Thirty years ago, while in New York for a trade show, I bought an inflatable elephant head. Now this wasn’t just any inflatable elephant head … this was the top of the jungle chain inflatable elephant head! It was, most of all, BIG, it looked real, it looked good, and it would look real-good in my office back in Richmond.
Who else would have a BIG inflatable elephant looking over their desk? And, who else would have a daily reminder that the BIG IDEA was staring you in the face if you only looked hard enough, searched long enough and recognized an elephant of an idea when you saw it. I loved my elephant! It was the BIG IDEA!
Through the years, that elephant made several safari’s to new digs of mine. Wherever I traveled, he traveled. Yes, he. I named him Mr. Big Head. It was a big name befitting and big inflatable elephant and constant companion. And, so when I moved to Florida 13 years ago, Mr. Big Head, without hesitation, crossed state lines to go further south with me.
When I unpacked him, I thought about the fact that my air that I used to give Big Head his bigness when I bought him in New York was still inside him. You could call him an air head, but to me, it was my air, now 17 year old antique air! WOW!
So, Mr. Big Head hung out at several offices of mine in Florida, holding my secret and never letting it leak, that my ancient air was safely inside … kind of like Intel.
When we decided to open our second Catch Your Limit in Richmond, I thought it would be great if Mr. Big Head could make the trip back to his favorite hangout as sort of a homecoming. I had wanted to personally carry Mr. Big Head with me, so some unwitting mover wouldn’t accidently poke it with some sharp object and take his (and my) breath away.
The problem was, I didn’t tell anyone else about my objective of having Mr. Big Head accompany me on my journey back to Richmond, and so Becca, who was sort of in charge of packing and moving, pulled the plug on Mr. Big Head in order to box him securely for the move and … pssssssssss … my old air was … pssssssssss … GONE!
I never said anything to Becca, or even my wife and partner, Melissa. But, it did weigh on my heart and soul. I thought about my Great-Inevitable-Tom’s-Gone Celebration Day. I would have had an envelope attached to Mr. Big Head’s big head with the instructions, “Only Open after Tom’s Gone”. When opened, a note would tell the story of Mr. Big Head and the fact that my air had been stored inside of his big head for hopefully some incredible amount of years. WOW!
My small group of celebrators could either choose to keep my air in a safe place forever or just pull the plug and … pssssssssss … breathe … psssssss … my breath … pssssss … one last time. WOW! What a celebration! What a BIG celebration!
Sadly, this would not happen now, and as I sat alone in our new Richmond digs contemplating the entire situation while holding a totally deflated Mr. Big Head in my lap, a light bulb went off. I was staring at the Big Idea all along and didn’t even recognize it.
I huffed and puffed and began to breathe new life into Mr. Big Head. And … the BIG IDEA just got bigger and bigger. Stale doesn’t cut it. It’s time for something new, something that will benefit from 30 years of sucking in air on this planet since I first inflated Mr. Big Head.
So … with a breath of fresh air … the freshest of fresh air … I breathed a sigh of hope … of excitement. It was awesome and Mr. Big Head and I both relished the moment. I hung him high above me as a reminder … the Big Idea is always there … you just have to recognize it when it stares you in the face.
><(("> Tom Laughon
Tom is affectionately known as BIG ><(("> at Catch Your Limit
Catch Your Limit
Management Guides & Fish Cleaning Services
><(("> Camps in Tallahassee, Florida and Richmond, Virginia
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