The Parable of the Lazy Lion

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Amar Pandit

A respected entrepreneur with 25+ years of Experience, Amar Pandit is the Founder of several companies that are making a Happy difference in the lives of people. He is currently the Founder of Happyness Factory, a world-class online investment & goal-based financial planning platform through which he aims to help every Indian family save and invest wisely. He is very passionate about spreading financial literacy and is the author of 4 bestselling books (+ 2 more to release in 2020), 8 Sketch Books, Board Game and 700 + columns.

This is a wonderful story I had heard a long time ago. I do not know who to give credit for this one as I seriously do not recollect the source.

There were many lions in a game reserve in South Africa. All of them were strong but most of them were lazy. 

The active ones went and hunted antelopes. Sometimes they were not successful, but they kept going at it and getting better. The lazy ones however went to the reserve manager and complained “The antelopes are too fast. We cannot catch them. You need to slow them down.”  

The idiotic reserve manager listened to these lazy guys and slowed (reduced speed) the antelopes. Soon all the antelopes died as even the laziest of the lions were able to catch the antelopes. 

Then the lions died. Then the reserve shut. 

The reserve manager blamed it on the weather and took a job somewhere else.

Are you able to relate anything in this story with our industry/profession?

I am sure you can figure who the reserve manager is. I would leave it to your imagination. 

The thing is making something easy does not make us strong. I see strong lions all around in our industry but many of them are behaving like the lazy lions. 

Yes, you heard it right. Absolutely Lazy. Always Complaining – “This is not happening or that is not happening.” 

A lot of the lazy ones are like “It is difficult to get clients in this environment. Also, the revenues have gone down in the mutual fund space. So, I will go to Life Insurance or sell PMS.” In short, I will go to another reserve.

The existing reserve managers are then doing things for the lazy ones and themselves (like the slew of NFOs that were launched last year and the ones that will be launched this year). Very few are thinking about making the lions stronger. 

The reality is that obstacles and challenges make all of us stronger. The focus should not be about making client acquisition easier or getting AUM or getting investments; you need to focus on getting better and stronger so getting your ideal clients becomes easier as a result.