Before Looking for ‘New Opportunities’ Elsewhere, You Could be Standing on Your Acres of Diamonds?
Brian Maphosa tells how to give value to your services through various stories and experiences
A true story is told of an African farmer who heard tales about other farmers who had made millions by discovering diamond mines. These tales so excited the farmer that he could hardly wait to sell his farm and go prospecting for diamonds himself. He sold the farm and spent the rest of his life wandering the African continent searching unsuccessfully for the gleaming gems that brought such high prices on the markets of the world. Finally, worn out and in a fit of despondency, he threw himself into a river and drowned.
Meanwhile, the man who had bought his farm happened to be crossing the small stream on the property one day, when suddenly there was a bright flash of blue and red light from the stream bottom. He bent down and picked up a stone. It was a good-sized stone, and admiring it, he brought it home and put it on his fireplace mantel as an interesting curiosity.
Several weeks later a visitor picked up the stone, looked closely at it, hefted it in his hand, and nearly fainted. He asked the farmer if he knew what he’d found. When the farmer said, no, that he thought it was a piece of crystal, the visitor told him he had found one of the largest diamonds ever discovered. The farmer had trouble believing that. He told the man that his creek was full of such stones, not all as large as the one on the mantel, but sprinkled generously throughout the creek bottom.
The farm the first farmer had sold, so that he might find a diamond mine, turned out to be the Kimberly Diamond mine, the richest the world has ever known. The first farmer had owned, free and clear … acres of diamonds. But he had sold them for practically nothing, in order to look for them elsewhere. I am sure by now the gist of the moral of the story told by Earl Nightingale is clear: If the first farmer had only taken the time to study and prepare himself to learn what diamonds looked like in their rough state, and to thoroughly explore the property he had before looking elsewhere, all of his wildest dreams would have come true.
Having read this story, I am sure we are on the same page in realizing that each of us is, at this very moment, could be standing in the middle of our own acres of diamonds. Let us have the wisdom and patience to explore whatever we’re engaged in, to explore ourselves, and I am certain in the process we are most likely to find the riches we seek.
Before looking for what you consider greener pastures, consider this, is your own not just as green or perhaps even greener. I think you have heard this before, if the other pasture appears greener than ours, could it possibly be that the fella next door is giving better care. Also isn’t it possible that while you’re looking at other pastures, other people are looking at yours.
For SME business owners, another story is told of a man in Arizona who began with a small gas station. One day, while one of his attendants filled a man’s gas tank, he watched the customer hanging about waiting for the job to be finished. It dawned upon him that the man had money in his pockets and there were things he needed or wanted that he would pay for if they were conveniently displayed where he could see them.
So, he began adding things. Fishing tackle, then hunting and camping equipment, rifles, shot guns, ammunition, hunting licenses. He found an excellent line of aluminium fishing boats and trailers. He began buying up the properties around him. Then he added an auto parts department. To his line of cold soft drinks and candy, he added an excellent line of chocolates in a refrigerated case. Before long, he sold more chocolates than anyone else in the state. He carried thousands of things his customers could buy while waiting for their cars to be serviced.
The products he sold got more gas customers in town coming to his station. He sold more gas and his sales grew. It all started with someone watching a customer standing around with money in his pockets and nothing to spend it on. Others would have lived and died with the small service station, and they do.
So, take the time to stand off and look at your practice as a stranger might and ask, Why does he do it that way? Has he noticed how what he’s doing might be capitalized upon or multiplied? If you’re happy with things as they are, then by all means, keep them that way.
As I write this, I am also thinking just how relevant what I offer at HPS Business Academy is. I realise that through my facilitating Peer to Peer executive boards, its like getting a bunch of your like minded peers every month to explore each other's farm, kicking the stones around, examining the various stones they come across, asking each other questions, sharing their own experiences etc. In the process someone may pick that piece of stone that turns out to be your diamond. Or the work I do taking business owners through our Profit Acceleration Software assessment. I guarantee you, there are dozens of ideas that will come to mind just from this process of looking at your practice with fresh eyes. My experience with the business owners I have worked with on assessing their businesses, is that there are tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential revenues that are going unrealized in their businesses because they have not explored the opportunities they have. This may not be that strange, after-all because after some time of running our businesses, we all grow what can be termed as 'Factory Blindness.' Because of being familiar with our operations day to day, we become blind to the various opportunities lying around us.
All I can say is that there’s great fun in finding diamonds hiding in ourselves and in our businesses. My passion is in working with business owners or CEOs/MDs who seek to find their own acres of diamonds.
Ask yourself, how can you increase your service today? There are rare and very marketable diamonds lurking all around you. Have you been looking for them? Have you examined every facet of your practice and of the industry in which it has its life?
There are definitely better ways to do what you are presently doing. Ask yourself, What are they?
As I conclude, you know what, if you need help go through this process get in touch and I will assist you find your Acres of Diamonds.