I have a serious Meyer lemon habit.
It started when I moved to LA and a friend got me hooked with a seasonal supply from his trees.
After years in snowy Chicago (where Meyers are priced like precious jewels), there was something about being able to pick a lemon off my own tree that captured me.
So the hubby surprised me with a trip to the garden center and—$75 later—we went home with a tree in a giant pot and visions of it bursting with fruit.
I figured we might get 10 or 20 lemons (hardly the best financial decision), but I wanted the romance of growing them myself.
A year later, I reaped one—yes one—lemon (container gardening is apparently not my strong suit).
Oh, it was a beautiful lemon (see above). And yes, it was delicious. But was it worth $75 for the experience? Absolutely—this was about the fun, not the bottom line.
But if I was in the lemon business, who would buy it from me—vs. the farmers market or grocery store—not to mention pay me anywhere near my investment? (The going rate for Meyers here is about $1 a piece.)
You don’t want to be working on a $75 lemon in your business.
Sometimes you know it’s going to be a learning experience going in (like say a new practice area). You’re prepared to spend some coin and you’ll survive if you lose your investment.
But when it deeply matters to your business, you need a vision and a plan, not a wing and a prayer.
Investing hundreds of hours writing your book makes no financial sense if you haven’t built a market for it. Spending your time giving (not selling) speeches without a clear path to producing revenue is just wasted effort.
Take it from an ex-lemon grower. Stay away from producing expensive commodities. Instead, look to create an amazing new species that has folks clamoring for grafts of your trees.
Related: Is Your Big Idea Big Enough?