Agriculture has been the cause of civilization. People settled around rivers in the form of civilized society once they started farming and growing produce, moving away from a nomadic life. Agriculture teaches us a lot about business. I’ll tell you a small story before coming to the point.
John, a farmer, had a huge patch of land. It’s produce of corn could be in tons. John had a friend, Sam, with a plot of almost the same size. They both decided to begin their careers in farming, making money off agricultural produce.
John decided to grow corn. Sam decided to plant apple trees.
John worked hard in the farm. He knew he had to prepare for the crop every season and that involved a lot of work, preparing the farm, seeding, weeding, fertilizing etc. It was a task to get it done every year but he was happy at the end of the day with the amount of money that he’d get from selling the produce. He was growing richer by the year and started to buy larger chunks of land around.
Sam, on the other hand, had little money always. He had planted his trees in most part of his farm and he also had some crop on the side to allow him a square meal. He was patient and took good care of his trees. He had lots of them, which meant lots of money was also needed to maintain them. He even had to borrow some from John at times, which he promptly returned after selling the harvest.
Years passed. John worked hard in the fields and also had help. He was happy that he created jobs and had provided for families. Sam also had his trees ready for bearing fruit. After eight odd years, Sam had the first fruit from his trees. He took half of the produce to John and gave it to him, for old times sake. He sold the rest and had enough to buy a small field next to his.
That entire year, Sam didn’t have to do much. He took care of his trees and spent quality time with his family in the orchard. John, on the other hand, had to work as hard as earlier, and also managed the large team of employees.
Sam earned a little less than John, but it was enough to provide for his family and to give back to the world. John worked harder and earned a little more than his needs/wants.
In the end, when they died, John’s children still worked in the farm whereas Sam’s children were able to go to the school and got a good education for them because they didn’t have to work in the field all the time.
When building a business, please remember to plant trees and not a seasonal crop unless you are in the transit period from being a crop grower to a tree planter.
Build something to last. Don’t be the last one to continue building.