Rich Coconut, Poor Coconut

Sage ReddyWealth43 Comments

Prosperity Gospel image

Whack. Whack. Whack. Whack. Insert blade, pry open the top, insert straw… and you’re in coconut heaven. Fresh coconut water. There’s nothing like it! Refreshing and nourishing. It is by far the best “soft drink” in the world, not patented by any corporation and made entirely by nature.

Every winter I escape dreary Portland, Oregon and visit my folks in Hyderabad, a southern city of India. And one of my absolute favorite things to do when I hang out in this bustling city is to indulge my addiction for fresh coconut water. I don’t have to venture too far to get my daily coconut fix. There are several vendors within a few minutes of my folks’ place.

But heres the thing: Even though these coconut vendors get their wares from the same wholesaler, some of them are prospering while others are barely hanging on. Why? One wonders. A few vendors thrive year after year while the majority languish before going out of business entirely. What can a coconut teach you about your online business? Plenty!

Why do some coconut vendors prosper while others don’t?

Good question.  Whatever the answer, it’s not for lack of effort. Hard work does not necessarily translate into success. As the saying goes, “It takes just as much effort to fail as it does to succeed.” Studying these third world coconut vendors will show you why do some people thrive in life while others falter and wither.

An Up Close Look At Prosperity

It’s not the product. Because, as I’ve already said, these coconut vendors get their wares from the same wholesaler. It’s not location either. Because the ones who are not doing well have “ideal” spots and are located in high traffic areas while the ones who’re thriving are operating from less-than-ideal locations. So what gives?

If it’s not the coconut and it’s not the location, then it must be, you guessed it, the person behind the product.

All you have to do figure out our coconut mystery is take a hard look at these vendors. For the sake of comparison I’m going to pick two: (1) my favorite vendor (the prosperous one) whom I’ll call Ram and (2) the less-than-prosperous one whom I’ll call Shyam.

Pray tell, what does Ram have that Shyam doesn’t?

Answer: Ram harbors an abundance mindset. Shyam? A poverty mindset.

In other words, Ram exhibits abundance consciousness while Shyam exhibits poverty consciousness. How do I know that? Go hang around them for a little while and you’ll see for yourself. OK, let’s take a closer look.

Look and feel

Shyam’s coconut cart is sparse and reeks of scarcity. It spells anything but abundance, which, naturally, reflects his own scarcity mindset. Ram’s coconut cart, in sharp contrast, is piled high with coconuts. His cart is a mountain of green coconuts. You can literally see them from a mile away. You can’t see what Shyam is selling until you get within a few feet.

Who would you buy from?

How does the look and feel of your online site affect your visitors? And how visible is your site on the web?

It’s All About The Price

Ram has two prominent hand-written signs in red that shout “6,” which means six Indian rupees. You can’t miss the attractive price no matter which direction you come from. Shyam, on the other hand, has no price displayed at his cart. He does not use low prices to lure customers. Actually, it’s as if he ashamed of his prices.

Ram’s coconuts are very competitively priced. He makes less money than Shyam on every coconut he sells, but he makes up for it in the sheer volume of coconuts he moves in a given day. Ram sells about 500 coconuts a day at six rupees a piece. Shyam? About 40 nuts and that too on a good day. Ram can negotiate with the wholesaler for better prices.

Who would you buy from?

Are you priced to sell? Can folks find a bargain price elsewhere? (Sorry, but price sells.)

No, Silly. It’s Really About Attitude

This is a biggie. So we better drill down this one.

1. Good Vibes.

It feels good to be around Ram’s cart even if no words are exchanged between us. This has less to with his prosperity and more to do with Ram himself. Around Shyam’s cart, however, one feels a strangley constricted; you want to gulp your stuff and leave. Ram has a cheerful disposition about him, not a fake one but genuine cheer. Shyam makes you wanna feel sorry for him. Ram looks like he’s really enjoying what he does for a living. Shyam looks as if he’d rather be doing something else.

Who would you buy from?

How do you feel to hanging around you? Do you attract people or do you repel them? (Ask folks, they’ll tell you.)

2. Generosity.

Ram has a generous spirit about him that is hard to miss. Once when I paid Ram with a hundred rupee bill, he asked me if I had change. When I shook my head, he said that I could it pay it another time. That kind of trust he places in total strangers is the hallmark of a generous spirit. Do you think Shyam will let people go without coughing up the money for the goods? You’re right, he won’t. He’s incapable of such generosity.Ram’s working on 5 to ten customers at any given time, switching his attention between hacking the coconuts, cutting them open, selecting the good ones, collecting money and small talk. Through all this, his generosity comes through loud and clear.

