Be like Johnny Appleseed

I was talking with my friend Deserie Valloreo at Herbalwise a couple nights ago.  She’s a facilitator and an educator who holds classes and workshops.  She loves to help people lead happier, healthier, richer lives.  She was talking about how once in a while she puts on a class and only a couple people show up.  She has to do her usual preparations and then drive a good distance, put on her game face, give it her all, and then drive home again.  For a moment I thought she was feeling down about it, but then it became clear why she was telling me this story.

Teaching a classroom full of people has it’s way of giving back to you on the spot.  It builds you up, gives you confidence, and makes you feel like you’re doing the right thing with your life.  But showing up to an event you are promoting which falls below your turnout expectations can be disheartening.  I thought she was feeling disheartened as she was telling this story.

But then she told me that one of the people who showed up to the class had become a regular customer continually purchasing some of the products that she sells, signing up for additional classes, and referring friends.  She told me how that one customer made that long trip to teach a class of two worth as much some of her best events.

I don’t know where these things come from sometimes, but I said back to her, “Everywhere Johnny Appleseed went there we no apples when he got there.  You should always plant seeds everywhere you go.”

I just looked him up.  Born John Chapman, Johnny Appleseed was an American pioneer and agriculturalist who introduced apple trees to large parts of the Midwest.  He became an American legend because of his kind and generous ways and his great leadership in conservation.

When you’re building your own business, there are times to plant seeds and times to eat apples.  If you plant seeds everywhere you go, eventually you will enjoy apples each time you return.  And if you are kind and generous and give your all to the people you meet along the way, others who are enjoying your apples will hold you in high esteem, seek you out, and tell others about you, and perhaps even make you their hero.

So next time you’re looking at what might seem like an empty field, don’t be discouraged.  Envision an orchard full of goodness growing out of it because of your efforts, nourishing you and multitudes of others – and plant some seeds for your future.

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