Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.
How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
Proverbs 6:6-11 ESV
This passage is ripe with smarts. Let’s look at it line by line, getting as much Old School Entrepreneur smarts as we can.
“Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.”
Not the bear, lion or tiger. A little itty bitty ant. Put the ego aside. Humble yourself. If you want to learn, get smarts no matter where they are.
“Without having any chief, officer, or ruler…”
The ant is self-motivated. Doesn’t need a boss or life coach (whatever that is). The ant works because that is its very nature.
“… she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.”
The ant lives by a plan. Prepares. Doesn’t get itself in situations where it MUST have this crumb of food (or close this sale) because it sat on its backside for the past three months.
“How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?”
Sluggard. A great, wonderfully insulting word. The reader isn’t coddled. The line doesn’t read, “Oh poor baby, I understand. You were out late last night, snookums. Don’t worry about getting into work on time this morning.” Instead the line says (in less 17th century language) “Get out of bed, you lazy sack of $#!^1”
“A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest…”
The key word here is little. Just a little slacking off in a man’s character will bring on the pain. What kind of pain?
“and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.”
Slacking off won’t cause you to lose a few bucks that you wouldn’t miss any way. No, laziness steals money from you. And it’s not the theft of a pickpocket. It’s a mugging. An “armed man” points .357 magnum at your head, demands you money, takes your money and then shoots you in the butt for spit. THAT is what laziness does.
Keep It Old School,
The Old Man