Came across a nice parable while reading Michael Port's Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling. It goes like this:
An old man, a boy, and a donkey were heading to town. The boy rode on the donkey and the old man walked beside him. They came across a group of people, and as they passed, could hear them saying to each other that it was a shame the old man was walking and the boy was riding. The man and boy thought perhaps the critics were right, so they changed positions.
Soon after, they passed another group of people who remarked, “What a shame! He makes that little boy walk.” The two decided then that they both would walk.
Before long, they passed another crowd who thought the two were stupid to walk when they had a strong donkey to ride. So they both rode the donkey.
Later, they passed some people who made the man and the boy feel ashamed by saying how terrible it was that they were putting such a load that poor, tired donkey. The boy and man decided that the commenters were probably right, so they decided they would carry the donkey. However, as they carried the donkey across a nearby bridge, they lost their grip on the animal, and he fell into the driver and drowned.
Moral of the story? Don't try to please everyone. Because if you do, you might as well kiss your ass goodbye.
This story originally appeared in INSTORE in January 2014.