A Season Of Reflection

Today we’re going to look at a story that has million different versions:

A jobless man applied for an entry-level position at a corporation, passed the interview and was offered the job.

“Let me know your e-mail address, and I’ll send you the offer letter. The email will have all the information you will need for orientation as well.” Said the hiring manager.

“I don’t have email.” The man said. “Wouldn’t even know how to work it.”

“Well, I can’t hire you unless we can email you. Please come back if something changes.” Said the manager.

The man was dejected and without hope. He had $10 to his name and nothing more. He was hungry and spent the last of his money on a bag of apples. As he was walking away someone asked to buy an apple for $1.

“Sure.” He said. And then an idea hit him.

Within the hour he had sold all of the apples to people in an office block, doubling his money.

He did the same thing the day after, and again the day after that.

Eventually he had enough money to buy a bike so he could sell apples to more places around town. Then he bought a truck, and then an orchard.

As he grew, he realised he needed an accountant. The accountant was amazed at how the business had grown so big. He asked for the man’s email address.

“I don’t have one.” Said the man.

“You’ve done this without an email address? Imagine where you would be if you did have one!” Said the accountant.

There was a pause, and the man said with a smile “I’d be shuffling papers and trying to climb a corporate ladder where I first sold apples.”

I love this story because although it is clearly made up, there is reality in it. I used to have a friend who had a saying that said “People are like teabags. You don’t know how strong they are until they are in hot water.” This is so true, and sometimes we have to be in a tight spot to realise that we have more tenacity and strength than we thought.

Here are today’s three takeaways:

1 – Sometimes we lose battles and win a war. On the other side of this, not every battle we win is an overall victory.

2 – Not every opportunity is a good one. Sometimes we limit ourselves by dreaming too small.

3 – Closed doors are opportunities to find new door. Or new buildings with new doors. Or the outside.

Above all else, treat everyone with respect and listen to their ideas. Somewhere in an entry-level position of a corporation is a genius with an amazing idea who just happened to have the misfortune of having an email account.

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