Once upon a time, a client urged me to write her memoir so as to give this impression: “I’m like that honey badger!” When I asked what in the world that meant, she replied, “I’m a badass and I really don’t give a shit!” I had no idea what she was talking about, so she directed me to this viral video. Without a doubt, the voiceover is hilarious. Once you’ve viewed the honey-badger-don’t-give-a-shit video, you’re basically never the same. Or, at least, you’ll never forget what a honey badger is.
Honey Badger Takes the World by Storm
Ironically, my very next biography client actually WAS an honest-to-God wildlife researcher and knew the videographer who had created that video. The famous Youtube segment shows the little twenty-pound creature, also called a ratel, killing poisonous snakes, climbing trees, and attacking a hive full of bees to get the honey. Apparently this is actually rare, groundbreaking footage of a little-understood animal. Who knew?
Not long after getting on board with what this unique creature is all about, I noticed the skunk-like animal had taken the world by storm. I saw fitness clubs called Honey Badger Fitness, I saw protein shakes named after the critter. Business startups were calling themselves honey badger entrepreneurs. This once-little-known African animal is now world famous for its intrepid fearlessness.
A Small Critter with a Lot to Teach
The book I wrote with the wildlife researcher cum entrepreneur talks about the difficulty of researching this tough, secretive, wide-ranging animal and compares its personality to that of an indefatigable entrepreneur. The lessons learned from attempting to conduct a study on such an elusive creature certain crossed over into lessons on life, business, science, and even philosophy.
Even though my client was one of the world’s first ratel researchers, many more studies have been conducted since then. Hopefully, one day the ratel will give people the secrets to its inbuilt anti-venom mechanism that enables it to be stung by African killer bees and bit by cobras without suffering anything more than the need for a brief nap. In the meantime, the honey badger has become the world’s new favorite metaphor for anyone tough, no-nonsense, determined, and unstoppable. Be a honey badger!