While in Koh Pangan, which is an island in Thailand famous for full moon party, I was sitting in a hostel. Hostels here do a very smart thing, which is they put extremely low prices. This attracts a lot of people, and they make up for loss of income by selling alcohol. Indeed, they even came up with a concept of a “party hostel”, meaning that the whole business model of the hostel is to make people party.
Another thing that this hostel did, which I never saw before, is they offered free food. They gave it during a particular hour and only to hostel guests and friends of the hostel. They cooked it very cheap, but excellent quality. Essentially, I got a smashed potato, sauce, a sausage (which I didn’t eat), salad, bread, and butter. They offered it because people had a reason to stay and consequently consume alcohol. Again hostel got their money back with drinks. I also felt a deep desire to give something back for the great free food I bought (reciprocity principle).
And here is the best part. During that time when food was being served a dog came. I never saw this dog before, but it was there at that exact time, and the next day again. It would sit next to people and do what dogs do when they are begging for food. On my count, the dog got some three sausages. Here I thought to myself: WHAT AN ENTREPRENEUR!
30 minutes later, after coming, this dog left.
After the hostel, I went for a walk and was passing by a nearby market. There the market was closing, and I noticed that next to a meat stand was sitting the same dog! This time it was with two friends. The mean stand was closing and where do you think the unsold meat would go? WHAT AN ENTREPRENEUR!
I continued walking down the street and occasionally would see some other dogs sitting or sleeping. They were not entrepreneurs. They were just waiting for the same routine food they get from owners. They were not getting that extra sausage if they would just walk down the street.
This reminds me of a very famous, yet the very simple business book, called “Who Moved My Cheese?” In this book, Spencer Johnson tells a story of people who are following a particular routine, unable to change when all evidence are pointing to the necessity of changing. Other people would always be looking around for new opportunities even when they didn’t have to. They would be much better prepared when the world would unavoidably change.
Lastly, on the subject of dogs, I never have seen dogs as friendly as here in Koh Pangan. They are just adorable, and people want to pet them. They, probably, get occasional food as well because they are so nice. Still, in other places, dogs are not as friendly, and they don’t get food. Somehow local dogs just got the right attitude.
Hope this story inspired you.