Take the Bull by Its Horns, Otherwise Stop Complaining

Jul 3 , 2021
By Kidist Yidnekachew

Many folks are fond of complaining. On occasions, I do it, but there is nothing more hilarious than business people doing it. I have not met many owners who say that “business is good.” Most are always complaining endlessly about business being too slow, even in the pre-COVID-19 days. They complain for years, and yet they stay for years engaged in a similar activity.

Why? If they have the money and the experience, why are they afraid to take on another venture? Most importantly, how is it possible that they go for years with business being slow and still manage to stay open?

I met an acquaintance the other day. He owns a boutique store, which he has been running for nearly a decade in different locations. While he still had the shop in my neighbourhood, he complained about business being slow even though he did not pay rent. He had four of his closest family members bringing him clothes and shoes from Dubai and Thailand for cheap. He worked at the boutique with one employee whom he used to pay 1,000 Br at the time.

Unsurprisingly, I never understood when he insisted that business was slow as the boutique was often full, especially on weekends. Even then, he was complaining. Of course, there were days when it was quiet, and he had no customers. As we were close, I advised that he change his business venture and we brainstormed on possible areas he could invest in. He had saved up money throughout the years. Thus it was not an issue. Even a layman knows that money makes it possible to implement a business plan. It may not turn out to be successful, but it allows one to put their ideas on the ground.

The problem was that he did not want to deal with the whole challenge of changing a license or legal issues that might pop up.

Throughout the years, I visited him at his various shops. He never abandoned the idea of starting a new business as the boutique was not profitable, as he said, but at the same time, he never stopped complaining. One could imagine my surprise when I met him after all those years, and he still repeated the same ideas and complaints.

Why has he not started another business yet or closed his boutique? All he could answer was that he meant to do it, but he never got around to it.

“I'm afraid I might fail or risk losing my money,” he complained characteristically. “Also, the idea of starting a new business and growing it requires a lot of hard work and dedication, and I don’t think I have the perseverance for it.”

I had to ask if that is the case, why he still feels the need to complain endlessly.

“I don’t know. Habit maybe,” he told me. “I can’t remember the last time I was content with anything.”

That was the moment he realised what a chronic complainer he has become. This was an eye-opener. It is not just business people that complain. Many of us are in the vicious cycle of doing it. We complain because we are not happy with the way things are, and then we are unhappy. Thus we complain some more about the current status of our unhappiness. More often than not, we do not make an effort to change our circumstances. We accept our situation as fate; as if there is nothing we can do about it but complain.

The healthier thing to do would be to take the bull by the horns and put in the effort to improve our circumstances. If we are too lazy to do this or too afraid to take risks, then we should find it in ourselves to spare our friends and loved ones the constant complaining.

PUBLISHED ON Jul 03,2021 [ VOL 22 , NO 1105]

Kidist Yidnekachew is interested in art, human nature and behaviour. She has studied psychology, journalism and communications and can be reached at (kaymina21@gmail.com)

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