Small business is like a bunch of bananas

I like bananas any way you want to fix them: banana splits, banana sandwiches, bananas on my cereal, and of course, just a banana by itself. Once I even ate a banana dipped in chocolate. Mmm! Mmm!

But before I can eat a banana, I have some business to take care of–I have to lose the peel. A banana peel is actually a double problem: It tastes bad, and if you step on it, you will slip and fall. Everybody knows that. The banana peel has become our metaphor for danger underfoot.

So with two out of the three things I know about bananas being bad, when I see a banana why do I first think about how good it will taste? Why don’t I dwell on the two negatives instead of the one positive? It’s because I know that if I handle the banana correctly by removing the peel, including the strings (I hate those!), and properly dispose of it, I will have myself a pleasing and healthy result.

What if we looked at challenges the way we look at bananas: a pleasing and healthy result wrapped in a distasteful and possibly dangerous peel? I’ve been in the marketplace long enough to feel qualified to say that many of the challenges you and I will face in our small businesses won’t have any worse odds than a banana–2:1, negative to positive. I call this the Blasingame Banana Principle (BBP).

So how do you apply the BBP? When you’re presented with a challenge, instead of dwelling on the consequences, imagine the possibilities. But just imagining won’t get the job done. Just as with a banana, you must first deal with the possibility’s peel.

Road test the BBP this week. Work on becoming an expert at properly disposing of your possibility’s peel so you can get to the good stuff. If you can make the Blasingame Banana Principle your default approach to problems, I am convinced that your word will change.

By the way, I like my banana sandwiches plain, please; no mayonnaise or peanut butter.

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