A hundred years ago traveling circuses were referred to as “dog and pony shows.”
The shows were given that name because they featured trained dogs and ponies as the main attractions.
Dog and pony shows were credited with the origin of a phrase which is still in use today, the “One-trick pony,” because of a Circus that performed in Oregon in the early 1900s.
One of the performances didn’t go well.
The featured act involved a pony that, unfortunately for both the circus and the audience, knew just one single trick. The pony could play dead.
It was cute, the first time, but as you can imagine, it became less impressive when everyone realized that was all it could do.
The audience wanted their money back and the phrase “one-trick pony” was born.
I’ve worked in this circus called financial services for thirty-five years. I’ve seen a lot of clowns, monkeys and one-trick ponies. There are those who center their practice on a certain product that is supposed to do this or that. Products may be part of the equation, but there are sometimes that no new product is needed at all. It’s about ‘process’. What is the process to get you from here to there, for where you are to where you want to be?
If life was a circus and it often times seems like it is, be sure that you don’t take in a show with only a one-trick pony; and no monkeys or clowns too.