Who would you buy from?

Do you put out an attitude of generosity or one of miserliness? (Genuinely give more of yourself — without expecting anything back in return — and you’ll attract more riches than you shake a finger at.) 

3. Trust.

Since Shyam does not display his prices, you have to ask him. And you get your answer in a hushed tone, audible only to you. It’s as if he has different prices for different folks. Can you trust his guy? It’s as if he’s being secretive. Every one who stops by Shyam’s cart asks him about the price. Few buy, most walk. In sharp contrast, everything about Ram is on the up and up. One exudes trust, the other, mistrust.

Who would you buy from?

You say “trust me,” but do you exude trust and honesty? Can people trust you?

4. Team.

Even though, he’s the lynchpin, Ram has a whole team working for him. He can afford to. In contrast, Shyam is more like a lone wolf. He seems lonely and recluse. Ram’s team members love him, trust him and fill in for him at short notice. I have dealt with several of them and they exhibit the same cheerfulness. Shyam’s sole stand-in seems to be his equally cheerless wife. Ram has a show that goes on with or without him. Shyam’s cart is often missing in action.

Who would you buy from?

Do you believe in the power of a team or you a lone wolf? Are you building a supportive network to sustain your business?

So there you have it: the story of a rich coconut vs a poor coconut. Study Ram and Shyam. These two third-world coconut vendors can teach you plenty about being an online entrepreneur.

Rich coconut or poor coconut: what kind of a nut are you?
More importantly, who would you rather be?
Do comment and lemme know you’re still alive!

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43 Comments on “Rich Coconut, Poor Coconut”

  1. Inspiring post! It shows that positive thinking coupled with a positive outlook on things can create the outcome we desire. The person behind the product is truly the person that is responsible for the product’s success. Let us all place ourselves in that abundance mindset. Thank you Sage!

  2. Yeppers on all counts! Great analogies and ones that I can personally relate to. In both of my occupations, I often get business from others in the biz who refer me when they cannot take the job. So not only is the prosperity attitude advice fitting for customers but also fellow business compadres. Well said!

    Now can you tell me where in Dallas I can find a decent coconut?

    1. Hello Peggy! It is so good to see you on my new blog. And thanks for your comments and kind words. Believe me, you don’t want a decent coconut where you are. Instead, you should talk Gene into going on a vacation to Hawaii or something. 🙂 I’m curious though, what is your other job these days outside professional storytelling?

      1. I was afraid you would say that about Dallas coconuts–just based on my own experience. >:-P And my other job is I write the cover feature stories for a Collin County magazine, along with a living green column and occasional shorter features. It’s fun and I get to meet fascinating folks–like a Tuskegee Airman, three Olympic gold medalists and several nationally known artists, all who live in the area.

        1. Awesome Peggy! You’re a woman of many talents and all that passion has to go somewhere, right? I’d say you’re following your heart. Anytime you wanna do a guest post here on my blog, lemme know. 🙂

  3. Each visit to your blog has been memorable for me and I’m glad that instead of a busy life I try to find some quiet quality time visiting good blogs like yours. Regarding this good post, I agree with what you’ve shared in this post but besides the essence of this post, coconut reminds me so much of the south Indian dish I had while on tour, it was a delightful experience 🙂

    1. Likewise, Dr Suarez, I appreciate your every visit to my blog. Coconuts are a big part of South Indian cuisine. I love ’em. Sometimes, I think I could just live on coconuts. 🙂

  4. The abundance and poverty mindset are a example of the LOA in business so well exemplified by our friends Ram and Shyam. I wouldn’t be surprised if their personal scripts matched that of their coconut sales. So within as without.
    ~ Becca 
    Rebecca Reddy invites you to read..How to do AbhyangaMy Profile

    1. Well put analogy, my friend. Another example of power of positive thinking. Mindset and attitude does affect the outcomes of your life, which also affects behavior. People want to be around the cheerful and upbeat person while they tend to shy away from the sad and miserable one. How true of an analogy.

