John Chapman was a man who saw opportunity when
everyone else saw garbage.
Chapman had a vision, a tremendous vision for his future
and the future of his country. That vision destined him to
become an American folk hero.
He developed a business plan for his vision which included
learning everything he could about his business, paying attention
to details, asking the local markets about their opinions, and
making adjustments along the way.
In the early 1800's, John "Appleseed" Chapman would visit
cider mills and spend entire days running his hands through
the garbage picking out tiny apple seeds one by one.
It was dirty, dull work. But to Johnny Appleseed, those tiny
seeds were as precious as rubies. His idea was to take those
seeds, plant them, then sell the apple trees to settlers as they
Chapman made himself a student of nature. He learned where
the best soil was for planting. He learned his market by
becoming friends with the local folks and taking the time
to have them develop a trust in him.
At the time the law required each settler to plant 50 apple
trees on their plot of ground. As the settlers moved further
West, Appleseed kept ahead of them planting more and
His business thrived as settlers were more than happy to pay
Johnny for his pre-started seedlings. By the end of his life,
Chapman had planted hundreds of orchards on thousands of
acres across the American Northwest territory.
In 1949 he was declared an American "culture hero" by
the "Journal of American Folklore." In 1966 the US Postal
Service issued a commemorative stamp to honor him.
John Appleseed Chapman became a success in his life and
in his business because he had a passion for what he did. He
was a religious man and saw his work as being an integral
part of his faith.
Once Chapman was asked to describe what he would
do in Heaven. He said, "I would follow the same occupation
as I do here."
Every orchard he planted, Johnny remembered. He cared
deeply about his trees, kept track of them and would go
back every year to prune and repair them.
Besides his business, he loved his customers. As he became
more successful, he realized that serving and caring for his
customers was the best way to grow his business.
Even though life on the frontier was often difficult and
hard, Appleseed didn't look at the hardships. His words
were, "Love what you do and work becomes effortless."
Johnny Appleseed believed his life's mission was to plant
apple trees. He never retired, for him tending apple trees
was a labor of love.
Prosperity: The Choice Is Yours
Copyright © 2001
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