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Oak Tree

Are You a Fruit Fly Or an Oak Tree?

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Author, Columnist, Social Media Marketing Consultant, One of the original web pioneers. Believer in living dreams.

Tactics Versus Strategy

Tactics can make you rich. Now. They can’t build you a resilient, long term business. That takes strategy.

When I see people throwing away money on tactics, without the strategic plan to maintain their momentum, dodge the bullets, and build something lasting… it makes me sad. Tactics change all the time. You’re setting yourself up for a life of pain, and crazy amounts of work, if you place your focus there.

Foundations of Business

Yes, you can build big houses on tactical success, but you’re building them on sand. A breath of wind and they’re gone, and you have to rebuild from scratch. With a strategic approach, based on core values and principles, you have solid foundations. Takes longer to build in many cases, but it’s resilient. Bad weather won’t hurt it. If you need to walk away from it to take care of your family, weeds don’t grow. It’s right where you left it when you return. A business like that takes care of YOU.

Fruit Flies and Oak Trees

Tactical players are the fruit flies of the business world. Prolific. Busy. Short-lived. Build your business like an oak tree, not a fruit fly. The oak tree is resplendent with abundant wildlife, even though it never moves from the spot. The fruit fly serves nobody but itself. The oak tree uses the blowing of the wind to strengthen its roots. It uses the rain, the sun, and even its own rotting leaves to strengthen it further. It grows tall, over many years, and has the wisdom of the forest. It provides shelter for the vulnerable. It has a quiet knowing. So should you.

Get a fundamental understanding of business. Get a fundamental understanding of psychology. Everything else changes. Those don’t.

Sometimes, people will call you nuts if you try to build your business like an oak tree, and keep your roots strong. They did that to me when I first started in the 90s. That’s why my motto became: “Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground.” I instinctively knew this was true at the start, and after two decades of entrepreneurship, I have the experience now to back it up. How long have your mentors been buzzing around? A few months? A year or two? If they’re all buzz and no wisdom, be careful. If they’re just teaching you tactics, without imparting the wisdom needed to develop strategy, they’ll buzz out of your life as quickly as they buzzed into it. Fruit flies are incredibly successful. They can create thousands of new fruit flies in their life time. But that life time is only a few days, and nobody’s served by it. An oak tree takes a while to grow. You don’t get much ‘buzz’ out of watching an oak, but an oak tree is never a pest. It is a feature of the landscape. It lasts thousands of years, and in those years it serves – and impacts upon – millions of lives.

oak tree

The marketing system that I use to earn my own advances as a writer.

About the Author

Rebecca WoodheadAuthor, Columnist, Social Media Marketing Consultant, One of the original web pioneers. Believer in living dreams.View all posts by Rebecca Woodhead →


  1. Lynda kenny
    Lynda kenny07-17-2014

    A wonderful post full of your wisdom. Oak trees do last for many many years and good roots are what keep it healthy.
    An important analogy to use for a business foundation.
    Thank you for sharing Rebecca.

  2. Sue

    It’s hard to find a mentor who cares about you professionally and as a person. Rebecca is one, and it is fortunate to have her in my life.

  3. Rebecca Woodhead
    Rebecca Woodhead07-17-2014

    Thank you. :)
    Rebecca Woodhead recently posted..Work With MeMy Profile

  4. Marilyn Fisher
    Marilyn Fisher07-21-2014

    Great article again, you never seem to amaze me!
    Yes, I am an Oak Tree also.

  5. ranganr

    nice concept to think before..Most expect to build an oak tree but instead act in a way to land low..
    ranganr recently posted..How to Earn Money Online Without Investment in IndiaMy Profile

  6. Ganeshkumar


    There is lot of thought behind your post. Am the Oak Tree guy (some may call it old school of thought). However, I do strongly believe in having a great solid foundation.
    Ganeshkumar recently posted..15 Love yourself QuotesMy Profile

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"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that held its ground" ~ Anon