A story is told of a man who owned a vineyard. This man worked extremely hard, day in and day out. As a result of this, his vineyard produced a rich crop of grapes each year. The rich crops that he produced every year meant that the man had a generous amount of money. He also had three sons. All three of the boys had the physical and mental capacity to become great vineyard keepers just like their father.
From a young age the father tried to teach his sons the intricacies of owning and maintaining a vineyard, knowing that they would be his only successors. He would call each morning “My sons, come and help me tend the vineyard”. They, however, had no interest in cultivating the crop. Preferring to chase flights of fancy instead. Each year the farmer would plead with them “My sons, come and help me tend the vineyard” but even as they grew into young men they always had excuses. “Maybe next week” or “I don’t think tending a vineyard is for me” and so on. The father began to despair, but he did not give up on his sons. He still asked them every day to help him out.
As the years flew by the father fell terminally ill. He called his sons to his bedside and said “My sons, the reason I have wanted you to help with the vineyard all these years is because there is a treasure buried within it. I want you to find it”. Not too long after, the father died.
The sons, now motivated by the prospect of unknown treasures hidden beneath the vineyard, set to work as their father had wished. They toiled day in and day out, just as their father had. They began to dig and turn over the soil in every inch of the vineyard to find this treasure. A year passed, and they hadn’t found it, but the vineyard produced a crop three times greater than when their father had being doing it himself. Another year passed, still there was no sign of treasure, but the crop produced a yield three times greater than the previous year. After the third year the vineyard produced such immense crops that the sons were now extremely wealthy, and not only that, they also had grown to love the tending the vineyard. They now had children of their own and were able to live happily, knowing that they would be provided for. One day the youngest brother stopped digging and said “My Brothers, I believe we have already uncovered the hidden treasure that father spoke of”. With that, the brothers knew that their father, on his death bed, had taught them a priceless lesson on the value of hard-work.
The father was certain of the potential in the vineyard because he had alrieady seen the fruits of his motivation and work ethic. He was already making good money. He knew that, if he could get his sons on the same wavelength, they’d be sitting on a goldmine. Once you fully believe in your passions you will become obsessed with sharing them with your loved ones. Starting my own entrepreneurial journey was largely down to the influence of someone very close to me. I had always had my dreams and aspirations but once you find like-minded people you move from idea to action.
Another important moral to take from this story is the fact that it’s never too late to start. The sons had brushed off their father’s pleas for years. They made excuse after excuse. But when they got inspired none of that mattered! Often times we feel like we’ve missed the boat when in actual fact it hasn’t even set off yet. When you find what motivates you don’t let anyone, least of all yourself, stand in the way. It’s doesn’t matter when you start, it’s just about starting.
All three of the brothers loved their father and cared about his vineyard. But until they found their “Why” the motivation just wasn’t there. A quote from the book “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek comes to mind -‘There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.’ Whether the father inspired or manipulated his sons is up for debate. However, one thing is clear: once you uncover your passion the only thing that stands between you and success is time, hard-work and patience. Your “Why” may not be as dramatic as a revelation of ‘buried treasure’ on a loved-ones death bed. Your “Why” may be the warm feeling you get from doing something you enjoy or the feeling of fulfilment you receive from helping others. Whatever it is, once you have it, never let it go.