Make The World Your Oyster by Michael Lum

Make The World Your Oyster

Adventuring Beyond Your Comfort Zone
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Two dolphins contemplate midlife career moves in this business parable.

Ventura and Status Quo are brother and sister dolphin performers at Dolphinarium, a tourist destination run by harsh hammerhead shark owners. “Trapped in the throes of their midlife crisis,” the siblings discuss how they should push beyond their comfort zones and look for new opportunities. Status Quo stays put, but Ventura takes a new job with another employer, which unfortunately ends after nine months. He then attends seminars, motivating him to form his own Dolphin Tours business, which turns out to be “both slow and competitive,” so he calls it quits. Ventura then suggests to unemployed former colleague Applica that they journey to the unknown northeast part of the Red Sea to look for work. There, they meet an osprey that tells them of an amazing Deep Blue ocean to be found after leaping over a land mass called The Rubicon. Impatient Applica misjudges The Rubicon’s size, gets beached, and dies. More mindful Ventura spots an underwater opening, emerges into what he thinks is Deep Blue, and convinces his sister to accompany him there on his return. They get caught in nets, but dolphin Livita frees them, telling them Deep Blue is still farther off and that oysters only offer the opportunity, not the certainty, of pearls. Fearful Status Quo goes home, but Ventura ultimately finds Deep Blue and develops a conglomerate that makes “huge profits” but doesn’t “neglect its corporate social responsibility.” Singapore-based business coach Lum has quite a bit of fun with this tale, including mocking the meaningless, demoralizing performance mantras promulgated by the Dolphinarium’s overlords. His narrative, both brief and amusing, makes his message to shake off complacency an easily digestible and entertaining experience. While parts of this story are alarming, particularly the death of Applica, these elements underscore the necessary caution required when embarking on new business ventures. Perhaps the best part of the volume remains Lum’s back-of-the-book exercises, allowing readers to plot their own ways out of potentially deadening comfort zones. 

A vivid tale about sea creatures that highlights the need for strategic risk-taking.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-5116-2614-9
Page count: 106pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2016


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