Have you ever really looked at a spider web?
We’ve all seen
them, strung up between bushes in the yard, or maybe in the corner of
the basement, dangling from the rafters. Maybe you’ve gotten an
unintentional close-up look at one as you walked through one on a wooded
trail, the silk wrapping around your head while you scramble to free
yourself from the sticky entanglement.
But have you ever taken
time to truly see a spider web? The intricate, systematic construction.
The purposeful design, with threads radiating out from the center and
crisscrossing the spiral, again and again, like tiny support beams
holding the web securely in place. It is beauty and purpose perfectly
intertwined. It’s a wonder of nature.
The spider web is not only
beautiful, it’s practical. It’s the ideal trap, a model of efficiency,
fashioned over millions of years of evolutionary improvement. What’s
more amazing is that it only takes the spider a few hours to create this
For years scientists have been
studying spiders and their webs, trying, unsuccessfully, to duplicate
the incredibly strong silk that spiders use to make the frame lines that
anchor their web and suspend it in mid-air. This natural protein is one
of the strongest and most flexible materials known to man. In fact,
some silk is as strong as Kevlar—the material used to make bulletproof
Now you’re probably thinking, this is all very
interesting, but what in the world does a spider web have to do with me?
More than you’d think. Just ask George C. Fraser.
Fraser, the chairman, CEO, and founder of FraserNet Inc., spoke at the
State of the Black Union conference in Lithonia, Ga., which focused on
the economic disparity that exists in the African American community.
During the conference, Mr. Fraser took out a chart showing a series of
dots that symbolized this disparity. By themselves, said Fraser, African
Americans have done some wonderful things; however, as a group the
African American community remains disconnected and powerless. Then he
flipped the chart to show those same individual dots connected by lines.
“This is where all the power is,” said Fraser.
The image was that of the perfect network: a spider web.
spider web is the ideal representation of the strength and power found
through interconnectedness. And when you harness its strength and power
and apply it to your life, amazing things can happen. You can catch your
There’s an old Ethiopian proverb that says, “When spider webs unite, they can tie down a lion.”
about that for a moment. Sometimes in life, that’s what your goals and
dreams can seem like—a fearsome, untamable lion. And there you are, a
lonesome spider; a minuscule speck of dust in comparison to the
formidable King of the Jungle. No matter how hard you try to catch the
lion by yourself, you keep failing. It’s not for lack of effort; it’s
just that you are out-sized and outmatched.
But when you connect
with others through authentic relationships, i.e., ones that are
transparent, honest, and nonjudgmental; when you are given access to
their skills, wisdom, and resources, you can grow and strengthen your
web until it becomes a giant, far-reaching, impenetrable web that will
help you catch whatever you want out of life.
When spider webs unite, they can tie down a lion.
web, simply put, is a network. It is a series of points connected by
silk that forms a powerful, effective tool for accomplishing a goal—for
catching something. Why do you think the Internet is called the World
Wide Web? It’s an electronic “web” for connecting people and sharing
If you consider your own network as a web, your
connections are the individual dots or points where the lines of silk
come together. These points may represent your family members, friends,
coworkers, church members, etc., and they all represent other “spiders”
in the larger web of your life.
Maybe you’ve never thought of
spider webs in this way before. That’s OK. One of our goals in this book
is to open your eyes and your mind to a new way of looking at things; a
way that will help you get where you want to be in life by showing you
how to catch your aspirations instead of trying to chase them down. We
want to help you build the perfect web; one that will take you to the
next level and help you find and achieve your true purpose in life.
George Fraser used his spider-web analogy, he was speaking to the
African American community. But there is a deeper message there; one for
all races and all genders. As individuals, we may find happiness and
success, and we may get what we want out of this life. But when we are
united; when we collaborate and cooperate with others and tap into their
skills and resources, our chances of finding success and catching our
dreams grows exponentially.
You have many webs in your life. Your
family is a web. Your coworkers and professional connections—another
web. Your friendships form another kind of web, and so do the members of
your church family. Each of these webs is unique and important in its
own way, and each serves a different purpose.
But can any of
these webs alone get you to where you want to be in your life? Your
family web may provide unconditional support, but would you trust your
family members to make your career decisions for you? And what about
your friends? Some you can count on for anything; others, not so
Your church family may share your same faith and values, but do they
really know you and what makes you tick? And as for your professional
connections, would you trust them to give you marital advice? Probably
But what if you had one rock-solid web that was anchored by
your most authentic relationships; those individuals who know you inside
and out—your strengths and weaknesses, your passions and goals? What if
you had one focused web with a solid, dependable core? With this kind
of web, you could stop wasting valuable energy chasing the wrong “prey”
and instead begin to catch your dreams, goals, and aspirations.
too good to be true? Trust us, this is real. It has worked for each of
us, and it can work for you, too. We call it The Spider Web Philosophy™