Rich Coconut, Poor Coconut

Sage ReddyWealth

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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