“What is it about the ant way of life that has stood the test of time so well? All ants belong to the extended families, and carry their prey home to share. Unselfishness is the rule. Everything they do is for their colony’s good.”
― Bill Mason
On a quiet afternoon, awaiting an appointment last month, I was sitting patiently in a field feeling famished. I took to quench my hunger with a drink and some cracker biscuits. The relief was great. However, in the midst of the refreshment, something struck my attention – some tiny creatures were moving away the crumpled crackers from my left over. And in a short time, the ants were all over the tiny crackers on the ground. To my amazement, they were moving the crackers into their colony. None of them was found eating. They were rather moving the crackers based on their individual capacity. At intervals, about four or five or six of the ants would gather to collectively move a cracker that appeared bigger to be moved by an ant. Their movements were coordinated and strategic like an army of soldiers.
I was greatly entertained that I had to crumble more and more crackers in varying sizes to further observe these wonderful creatures. At a point, they recruited themselves in a large number to move the biggest cracker I had tried them with; although they initially had a challenge moving the big cracker into their colony due to its size, they eventually did with a consistent and strategic coordination. It was at this point that I watched them vanished into their colony while I took a break to reflect on the experience.
I challenge you, my dear reader, to debate if more wisdom will not be benefitted when studying the lives of animals than humans. Upon a deep reflection, I wondered why none of the ants was seen feeding on any of the crumbled cracker. I couldn’t be so sure if none had licked or tasted the cracker but I can deduce from their common behaviour that they’ve all followed an ideal – to firstly move every bit of the crumples into their colony. Whatever transpires afterwards was not to my knowledge since their colony was somewhere beneath the earth surface.
In one of my previous articles titled, “The Art of Resilience”, in a similar occurrence, I discussed how a spider had challenged a King of Scotland, who had been trying to do a great deed to make his people glad but couldn’t succeed after several attempts, to victory. According to a journal by the Author of the story, Eliza Cook, the King had imitated a resilient Spider to make one more attempt. And history had it that the King did not fail with it.
Hence, I was not only motivated by my experience. The ants also mentored me. And like the legendary story of King Bruce of Scotland and the Spider, the careful observation of these tiny creatures had revealed to me three important qualities required of any Entrepreneur building a business colony. These qualities are as follows:
Convincingly, ants are known to be creatures with a high level of discipline. As stated earlier, the reaction of every ant to each action I set in motion is similar. There is a common drive and none obviously derailed from what is expected of them as obligations. This is an attitude lacking in many Entrepreneurs, Employees, and Employers of labour. No goal will be quicker attained without discipline. Orderliness must be a focus point to any Entrepreneur who will be economical with the resources that will be available to him; be it time, energy, financial or human resources.
Another admirable quality about these ants is their ability to remain steadfast with their goals. It is evident that an ant will not willingly turn back on any cause because of a barrier. Instead, it will rather work around the situation to make way for itself. An ant qualifies as a Doer. The ant is an analytical and realistic creature who will even save enough for the future with no hope of a miracle to come. It is critical that every Entrepreneur learn how to be focus with their goals upon embarking on well calculated risks.
3. Team work:
According to a Swahili proverb, “the boat doesn’t go forward if each one is rowing their own way”. This offers a good analysis of who the ants are. A multitude of ants will never be seen projecting differing views. There is always a unified cause and this has obviously been the strength and grace to why these tiny creatures are often seen moving mountains far bigger than their sizes combined. This is another clue to why every business colony must develop a united network of team members to give them winnings.
Lafcadio Hearn was right with his assertion that “all the best work is done the way that ants do things – by tiny but untiring and regular additions.” I leave you to either be challenged or not.
We Can. We Will. We Must
Akolawole is a Social Media and Customer Service Executive, a Columnist with Stockswatch newspaper, a Techie, Media geek, and an active Advocate on Entrepreneurship and nation building. He can be reached via email@example.com/or +2348085366022 (SMS only).