We were given a bird feeder last year that has added immeasurable fun to our lives. We now have a parade of birds and squirrels who appear as early as 4am, and from Chickdees to bright red Cardinal, they give us daily entertainment and joy – it resembles a sanctuary in Costa Rica.
But having observed this feeding system now for months, I’m noticing that no one likes the squirrels. As obvious as it is that they cannot get into this bird feeder, they still try – in the willeyiest, most creative ways, to get a single seed into their busy little rodent paws. The birds patiently wait as the squirrel hangs from the tree, jumps to the feeder ledge, loses his grip, crawls back up, hangs upside down, and repeats – until he gives up. And while I may be projecting, I really see them as the outcasts of the whole yard ecosystem. They remind me of companies and people who will. Not. Let. Up. Even when you say no or make it clear that what you do is NOT for them. They are the sneaky, guileless, lowest-rung player in a diaspora of legitimate interactions.
Sometimes our saturated marketplace starts to feel like an assault from these squirrels. From ads on Facebook to email spam to random (but incredibly consistent) calls from Google specialists – it can send a person into an existential tizzy. Is a sale, a customers attention, a click, so hard to get that our market has resorted to THIS?!
As small business owners and service providers we can make such a different choice. We don’t have to have it all, or even one percent of it all. We just need the right mix of great stores, clients or subscribers who ARE interested, and welcome our knock at their (virtual) door.
I’m amused by the squirrel, doing what he does. So are the birds, I think.
Long live the patient, tolerant, well intentioned bird, happy to take just what he needs to be happy – and no more.