be meaningless if there were no one to participate in the interaction.
This is the key idea behind the concept of business intellect – finding new meanings and new values for your current and future clients.

So, my fable is no exception – I tried to find new meanings and values for my readers.


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