Many times when I am coaching someone on their business proposition I find that they are missing massive opportunities whilst pursuing a line of business that they are struggling to sell. I tell them of a story called ‘Acre of Diamonds’ which makes the point very nicely and gets them to focus more on what they REALLY should be selling.
It is a story originally told by Russell Conwell many years ago as part of a very popular speech. It has often been retold in many different ways and this is one shortened version: A farmer who lived in Africa became tremendously excited about looking for diamonds after speaking to a visitor. Diamonds were already discovered in abundance on the African continent and this farmer got so excited about becoming a millionaire that he sold his farm to head out in search of diamonds.
For year after year he searched all over the African continent and never found a single diamond. Eventually he became so disheartened that he took his own life. Meanwhile, the new owner of his farm picked up an unusual looking rock about the size of an egg and put it on his mantle as an ornament. One day, a visitor noticed the rock and got very excited by it. He told the new owner of the farm that the funny looking rock on his mantle was about the biggest diamond that had ever been found.
The new owner of the farm said, “Heck, the whole farm is covered with them” – and sure enough it was. The farm turned out to be the Kimberly Diamond Mine … the richest the world has ever known. The original farmer was literally standing on “Acres of Diamonds” until he sold his farm.
The full story is a lot more entertaining and dramatic but the point is still the same. If you are having difficulty getting people interested in what you are trying to sell, try stepping back for a moment and taking a look through objective eyes. Maybe even get someone you trust and respect to be objective with you. You could be sitting on an acre of diamonds!
The e-book includes the full inspiring speech by Russell Conway plus some other meaningful stories too.