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What the Classic “3 Little Pigs” Fable Can Teach Us About Building a Business

Brett Snodgrass
4 min read
What the Classic “3 Little Pigs” Fable Can Teach Us About Building a Business

Let’s be honest. The stories that grab our attention are the stories of the overnight success, the fast lane to fame and the instant rags-to-riches.

We are consumed with the novelty of “quick,” “easy” and “fast.”

But in my business, I have found that except in rare cases, it’s actually the slow and steady that ends up winning the race.

Today, I want to share with you a story that we all grew up hearing and then highlight some principles that I’ve been learning in my business recently that I think you might find helpful as well.

The Three Little Piggies

Many of us have heard the story “The Three Little Piggies” growing up, but I wanted to put my spin on it.

Once long ago, there were three little piggies who all wanted to settle down and build a house. The first one was in a hurry and wanted to get his house designed, made and decorated as soon as possible.

He ended up deciding to use straw as his building material because it would help him get his house up and functioning as quickly as he could.

The second piggy saw the first piggy and noticed how quickly his house was being built and freaked out! He said to himself, “Oh I can’t let him finish his house before mine! What shall I do?!” So he decided that he’d build his house with sticks because they too would allow him to build it quickly, and they’d create the illusion that his house was more sturdy when compared to the first piggy.

Then there was the third piggy. He looked at the other two hustling and bustling, but instead of giving into the competition, decided he wanted to have a house of true quality. He set his eyes on his future heirs and decided to build his house brick by brick.

He was building a legacy, and though there were days he’d look out of the corner of his eye, weary of all his hard work, to find piggy one and two “living the good life” in their brand new straw and stick houses, he’d take a deep breath, close his eyes, remind himself of his heirs and keep moving forward.

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Then finally, once all his work was done and the brick house was finished, the third piggy’s was beaming so hard that you’d need sunglass to look him square in his pink piggy face!

What he had built was truly a masterpiece.

One day an evil wolf came by wanting to eat up the three little piggies. This wolf had some massive lungs and would take out his foes with one giant, foul-smelling breath!

He came and blew on the houses of piggy one and two, and boom, crash, bang! Down came the houses like candles going out on a birthday cake.

Then the wolf approached the house of the third piggy. He huffed and he puffed without success.

The brick was just too strong for him.

Lesson #1: What We Can Learn From the First Piggy

So, about now you’re probably thinking, “What the heck does this have to do with real estate?” and I promise you, quite a lot.

The first piggy is a lot like us in today’s day and age. He wants to build his house quickly and easily.

How many of us are looking for the easiest and quickest way to build wealth?

How many of us approach the growth of our real estate business with the same attitude as the first piggy?

And what happened to the house of the first piggy once the enemy came?

He had no solid foundation, and he ultimately couldn’t stand. Likewise, if you establish your business on shaky ground, once the winds of a bad economy, of family struggles, of a bad month and the like blow in, your business will not be able to stand.

Lesson #2: What We Can Learn From the Second Piggy

Now, the second piggy got caught up in the desire to stay ahead of his competition.

How many of us get caught in that trap?

The truth is, it is very short-sighted to constantly worry about how successful other investors are.

We say it a lot, but you have to do your best to stay away from the shiny objects!

Don’t compare yourself to other people. Don’t get distracted! You just do your best and build the legacy that’s in your heart, brick by brick.

If the second piggy had just put his attention on the task before him, he probably would have built a more solid house. Instead, he got caught up in appearances and did the bare minimum to look slightly better than his competition, and it ended up costing him.

If you get caught trying to be bigger or better than everyone else, again, once the winds of life come, you’ll find that your foundation can’t stand the storm.

Lesson #3: What We Can Learn From the Third Piggy

Now we come to the third piggy.

What was it that he did, that made it so he could withstand the blows of the wolf?

First, he clearly defined his “why.” He knew he was building this house not just for him, but for his children and their children.

He then decided that even though it was tempting at times to compare himself to the others, he would not compromise on the quality of his house.

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He put the time in, and even though his process was slower at first, in the end he was the only one truly successful.

If you build your business like the third piggy, even though it may take longer, if you do things right, you’ll find yourself among the greats.

Legacy trumps the lifestyle of the rich and famous all day!

Stay focused.

Decide to make your business something bigger than just a way to make ends meet.

If you take your time and build a solid foundation in your business, then when the winds of life come blowing your business won’t be shaken.

See you on the flip!

What age-old story do you keep coming back to for inspiration and lessons?

Let me know with a comment!

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.