Willing and Unwise
Welcome to An Owner’s Guide for Your Life, the podcast that combines psychology, coaching, common sense and fun. I’m Tracey Browning, an entrepreneur, life coach and lover of people. Now let’s talk about how to live, love, make money, and change the world.
Hey, I’m glad you’re here. I got a story I want to share with you today, and it may be a familiar one to you- Acres of Diamonds. But I’ve got some lessons that go along with the story and they may not be as familiar.
I shared with you last episode that I’m starting a new additional business venture. And as I start this new business, all kinds of things pop up- lessons to learn, things to do. It’s a very lengthy project list. I’m not quite ready to share all the details with you, but I can share a lot about how I’m getting started, how we’re handling the new business, the new ideas, the new lengthy list of projects. And that’s where the story Acres of Diamonds comes in.
So the story goes like this. There was a farmer in India. He was happy, he was content, he was wealthy, had a good farm, had a good thing going. But his priest came by one day and told him this story about how diamonds were created. And it just kind of lit a fire in the farmer. And he went to bed that night thinking, “I really want some diamonds. I like what I got here. I’ve got a good thing going with the farm, but I really want some diamonds.”
So he went back and asked the priest, “Well, where do I go to look for diamonds?’ So the priest told him, and I don’t remember the details of this, something like “Go to find a white sand river between two mountains” kind of thing. And then you’ll have diamonds and you’ll be wealthy forever.
So the farmer, he sold his farm, he left his family behind and he went out in search of these diamonds, listening to the priest’s advice. And he never found them. He looked all over the land for diamonds and it wound up that he died penniless alone. He threw himself into the water and killed himself because he was just so frustrated.
The rest of the story is that the guy who bought this farmer’s farm had his camel out in some water. The camel dipped his head down in the water and the farmer said, “Well, that’s an interesting stone.” And picked it up and brought it inside and set it up on his mantle. And a few days later, the priest comes by and says, “You’ve got a diamond up on your mantle. Where did you find that?” Farmers like, “No, that’s just a stone.” “No, it’s a diamond.”
So it turns out it was a diamond, the first of many to be discovered on this farmer’s land. And legend has it that this is the Kimberley Diamond mines where the Hope Diamond was discovered.
Now I don’t know if all of that’s true or not, I don’t really care if it’s true. It’s an interesting story, and it gives me some food for thought that I want to share with you.
I’ve got three do’s and three don’ts for starting a new project, for starting a new business.
This farmer, the original farmer who wanted diamonds, he was willing but not wise. So that’s my story here. Willing, but not wise
Let’s start with the three things he was willing to do.
He was willing to dream.
He was willing to think about life beyond his current circumstances and his current circumstances, at the beginning of the story, they were good. He was content. He was happy. He was wealthy. He had a good thing going, but he was dreaming beyond that. And I just don’t think dreaming is ever a bad thing. No matter what your situation is, being able to look beyond and want more. That’s good. It’s what life is about. The challenges of stretching and doing more than just what you’ve got in front of you day to day. So he was willing to dream.
He was willing to sacrifice.
He sold his farm. He left his family behind. I mean, these are not small sacrifices. He was willing to sacrifice to go after his dream. So he’s willing to dream. He was willing to sacrifice.
He was willing to work.
He went out to look for the diamonds, and it was physically demanding. He traveled, searching high and low, up and down mountains and rivers, looking for diamonds.
Willing to dream, willing to sacrifice, willing to work. Those are really important things to bring along with you, whether you’re starting a project, starting a business, whatever it is.
But here’s where he was unwise.
He didn’t evaluate what he had.
Nowhere in the story, and I’ve looked at a couple of different versions of it, nowhere do I see it mentioned that before the farmer sold his farm, did he look on his farm for the diamonds.He just didn’t do it. He sold his farm and went, oh, no, I just don’t have it. I’m going to go look elsewhere. So he didn’t evaluate what he had.
The second thing that he was unwise about, he didn’t use appropriate resources. If I’m going to look for diamonds, my priest is just not my go to person. Now, the priest told him the story, but why would you think that a priest would be the ultimate, best resource to check in with on where to find diamonds? What? Really? Now maybe he thought he had some insight. So I wouldn’t say, don’t ever talk to the person who told you the original story. But I would be consulting people who really understood, well, here’s what you do when you want to find diamonds.
When you’re setting up a business like we are with our new business venture, we’re setting it up. We’re consulting people who know, maybe not more about what we’re doing than we do, but they definitely bring a different perspective to the table.
Which brings me to the third thing that our farmer was unwise about. He didn’t enlist help.
He did it on his own. He sold his farm. And again, in the versions of the story, I don’t ever see anything about what his family said to him. So you don’t know if he had his family’s blessing, if his family supported him in this venture or not, but he just went out on his own.
For him, the story ends for him being broke, broken and alone. I really, deeply believe maybe if he had had some support, I don’t know if that means he would have found diamonds, but maybe he wouldn’t have taken the measure of ending his own life. Maybe he would have wound up at the end of his life broke, but maybe he wouldn’t have been so broken. And there are worse things in the world than being broke.
So the three things that he was unwise about: he didn’t evaluate what he had, he didn’t use appropriate resources, and he didn’t enlist help. So when I hear the story of acres of diamonds and, you know, I’ve let it roll around in my head for a couple of weeks now just thinking about, oh, the things to be learned from this.
Here’s how I’m applying this in my own life. As I’m beginning my new business venture, I’m evaluating what I’ve got. I know my strengths. I know my weaknesses. I know my resources. I know I’m using appropriate resources, enlisting bankers and insurance folks and my accountant and people who have different perspectives and different knowledge bases than I do. It’s not a formal board of directors, but it’s like I’m putting together a board of advisors for our new business venture. So I’m getting help. I’m not doing it myself. I could struggle and figure things out, but I’m not. I’ve got a team of people.
I’ve got a formal support network, and I’ve got an informal support network. Support is crucial. And when I’m thinking and talking about support, I’m talking about coaches, advisors, just kind of cheerleaders. Hey, that’s great. Keep going. Because you know as well as I do there are good days and there are bad days. And when it gets tough, it helps to have people who are on your side cheering you on. It helps to have people who are advising you so you’re not out here on your own.
I do not plan on ending my life broke, broken and alone.
No, I’ve got big dreams.
I’m dreaming beyond my current circumstances. I’m willing to sacrifice. I’m willing to work just like the farmer at the beginning of the story.
But I’m learning from his example that I’m evaluating what I’ve got, and I’m consulting and enlisting help from other resources. If anybody knows me, I got spreadsheets. I’ve got checklists, and I am following along, keeping up with. All right, we’ve done this. What’s next? All right, we’ve got this in motion. What’s next?
It’s really exciting to see this come to life.
So that’s my quick share of the story of acres of diamonds and my takeaways of the farmer who was willing and unwise. Don’t be like him. Don’t be willing and unwise. Be willing and wise.
Thanks for listening. Follow along in my journey. In the next few weeks, we’ll be unveiling more and more about what it is that I’m doing and how things are going.
If you are an entrepreneur or you want to be an entrepreneur, keep listening because you’ll hear some very helpful information as I share through the podcast how it’s going, what I like, what I don’t like, where my stumbling blocks are, what things to look out for. Whether you’re starting a new project or a new business, it’s good information to hear.
So let’s go now and live, love, make some money and change the world.
For a transcript of this episode or for more information about life and mindset coaching, visit my website https://www.tbrowning.com/.