When I tell people I’ve just launched a new writing, marketing and personal empowerment company called What’s Your Avocado?, I get one of three responses:
- “Oh, that’s cool!”
- A tilt of the head, as if to say, “Huh?”
- Or, they come right out and ask me, “How’d you come up with that?”
And so, in case of all three eventualities, and for the benefit of readers who for sure are experiencing one of the three above, (cool, head tilt or how/what?), for my first blog post here I’ll tell you the story.
A little over two years ago, I was at a crossroads in my life. I was newly divorced, a process that had taken several years of soul searching and hard work toward becoming the person I really wanted to be. I had a new man in my life. I had worked as a writer and marketer for 20 years but didn’t feel fulfilled. I knew I had more to share, but wasn’t sure what direction to go next.
And then, I had a dream. Not a daydream. Not a big “I have a dream!” speech moment. Not even an aspiration kind of “I want to be an astronaut” dream. What I had was an asleep-in-the-night dream. In my bed. Head on my pillow. That kind of a dream.
In the dream, I was talking to a business friend of mine who had heavily invested his business into agriculture. He raised cattle, he owned citrus, he grew turf for golf courses. And in the dream, he was telling me that the bottom had fallen out of the market on prices for the cattle, for oranges, even for golf grass. But then he stopped lamenting and leaned in close as if to tell me a secret. He had a twinkle in his eye. A whisper in his voice. He said that on a lark, some years ago, he had planted a grove of avocados. It was really just something he did for fun, without any expectation of a profit. He said that all of a sudden, avocados were going for record prices. “The avocado,” he said, “the thing I’d completely overlooked, this is the thing that’s going to save me.”
And I woke up.
I sat bolt upright in bed.
I wondered, should I call my friend and tell him to hurry up quick and plant some avocados? But I paused. Something held me back.
Later in the day, I was on the phone with my mother. I remember this quite distinctly, that I was standing at my kitchen sink. I was looking out the window at the top of an orange tree heavy with sweet fruit. (I lived in Florida at the time.) And I was telling her about the dream.
As I wondered aloud if I should call my friend and tell him about the avocados, the “Ah-ha!” moment arrived. It hit me hard. I caught my breath.
I realized that the thing that would save me, the thing I’d overlooked, the avocado, wasn’t for my friend. It was for me.
And at that moment, all of the questions I’d had about my life, my goals, my mission, became clear. I understood my avocado. And I decided to share it with the world.
So, that’s why I named my company: What’s Your Avocado? It’s a kind of shorthand, a way to communicate clearly the core of the matter. Who are you and what do you want to do? What’s the unique element, that thing you overlooked, that will save you? What’s the heart of your company? The main selling point of your product? Your true authentic self? Once you know it, the world is open to you. And so I ask you, “What’s Your Avocado?”