Have you ever been gifted a piece of fruit? In Japan it is common practice, especially as a token of gratitude. One popular fruit for gifting is Taiyo no Tamago (Egg of Sun), a premium variety of mango, a great story about the virtue of patience and fortitude.
Back in 1985, a group of farmers (8) in the Miyazaki prefecture located in southeastern Japan were seeking another crop to supplement their cucumber and green pepper harvests. They decided to give mangoes a try given the warm, sunny climate of their area. After six years of trial and error, experiencing numerous diseases, they finally produced a successful harvest. However, they had to go to local farmers market to sample their product and build awareness. Mangoes did not become a popular fruit in Japan until ten years ago.
Why am posting about mangoes as a great story about the virtue of patience and fortitude? Every April a mango auction is conducted at the Miyazaki City Central Wholesale Market. Mangoes are judged/graded by size, shape, color and their brix level of candy-like sweetness. You can now find the Miyazaki premium mangoes specially packaged at select retail stores for $100 to $200 for one. Last year at the auction a pair sold for $5,000. Imagine, mangoes, priced comparably to a big bottle of red wine from a select French vineyard. Their hefty price tags reflect years of experimentation, the labor of love dating back to the time Miyazaki farmers started cultivating mangoes in the 1980s. Patience and fortitude! Therefore, the next time you are thinking of getting someone close to you a unique gift, think about gifting them a Taiyo no Tamago (Egg of Sun) mango. Better yet, buy them a vacation package tour so they can explore the mango farms of Miyazaki.
Key learning: Successful long-term business initiatives are the byproduct of patience and fortitude.