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 moved westward.
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 more seeds.
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.
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