Once upon a time there was a family. They were a normal, modern family with normal, modern family problems. They had two kids, and the father worked as an account executive in a large advertising firm. Because of the recent economic problems, the father’s company was experiencing problems, and so his company wasn’t paying out big bonuses like they normally did. When the father joined the company several years a go, he opted for payment plan B. Which at the time was great. Only now it wasn’t so great, because a large part of his salary was based on bonuses.
So of course the family was struggling. The wife had a small flower stand that she worked several days a week. It wasn’t a full-blown shop; it was just big enough to store a few dozen different flowers to catch the attention of people as they drove by to and from work. You know how when you are just going along and minding your own business, and then you see something that captures your interest, and you think to yourself you have to take a look at this? It was like that. It was more of a hobby than anything else. She just made enough to pay her rent and the expenses. She never really had any expectations of making a living selling flowers. Which was fine with her, because she enjoyed raising her children and making sure they did well in school and stayed out of trouble.
She was also fairly lucky in that her grandfather had owned a large farm. Her grandfather had passed away several years ago, and they had inherited the land. Because the family wasn’t very interested in continuing the farm, they let the land go. It was only a couple acres just on the outside of town. Fortunately, the land produced many wildflowers that she sold in her shop. Her shop was known around town as a shop that sold wildflowers and other things like that. The kind of people that shopped there were a unique brand of people. They usually bought flowers for other than main flower buying reasons. Usually just to give to somebody for some spontaneous reason, and not a rose for Valentines Day or any other socially required gift.
But then one summer, the flowers on her farm started changing. They were only wildflowers, and they grew naturally, so she really had no idea what was happening. She had a friend who knew about these things and they investigated for her, and determined that there was a particular strain of a plant disease that had infected her flowers. Her source of her hobby was at risk.
She went home, and was surprised how depressed this had made her. She had always thought of selling flowers as nothing more than a hobby, so she never really gave it much thought to how it affected her personally. But when her hobby was threatened, she noticed how much pleasure she received when she sold somebody a flower, who in turn was going to give it to somebody else. She wasn’t sure what she was going to do.
When she arrived home, she was in for another shock. Her husbands company had decided to discontinue their bonus plan altogether. And despite efforts to reorganize the pay structure so it wouldn’t be so bad, the family was going to take substantial financial hit. The kids had just entered high school, and they were not completely unsure of their futures. They all sat up late at night after dinner, discussing how they could handle the impending financial crisis. Nobody could come up with an idea that didnâ€™t involve them selling their nice house and moving into a cheaper one, and having to choose a less expensive college for the kids.
The next day at work, something incredibly fortuitous happened. A stranger came up to the flower shop, and brought some flowers that the woman had never seen before. They were beautiful, with a swirl of colors she never thought was possible outside of a painter’s studio. The man was just curious, as he had picked them on a drive in from outside of town. When he saw the shop, he’d decided to ask her about them, merely out of curiosity. She was amazed when he told her where he’d picked them.
When she arrived at her grandfather’s farm, with her friend, they saw hundreds of flowers just like the stranger had brought in. The “disease” had somehow changed the flowers into the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. She gathered a couple dozen, and brought them back to her shop. They sold out within an hour, and the news of the unique flowers quickly spread. They repeated this, until fully half the wildflowers from her grandfathers farm had been sold. Her friend determined an easy way to repeatedly grow the same flowers, with the same colors. Pretty soon people were driving hours from all over to buy these strangely colored flowers. She made more money selling flowers than she’d ever thought possible.
Experts from a nearby University came to test the soil of her grandfathers farm, and said it was a unique blend of minerals they’d never thought about before, that might potentially have limitless medical applications. They government leased her grandfathers property from her, in a hundred year lease, for an enormous price. Her husband was able to quit his job, and help her in the flower shop. Because of the income from the government lease, they never had to worry about money again.
Something that they had that they thought was only a source for a passing hobby turned into a magnificent source of income for a lifetime, for reasons they never would have expected.