One Simple Way to Succeed: Grab a shovel and start planting

Updated: Jun 20, 2019

I recently read this story on Facebook about John Joyce who was giving a new truck. His longtime customer Robert Norton and his wife Nikki Norton created a GoFundMe account hoping to help Joyce.

Joyce, who is an 83 year old lawn man, has spent the last few months walking several miles a day to his customers' homes to mow their lawns after the transmission died in his 1994 truck.

I was struck by all the comments. Most talked about the generosity of those who made the donation happen. While it is incredible that strangers would rally and help someone in need in such a way, I think the most important lesson was missed.

The thing to remember is the incredible work ethic of the person receiving the gift. An 83 year-old man who still mows lawns in spite of losing his mode of transportation. He wasn’t sitting on the side of the street begging for a handout. He wasn’t complaining about having to push is mower for miles just to mow a yard. He was working!!!

How many people today would continue to work if faced with having to push their lawn mower to and from work?

Mr. Joyce is a hero in in this day and age. A guy who doesn’t whine about the circumstances he is facing. He didn’t blame others for his luck. No, he kept his head down and continued to grind. He worked! Did you catch that? He worked!

When I speak to communities about community or economic development, I often tell my audiences that if you want to reap a harvest than you need to plant a garden. And if you need to plant a garden, the best way to get started is to start digging.

You don’t stand around and whine about needing help, or how hard it is to plant all the seeds. You grab a shovel and start digging.

You plant when no one is looking. You plant when people are making fun of you for attempting to plant the garden yourself. You plant when you don’t feel like planting. And while you are planting, you don’t gripe and complain about having to plant the garden yourself. You plant with a smile like you know something that they don’t.

When you do this, something magical happens. Momentum. Action creates energy, and suddenly people start looking for shovels to help you. Little by little the seeds get planted, and the garden gets planted. You accomplish your goal. But it all begins with Y.O.U.d you picking up the shovel.

If you want your community or your county or your state or our country to be great. Inspire those around you to pick up a shovel by picking one up yourself and digging.

Stop whining about how others are not helping create the world you want for yourself.

Grab a shovel and start digging! Even if your 83 years old!

Now, go be awesome! Thanks and Gig’em!

Dave Quinn, CEcD is Chief Inspiration Officer for and President of City Services for Day One Experts, an economic development consulting firm specializing in economic development consulting to companies, communities, and organizations. If you'd like to set up a time to visit with Dave about possible speaking engagements or to find out more about becoming a member of the Day One family click here to set up a 30-minute discovery call.

Dave is a passionate keynote speaker and coach, encouraging others to be a positive influence in the world around them. As an economic development mastermind, wellness advocate and vision caster, he loves inspiring others through talks on Leadership, Wellness, Economic Development, and Personal Responsibility. Connect with him in the social media world: TwitterInstagram, and others @DaveQuinn247.