I live in Lithonia, Georgia 20 miles east of the city of Atlanta. Some think it’s the country but to me its semi-urban. I represent 54,000 Georgians in the House of Representatives all the way to Loganville (that’s country!). One of the BEST parts about public service is the diversity of people within in my District. I have a man who has about 3 acres of land beside his house on a busy highway (Highway 124 to be exact) and he grows fresh fruits and veggies every spring and sells them on his fruit stand in the front yard. Nothing makes me smile more than driving past this man’s yard on the way home and see this 60 or 70 year old plowing away in the fields in his front yard. I say “THAT IS PASSION!” —-because I have a low tolerance for dirt and sweat.
The other day I had a chance to go by this fruit stand and buy onions, cucumbers, a watermelon (best you’ll EVER have), corn, potatoes, tomatoes….yes, just about everything there. It had me thinking about the lessons everyone can learn from this neighborhood fruit stand that I wanted to share.
Lesson No. 1: There is a SEASON for everything. Obviously, he cannot grow certain fruits and veggies all season long. He has to wait until the right season to PLANT and then to HARVEST.
Lesson No. 2: Speaking of harvest, it takes patience for a harvest. No one should expect to plant a seed and expect an immediate harvest. To put in business terms, you cannot pay for advertising on Monday and expect a flood of clients on Friday. It doesn’t work that way. It takes patience and nurturing relationships until its time to harvest.
Lesson No. 3: Know your audience. He sells sweet and fresh fruits and veggies in the summer and firewood in the winter. Why? Because he knows his audience. Being a southerner myself, I would hesitate to purchase off season fruit and question his sanity of selling firewood in the summer. He knows what his buyers want and he supplies it accordingly and in a timely fashion.
Lesson No. 4: Location is everything. He has his fruit stand right off Highway 124 that receives heavy traffic. There is a large church to his right and a gas station to his left. The entrance to the fruit stand is similar to a drive through where you can pull right up…and pull right out.
Lesson No. 5: You have to water your crops. In the business world, this would be analogous to watering or nurturing your relationships. If he had simply planted the corn seed or planted the peach seed without watering and tending to the crop, he would not have have a harvest to sell. (Read my other post on The Importance of Relationships: Lessons I have Learned Over the Years).
I could go ON and ON about lessons I have learned from my neighborhood fruit stand but I am sure you have plenty to add and I welcome hearing them!
Attorney Dar’shun Kendrick is the owner of Kendrick Law Practice, LLC, a boutique business law firm in Decatur, GA focused on keeping growing Georgia business owners “IN business and OUT of Court” through a variety of customized business and legal services. She has an M.B.A. as well as serves in the Georgia House of Representatives.