Remember the legend of Johnny Appleseed? When I was a kid, I thought the story was completely made up. A guy walking around planting apple seeds…with a pot on his head? Yeah, right! However, it turns out that Johnny Appleseed was real. Only his true name was John Chapman.
The way my second-grade teacher taught it, Johnny was spreading apple seeds from Pennsylvania to Illinois in hopes that those seeds would eventually grow into apple trees. Oh yeah, he slept in hollowed out tree trunks and walked barefoot through the forests, even in the snow. Sounds like a real weirdo, right? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love apples as much as the next guy. But I’m not going to travel the countryside planting apple seeds everywhere I go.
As it turns out, Johnny wasn’t just planting his apple seeds willy-nilly. There was some real planning that went into his career. He was actually building apple orchards in advance of the pioneers coming to settle the Ohio Valley. He knew they would need to quickly be able to grow their own food when they got here. The nurseries were surrounded by fencing made of brush to keep the livestock out. He would visit his orchards every year to care for the apple trees that were growing there. He left locals in charge of the orchards. He would sell his trees to the settlers and then put his profits right back into his business, building more-and-more orchards.
What are you doing to help your business grow? Are you just planting seeds and moving on, or are you going the extra step to ensure that those seeds grow?
How many times have you exchanged business cards with someone only to never communicate with them again?
Are you marketing your business to stay top-of-mind and attract new customers?
Did you start a social media campaign, only to give up after a couple dozen Facebook friends?
Are you going the extra mile in customer service to bring those people, and their friends, back to your business?
Do you pay it forward by helping other businesses in your industry?
Johnny Appleseed was so committed to his vision that he died from pneumonia on his way to Ft. Wayne, Indiana to fix a fence at one of his orchards. What are you willing to do after planting your seeds?