Picking Blackberries to Boost Your Business

blackberriesWhat in the world would picking blackberries have to do with boosting your business?

No, not choosing a Blackberry phone….

It’s a perspective that I want you to consider….

Having just harvested blackberries, ripe here in North Carolina in this early July, many similarities began to jump to mind about the level of success one can have with their business depending on how they approach things.

I almost quit several times on these deliciously sweet and ripe berries, when just a bit more pain would increase my yield.

Had I given up due to the heat, thorns, or fire ants the first time, I may only have come out with a nice snack.

But since I decided to stick it out (pun intended), there will now be plenty of blackberry pie, jam, smoothies, popovers and pancakes!

Beginning to see an analogy?

Your business is a series of trials and missteps, failures and successes. You take the bad with the good because you know in the end it will be worthwhile.

The first time I stopped to pick these blackberries, there were more red ones than black ones, but many were ready to be picked, though harder to get at had I just waited.

But why wait? There were berries (little successes) to be had, and the lessons I learned my first trip definitely paid off on my second time out, quadrupling my yield.

If you know a thing or two about blackberry bushes, you’ll know that their vines are extremely thorny, to the point of being completely ridiculous about it….

Even the backs of the leaves are covered in thorns!

The branches are long and drape over one another, making it an interestingly painful event to get at some of the eye catching plump berries just barely out of reach.

Not only that, fire ants, at least in NC, tend to like living in the same areas as these unfriendly plants.

On the first day, in my determination to get at the biggest, ripest berries that I could just barely reach, I got more and more pricks and tiny scratches…

It was after I’d collected only about a pint of berries that I felt a stinging around my left foot, and looked down to notice it was standing right on top of a fire ant hill as they’d begun to crawl all over it.

Well that was enough for that first day, and with a bit of Benadryl cream to stop the itch and reaction from the fire ant bites, (they can be serious trouble to those that are allergic to bees and the like!) I was not too worse for wear.

And, the number of red berries told me that another day soon would be better.

So a few days later, I went again … with a few lessons learned.

I took my biking gloves (with just the fingers exposed I could spare the rest of my hand from scratches and be able to still pick the fragile, ripe berries.

And I went to the spot I had learned had a larger crop of berries, and was not in the place where I had previously stepped on the ant hill.

A few pounds of berries later I felt I had a wonderful harvest and was hot, sweaty and purple fingered, and ready to call it a good day, not nearly as scratched up.

But as I was almost ready to reach for my last few berries, I felt a familiar sting…

Looking down I saw several tiny fire ants on my same foot, but didn’t even see where I had stepped on their hill!

Ouch! I brushed off the ants, saw where I had previously stepped – another ant hill a few feet away – and this time they got me good! I hadn’t learned quite a good enough lesson the first time.

The itch has been tremendous (woke me up in the middle of the night), and my foot is still red and inflamed today. As a matter of fact, I have around 30-40 bites, 5 watery blisters, and an ice pack on with my foot up right now.

blackberry pieBut tonight we’re having fresh blackberry pie!

So the point of this is to say that we go forth working our business and have many aggravations and irritations, bumps in the road, defeats and epic fails, much more serious even than ant hills and thorns.

But with every bit of pain we learn lessons and make great leaps forward.

Even some lessons have to be learned twice… or more…

Success just cannot be attained on almost anyone’s first and only try.

And some might think, why not buy the berries, certainly that would save time, effort, and pain? Yep.

In fact, it would, but I rather liked the challenge in the case of the berries, but in business…

You have to think about your willingness to invest in your business when necessary, either with time or money, when you can have a better outcome.

Most times free is neither the best or most effective way. It is however often less painful and time consuming.

But my initial analogy was one which aligns with the repeated hits we take in any venture, and is exactly why 98% of all businesses fail by the 5th year.

Lack of persistence.

So it’s not a matter of succeed or fail, it’s a matter of how long you can keep going through your failures until you find success, in picking blackberries or in business or life!

Consider the image below and let me know what you think.

And if you like this post, please comment and share, and I thank you very much in advance!







2 Responses to “Picking Blackberries to Boost Your Business”

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  1. Vicki what a great analogy. Also, I like the title, very catchy. I caught my attention. I definitely agree, we must learn to enjoy the process. Success is messy, but it is so worth it. What a great job at using the blackberry analogy. By the way, I like the two side by side pictures also.

    • Vicki says:

      LOL aren’t you glad I didn’t post the pictures of those awful blisters LOLOL! Here it is 7 months later and the scars are finally beginning to disappear :)

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