The more you look, the less you see! That is a short comment which tells a lot of stories if only you can meditate on it.

It is a common parlance in many countries that come either as a wise saying or words of caution.  Some people interpret it to mean deceit, manipulation, maybe magical feats, or even taking your audience for granted. And your audience in this case may well be your subscribers, customers, employees or shareholders..

The more you look, the less you see. You can write many story angles from this phrase. It sounds harmless, but it has lessons for you if only you can spend some time to meditate on it.

But you may ask, why spend scarce executive time on supposedly comical statements meant for unserious minds. So, because you are serious minded, you cannot consider issues that sound unserious. But the problem with many professionals is that we often get too serious with our business that we inflate our ego, create stress, and fail to seek common sense solutions for the mounting challenges in the marketplace.

Why did Bible say that God uses the foolish things of this world to confuse the wise? Wise in this case, refers to “serious” leaders who cannot stoop and learn wisdom from common sense expressions that most people take for granted, or completely disregard. And a class of this common sense is some everyday expressions we bandy about, either jokingly, for fun, to pay compliments, or to show contempt.

I call them Oralnomics (my invention). You hear them everyday, everywhere. They are not in short supply but those who say, or hear them, never probe them for insights and commonsense lessons with which we can tell better stories and improve their business.

There are many of them: Over my dead body! Tell it to the marines! Go and jump into the lagoon! Take care! Have a nice day! And this one: The more you look, the less you see! They are all oralnomics; words that sound simple on hearing them, but are deep in meaning. And they offer great value and life changing resources, if only you can discover them. People have said some of these oralnomics straight to your face to despise you. You felt bad. But it never occurred to you that you can recycle them to understand their common sense meaning for profitable applications. The more you look, the less you see.

You can tap the fortunes of oralnomics if you apply the right emotions and positive reactions. It goes like this: Whenever you hear them, especially those that are derogatory, turn them inside out; follow up with a positive attitude, and meditate on it. You will get revelations of profitable ideas. Those revelations are your personal success stories.

But that may not be so for many professionals who are tall on strategy, vision, best practices, but short on business revelations. They think the latter is the turf of clergymen and spiritualists. Not so. Revelations can come from everyday business activities including oralnomics. And  some of which are those casual  comments we make everyday to poke fun, rebuke, chastise, despise, or advise. If only we can rephrase them and meditate on them with a positive emotion, we will get results.

The more you look, the less you see. It tells a big story, but you have to unravel this story and customize it to your situation. Such expression usually comes from persons who feel they are in charge. Even our businesses can say so to our stakeholders without us knowing it. That creates a big problem that can worsen matters for us in the marketplace if they are not well managed.

Eric Okeke is a storyteller, editor, business writer, motivational speaker and author of the best selling book: I Want a Husband. He is one of Nigeria’s most experienced financial journalists. He has published several articles in local and foreign publications and in websites such as, and He is currently running Infomedia Company, a media consulting and information marketing company. Visit his blog at

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