Iron Bars, Plexiglass, and Masking Tape

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in 3 Early Customer Stage, skmurphy

An actual dream I had of a tiger prowling a maze where some walls are iron bars, others are plexiglass, and strips of masking tape seem to bar some paths. I later realized it was a metaphor for three kinds of barriers that entrepreneurs need to navigate as they get a new business established.

I can always tell when I am feeling stressed because I dream about being back in school taking an exam I haven’t studied for. Although to be candid some of those dreams are closer to suppressed memories than unrealized anxieties bubbling up from my unconscious.

But a year or two ago I had a dream a while ago about a tiger that I keep turning over in my mind.

A tiger is pacing in a cage, but it’s not a square cage, it’s more of a maze.

It’s not in a zoo, more like a warehouse or strangely configured storage unit. The floors are smooth cold concrete.

The tiger is trapped in a maze of walls of iron bars and plexiglass.

The tiger starts out in a section that’s primarily iron bars with a few walls of plexiglass.

It leaps against the iron bars and can’t break out.

Then it sees what appears to be an opening and runs into a plexiglass wall, which it can’t break through either.

But running into the the plexiglass a few times makes it more cautious.

So it paces,
alternately sniffing and growling,
confused and angry,
trying to find a way out.

Finally it comes to an opening that just has strip of masking tape on the floor.

And there it sits, convinced that this is some new barrier that’s also uncrossable.

Any resemblance to recent legs of your entrepreneurial journey (or mine) is entirely coincidental.

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