The power of the “Cherry Principle”

It’s difficult to imagine a more succulent image than a bowl of cherries.

Indeed, if you had to choose one flavor for all things, wouldn’t you choose the sweet red berry?

And every parent knows that the active ingredient of bad-tasting medicine has more chance of getting inside a child if delivered with the motivating ingredient of cherry flavor. Even the most earnest plea known, “Pretty please?” can still be raised one more notch on the pleading scale by adding, “… with a cherry on top?”

But there is something about this vermillion varietal that begs a closer look, because everything about it is not sublime. Alas, the cherry’s single blemish is its pit – that tiny little seed that you can’t, or at least shouldn’t, eat. This dense little kernel is so potentially dangerous that some restaurants no longer sell cherry pies because if just one seed is not removed, teeth can get broken and a lawsuit could ensue.

So with that much potential danger to be found in a whole bowl of cherries, if such an offer were made to you, why would you still smile with sweet anticipation? Why wouldn’t you think first of the pits? Aren’t you afraid of them?

Well, the answer is yes; you are wary of cherry pits. But the fruit is so sweet you think of that first, which helps you overcome pit-o-phobia. Plus, you’ve learned that if you take the time to remove the pits properly, a wonderful and safe experience will result.

What if you saw the fruit of an opportunity first, instead of the potentially dangerous seed of a problem? What would happen if you thought of challenges in your small business like you do cherries: a sweet opportunity to be had if you can first remove the potential danger? How would your world change if you could learn how to do this? Perhaps the Chinese said this first because their word for crisis is spelled with the two characters that mean danger and opportunity.

The Blasingame Cherry Principle (BCP) proposes that finding opportunities among the many small business challenges you face on a regular basis should be done with the same logic required when eating cherries: Step one – remove pits; Step two – eat fruit.

Remember, there’s no crying in baseball and no whining in small business. So before you allow a challenge to cause your lower lip to protrude, remember that our most creative work is often forged in the crucible of tough times.

When dealing with a challenge, stay focused on the potential sweet fruit, not the pit.

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