  5. Hi Sage,
    What a wonderful analogy! It also reminds me of that book Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. I listened to the audiobook version although I wasn’t able to finish it. In that book, he also mentioned the importance of mindset and how it can affect your life and finances.
    As a customer, I am also drawn to the cart that displays lots of wares and whose vendor looks approachable so I definitely agree with you there.
    And I really should be grateful that I have quick access to coconut water whenever I feel like it. Thanks for reminding me!
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  6. Hi Sage,

    This post is full of great business practices. I especially like the ideas of having an abundant display and not being secretive. Sure wouldn’t want to make people feel like they’re buying the coconut the vendor needed to take home for dinner, would we? Thanks for sharing here, Sage.

    Lou Barba invites you to read..Are You My Mother?My Profile

    1. Thank you, Lou. Good to see you here again. I appreciate businesses who keep their cards close to their chest until all the details are worked out. That’s just discretion. Discretion is a good thing while secretiveness is the exact opposite. Cheers!

  7. I love coconut water! My parents are from Jamaica and when I go there the first thing I ask for is coconut water. I am definitely a rich coconut in training. Reddy, I loved that you spoke about abundance consciousness and poverty consciousness. There are so many variations of the same product or services, but some are successful while others aren’t. Your article explained perfectly why it is that way.
    Tisha invites you to read..10 Facts to Make the Law of Attraction Work for You-Stop the Time Delay TodayMy Profile

  8. Hi Sage,

    I have never had fresh coconut fresh water and would like to try some! As to your last question I am a a rich coconut in training. I like the story in your post and the analogy is very appropriate. Finally, I wanted to let you know that yes, I am still alive!!
    Jamella Biegel invites you to read..A Gratitude Journal For MeMy Profile

  9. Mmmm Coconut water! My daughter loves it! We often purchase a couple of coconuts from our local product vendor and stick a straw in it. I love the fact my daughter enjoys this acquired taste… at least I know she is getting all her electrolytes and good nutrition.

    Now, back to you post! What a great way to break it down. It was a wonderful analogy. It really does all have to do with the way you come across in all of the areas you shared.

    Thanks for the wonderful read and great ‘food for thought’.

    Jayne Kopp invites you to read..The Law of Attraction | It’s Working For You… Like It or Not!My Profile

  10. Hi Sage,

    What a wonderful, engaging story you share to bring to life the very true points of what makes one seller stand out above the other. The points that you share are spot on, all of those points work together to make one seller much more attractive than another who is ignoring those points.

    Stacy invites you to read..A Letter to the Nervous Blogger Want-to-BeMy Profile

  11. I’m with Stevie!

    I just realized I’ve never, ever tried coconut milk (water?) I’m not sure we even sell them here in Canada (we must right?) LOL

    Well Sage, I’ve got to head out now and see if I can’t find myself one.

    PS. I’m a lone wolf, but I believe in the power of “TEAM”
    Warren invites you to read..Why We Work From HomeMy Profile

    1. Hey bro! Perhaps what you get in Canada is what we get in the US: plastic wrapped, ready to drink green coconuts imported from Thailand for about 4 dollars. They also sell coconut water in cans and cartons, but in my opinion they totally suck. I say take a vacation and go where the coconuts are. 🙂

      There’s a lone wolf in every entrepreneur, Warren, rest assured. Important thing is you do believe in team work.

  12. I totally agree. A person’s mindset and attitude definitely affects the outcome of his success. I would definitely want to associate myself with positive, abundant people, than someone who operates on the “lack”. So if I’m the customer, I would definitely choose to do business with someone who exudes abundance, high quality, and good customer service. I won’t even mind paying more as long as I know I’m getting a better experience – with the product and with the people I deal it.
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  13. Man! You had me started on a quick sprint to the nearest coconut tree (You can find them in South Florida) and I could already taste the miracle nectar pouring down my throat. But as I read further down your article and looked at the differences between Ram and Shyam, images of the open market with one cart full of coconuts whilst the others was not even visible until you stood right by it, the full force of your wisdom hit me right where it counts.

    That was a wonderful post!
    Stevie invites you to read..Ladies, Do You Know How To Get Him And Keep Him?My Profile

    1. Good to see you here, Stevie. And many thanks for your sweet words. Next time I should just forget about India and just go down to Florida. 🙂 I have been to Florida a few times, but never tried their fresh coconuts. About time I did. Cheers!
      Sage Reddy invites you to read..Disciplining TeenagersMy Profile

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